I am so glad the Bible is already complete.
Talking to ladies at Fort Detrick, Maryland the other day, we got into a discussion about women in Scripture. There are many.
We know some of their names. Some we don’t, but they all have story whether two verses or two chapters long. I believe all of Scripture was intentionally put together by God. The stories of the individuals of Scripture are no accident. They are included for a reason. These people teach us, inspire us, challenge us – all through words written thousands of years ago.
Many of these ladies have done noble and godly things. We remember the stories of Sarah, Abraham’s wife (Genesis 11 – 25) and Esther (Esther), along with other amazing women. We also remember the “not-so-good” ladies like Delilah (Judges 16) and Jezebel (1 Kings 16-19; 2 Kings 9). These are stories that are fairly well-known, but there are many more.
Do you remember Job’s wife? She is only mentioned in two verses of Scripture and her name is not even known, but what we know about her is not all that good. We remember Job. He is that famous guy who lost everything – land, property and children. He was a righteous man and remained so even in the midst of such great adversity. After losing everything, he is slightly distraught (okay, he is really distraught). His wife “helps” him. In Job 2:9-10 it says, “His wife said to him, ‘Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!’ He replied, ‘You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?’ In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.” Wow! The only thing written about you in Scripture and this is it.
Or maybe we could look at Sapphira in Acts 5. She has a whole ten verses, but doesn’t fair much better than Job’s wife. Here it is in Acts 5:1-10.
“Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?” “Yes,” she said, “that is the price.” Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband.”
There are these ladies who had questionable, if not downright bad, stories, but there are others who have amazing stories. Have you heard of Anna? She was a widow at the Temple when Mary and Joseph brought baby Jesus. Here is her story: “There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” Three verses and what we learn from her is faithfulness. Awesome.
Or maybe two other ladies. We find them in 2 Timothy 1:5. One verse: “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” Paul is writing a letter to Timothy and mentions both the impact of Timothy’s mother and grandmother.
The women of Scripture are many whether their stories be one verse or a whole book of the Bible. God wrote their stories in there on purpose so we could learn lessons of redemption, love, faithfulness, wisdom, perseverance, and honesty, whether we learn from their triumphs or mistakes. They are stories that are relevant in our world.
I love their stories, but am increasingly thankful that Scripture is complete. I can’t even imagine what story would be told of me. The stories do give me hope of the impact I can make. They also encourage me in the fact that others have made mistakes and God has used their stories as well.