Holy Women Always Have a Song

holy women have a songHoly women have a song

When the heart is focused on Christ instead of ourselves, there is a song. Holy women of God always have a song. Women who followed God – those who lived before and after Christ – had a song when God spoke to them. It’s a lesson for all of us. Listen to their stories and see their response to God’s call on their lives. Truly, holy women always have a song.

Deborah

Deborah was one of the major judges in the story when Israel took the land of Canaan. She was the only female judge, and the only one called to be a prophet. Deborah was called and appointed by God to lead the people into righteousness. She was courageous, direct, confident, and humble. Deborah held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the country of Ephraim and the Israelites went to Deborah to have their disputes decided. She recruited Barak (a general) to stand by her side and told him what God wanted to do. Together, they led the Army to a decisive battle with the Canaanites. When the battle was over, Deborah and Barak had a song. Their song was not about themselves, but about what God did for the Israelites.

Deborah’s song was about God and not about herself.  Her song detailed the account of the battle and how God used people to win over the Canaanites. The focus was about what God did and not on herself. When our focus is on God, we as holy women have a song.

Hear, O kings; give ear, O princes;

to the Lord I will sing;

I will make melody to the Lord, the God of Israel. . . .

So may all your enemies perish, O Lord!

But your friends be like the sun as he rises in his might.”

Hannah

Childless Hannah wanted to have a child. She wept and begged God for a child. Finally, in desperation, she promised to give her child to God if He granted her request. God gave her a son, and she named him Samuel. Hannah kept her promise to God. When the child was old enough to be weaned, she took Samuel to the temple to live with Priest Eli. This is when her song burst forth. She had invested in this child, diapered, nursed, and loved him. Now she was giving him back to God. This was when she sang – when she said goodbye to her son. Hannah sang because God gave her a song. Hannah’s song was not about her sacrifice or even about her child. It was about her God. This is why holy women have a song. Here is the beginning of Hannah’s song

My heart exults in the Lord;
    my horn is exalted in the Lord.
My mouth derides my enemies,
    because I rejoice in your salvation.

There is none holy like the Lord;

for there is none besides you;

there is  no rock like our God.

Elizabeth

On a routine visit of the High Priest to the Holy of Holies, Elizabeth’s husband Zechariah encountered an angel.  The angel told Zechariah that Elizabeth, childless and now well past child bearing years, would bear a son.  She was starting her last trimester when her cousin Mary came to visit. Scripture says that when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb.

Elizabeth burst into praise to God and affirmation to Mary. She didn’t point to her expanding abdomen. Elizabeth focused on Mary and why her unborn son leaped for joy when he heard the voice of Mary. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and her song was proof again that holy women have a song. With a loud cry, she gave her song:

Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!

And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 

And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.

Mary

On an ordinary day, a young, ordinary girl –  Mary – encountered an angel. The angel told her she would give birth to the Messiah. The angels assured her that nothing is impossible with God. Mary hurried to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was also pregnant. When Elizabeth pronounced a blessing on Mary (thus confirming what the angel told her), Mary burst forth in praise. Her song was not about herself – it was about “God my Savior.” Mary’s song was not about what she was going to be; it was about what God was doing and what He will continue to do. Mary – a holy woman – had a song.  Holy women have a song. Here is part of Mary’s song.

My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

for He has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.

From now all generations will call me blessed

for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is His name.

holy women have a songFocusing on God gives holy women a song

What I see in these women is a desire to follow God in service. He plans and chooses their path, and they follow. This is why holy women have a song, because their focus is not on themselves, but on God.  When our focus is on God and on others, we will always have a song.

 

 

    pinterest holy women always have a song
   Photo credits: pixabay.com

 

 

 

Not Even a Thread or a Sandal Strap

a thread or a sandal strapRefusing to take a thread or a sandal strap.

Abram was an honest man. Sometimes. And sometimes? Not so much.

This story of Abraham’s honesty in “not even a thread or a sandal strap” is right between two instances of dishonesty. Those instances were the times Abram feared for his life, so he didn’t tell the whole truth.

a thread or a sandal strapIs honesty the best policy?

When Abram and Sarai traveled to Egypt, he asked his wife to tell people they were siblings. They were siblings (same father, different mother), but they were also husband and wife. The king of Egypt took her to his palace. Everyone in his palace (including the king himself) became ill. I don’t know how the king found out the diseases were because of Abram, but he did. And he told Abram and Sarai to leave Egypt. They did.

a thread or a sandal strap

Eight chapters later, Abraham lies again. This time he and Sarah (their names are changed by God) are in Gerar. Same story, same lie: we are siblings.

Abimelech (the king) takes Sarah to his palace (she had to be a beautiful woman for this to happen the second time!). Fortunately for Abraham, Sarah, and Abimelech, God told Abimelech the whole truth and instructed him to “return the man’s wife” to him, which he did.  Abimelech chastises Abraham for his dishonesty, and this is Abraham’s reply:

“I did it because I thought, ‘There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ 12 Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. 13 And when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, ‘This is the kindness you must do me: at every place to which we come, say of me, “He is my brother.” ’ ”

a thread or a sandal strap

A thread or a sandal strap

Right between those two episodes of dishonesty, Abraham’s nephew Lot is captured by the Sodomites. Abraham rescues Lot and takes captives of the Sodomites. The king of Sodom tells him, “You may keep all these things for yourself; just give me my people who were captured.”

Abraham’s reply speaks of honesty down to the finest point. “I will not even keep a thread or a sandal strap so that you cannot say, ‘I made Abram rich.'” He does not want to be accused of becoming rich by stealing from others.

I love this story about Abraham, but it’s one we don’t hear as often as his other episodes and escapades. When Abram/Abraham lied about his relationship to his spouse, he did it because he was afraid for their lives (not saying that’s okay). When he refused to take even one shoelace from the king, he did that because he didn’t want to be accused of selfishness and hoarding.

The only thing he will keep, he says, is the food his young men have already eaten [rather hard to return that, you think?!]. Everything else is given back. He doesn’t want any plunder; he isn’t going to get rich on someone else’s lack or luck.

a thread or a sandal strapAccounting for every thread

Basically, Abram says he wants to account for every single penny given to him by God. Nobody can accuse him of cheating or gambling. What he has, he earned. What a reputation to have!

It’s a lesson for all of us. When we are careful not to take as much as a thread or a sandal strap, we are honest before men. What we have and own is a result of working with our hands and not the result of cheating or taking advantage of others.

Folks knew about Abraham. He had a reputation. It’s the same with us. We might think we are fooling others, but the truth has a way of coming out. When our goal is to be so honest, we will have principles in place. When we won’t take even a thread or the strap of a sandal that doesn’t belong to us, we are living a life of integrity and honesty.

a thread or a sandal strap

Photo attribution: Sweet Publishing through Free Bible Images; Pixabay.