Summary: Message 7 in our Judges series with the second message dealing with the role of women.
Judges Series #7 Life Cycles
“Women in Ministry”
Last week we addressed the issue of the place of women in God’s plan. We began discussion with a brief summary of attitudes toward women at points in history including the church.
The fact that women have not always been appreciated for whom God made them was abundantly clear. Even in our generation, attitudes are not where they might be. I then tried to summarize God’s attitudes toward women from various Bible passages.
God spoke Adam into being. God “fashioned” Eve. God created THEM.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
God blessed THEM.
And God blessed them. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created. Genesis 5:2
God commissioned THEM to procreate together.
And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth
God commissioned THEM to rule together
and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:28
God declared His work, including the differences between man AND woman, VERY GOOD.
How dare we say anything different? Even Adam immediately recognized an equality and affinity with Eve not observed between any of the previously created creatures.
Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Genesis 2:23
God designed Adam and Eve to cultivate a mutually exclusive oneness.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. Genesis 2:24-25
Jesus affirmed this God-ordained unity between male and female. Together they reflect the image of the eternal God. It is clear that God created Adam first. The order carries a significance totally unrelated to personal worth and significance.
But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. 1 Corinthians 11:3 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 1 Corinthians 11:8
Headship and authority does not indicate superiority. (How about your boss?) Submission does not indicate inferiority. Jesus willingly and joyfully submitted to the Father but fully understood the reality of their oneness. “I and the Father are ONE.” Everybody lives under the authority of someone yet we don’t consider ourselves inferior. Paul included the same balancing principle in his argument we observed in Genesis.
Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. 1 Corinthians 11:11-12
Pau emphasized the cooperating unity between male and female.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28
The issue is not that men have less worth because they can’t bear children.
The issue is not that women have less worth because God ordained men to lead.
The issue is not even that men lead because they are smarter or more competent.
When God fashion the woman to be a “helper”, He did not imply weakness but strength.
One only needs to look at the occurrence of this same Hebrew term in the Psalms to understand its place of strength.
Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20
But I am afflicted and needy; Hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay. Psalm 70:5
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. Psa121:1-2
Our help is in the name of the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. Psalm 124:8
If anything, Adam needed outside help because of his weakness. Woman was God’s instrument to bring help. Men would do well to understand his need and appreciate the help.
Woman comes from a position of strength not weakness, ability not inferiority. There are obvious differences between men and women but with regard to worth, God views male and female equally.
You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7