Summary: A wonderful woman!
I was given two questions. "Why does the Bible not hold women in high regard (importance) in either the Old or New Testament?" "How does God feel about women in Power Today i.e. preachers, politicians, and CEOs?" I have used the emphasis in the questions as they were given to me.
This is one of those areas where I wish that I were able to speak to the issue from the realm of experience. I wish that I were independently wealthy so that I could speak to the vanities and errors of the rich so that they would not have the crutch or excuse that I am poor and hence jealous. I wish that I were a heart-stopping hunk so that I could speak to the vanities and abuses of physical beauty for the same reason. I wish that I were a woman for this topic to remove the possibility of being flatly dismissed as another man just trying to control a woman through the Bible. Of course, if I were a woman, one could always say that I was just a traitor or brainwashed by men.
As with any issue, a person can choose to believe what the Bible says and trust God or they can choose to blow it off with any combination of the plethora of excuses, rationales and theologies that are available today. Personally, I have no axe to grind or halo to shine on the topic. I have no desire to control anyone be they male or female. I have no desire to set myself up as god in people’s lives. I didn’t write the Bible. My job is only to faithfully preach and teach what it says. I wish that my record keeping were better. I wrote a paper on Women’s Lib and the Church back in college. If I find it I will provide you copies.
I contend that the Bible does not have a low regard for women in either Testament. I also contend that they have never been powerless when God’s people were following Him. A woman’s role is different and hence her power and the way she uses it might be different than a man’s, but it is just as effective and in some ways more effective.
I want to start out this series on a positive note so I picked a passage that clearly shows a woman in power and yet within her divinely ordained role. If there was ever a woman that had it all it is the following dynamic lady.
10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
A woman appears to be rather valuable here and a bit rare. She is priceless. She is better than economic treasure.
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
She is trusted. Spoil or booty was a way to increase wealth and attain public stature, but she gives him all he needs so that spoil is not sought for or needed.
12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
She is his life long partner that is good to him and for him.
13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
She is hardly one to be called lazy. She understands and can chose quality raw materials and talented enough to turn them into a finished product of quality. She knows where the best deals and produce are located and will go the distance to provide the best for her family. She practices the motto early to bed and early to rise. She cooks for a large family and there is enough for the servant staff. She knows real estate and how to bargain and close a deal. Depending on the size of the field she might be a farmer, but at least a gardener that knows how to prepare, plant, preserve, and pick a patch of produce. She is strong in spirit and it manifests itself in her body and deeds. Strength can also be translated power.
18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
19 She layeth her hands to the spindle and her hands hold the distaff.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.