Showing posts with label History. Show all posts
Showing posts with label History. Show all posts

26 June 2017

Character Study: Bible Women | Mary: Full of Grace

MARY
The mother of Jesus. No one disputes this.

Almost everyone in a predominantly Christian society knows the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus. When Mary is introduced in the Christian scriptures, she is living in Nazareth in Galilee and she is betrothed to be married to a man named Joseph, who discovers that she is pregnant. Knowing that child could not possibly be his child, Joseph agonizes over what to do about Mary. Under Jewish law, he has two options. Option 1: Shame Mary publicly and have her stoned for infidelity. Option 2: Put Mary away quietly. The scriptures state that an angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him not to fear taking Mary as his wife. She had committed no sin and the child that she was carrying was the result of a miracle and the fulfillment of a prophecy that “a virgin would conceive and bring forth a son who would be named Emmanuel, meaning ‘God with us’.”


Mary and Jesus
Mary and Jesus - Pop Ink – CSA Images - Allposters.com

Some non-Christian sources say that Jesus was a bastard, an illegitimate child, the result of an unlawful union between Mary and someone other than her lawful husband. There is an ongoing debate as to whether the Qu’ran (Koran) states that Mary was a virgin who conceived and gave birth to Jesus, having never had sexual contact in any way with any man OR whether she was a virgin at the time the angel visited her and told her she would have a child.

Whether or not Christian and non-Christian sources agree, Mary is the 5th woman mentioned by Matthew in the lineage of Jesus Christ.
  • Bible References: MARY – MATT 1: 16, 18, 20; 2: 11; 13: 55; MK 6: 3; LK 1: 27, 30, 41, 56; 2: 5, 16, 19


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A Lineage of Grace:Five Stories of Unlikely Women Who Changed Eternity

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Bible Women: All Their Words and Why They Matter





Character Study: Bathsheba: The Innocent Victim

BATHSHEBA

  • Was it her fault that the king lusted in his heart for her?
  • Was she responsible for her husband’s death?

The Hebrew meaning of Bath Shebha is “seventh daughter” or “daughter of the oath”. Bathsheba was the mother of King Solomon. She was the wife of Uriah the Hittite who David had murdered to cover up his act of adultery with her. Bathsheba became pregnant by King David while her husband was away at war. The child that was conceived through that adulterous union died. David later made Bathsheba his lawful wife and she gave birth to Solomon, the last king to rule over a united Israel. After Solomon’s death, 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel revolted against the rule of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, and the kingdom was divided.

Throughout the years, many have debated whether Bathsheba was as guilty of adultery as King David. Was she deliberately bathing outdoors knowing that the king could see her from his balcony? When he summoned her, even though he was king, could she not have refused him? Could she not have pleaded with him not to defile her? Why didn’t she prick the king’s conscience and remind him that her husband was an honorable man and loyal to the king and not deserving of such treachery? Instead of sending word to the king that she was pregnant by him, why not send word to her husband that while he was away and she was all alone, the king violated her and now she was with child? Had she done any of those things the biblical account would clearly show who the guilty party was and Bathsheba’s biography would read differently. Some conclude Bathsheba is just as guilty as King David of committing adultery.

It should be noted that the scriptural account does not indicate that Bathsheba objected to being taken by King David. The scriptures also do not indicate that she DID indeed object but was taken against her will. What the bible story does reveal is that Nathan the prophet went directly to King David and accused him of the sin!!! Evidently, the God of King David had no problem figuring out who the guilty party was. And the prophet serving that God had no problem telling the king that his God was not pleased with his behavior. And the scriptures are clear to show David was the one punished, not Bathsheba.

Nathan compared Bathsheba to “a little ewe lamb”. She was taken and violated. Her husband was murdered. She bore an innocent child and lost the child. Defilement and grief on top of grief: she was an innocent who was wronged and hurt. How do we know this? Because the scripture says after all of this happened, David made her his legitimate wife and “comforted her”. I suppose it was the least he could do. Read all of her story and tread carefully before maligning the character of a decent and honorable woman. David paid the price for his sin.

  • Bible References: BATHSHEBA – 2 SAM 11: 3; 12: 24; 1 KINGS 1:15, 28, 31; 2:13




David and the Prophet Nathan
David and the Prophet Nathan - Allposters.com

Bible Women: All Their Words and Why They Matter



Character Study: Ruth: The Beautiful Gleaner

RUTH

How many stories have you heard of a woman begging to live the rest of her life with her mother-in-law?
   the  


Ruth is a shortened version of ‘retut’, which means “lovely friend”. Ruth was a Moabitess, who married into a family of Israelites. She was subsequently widowed. The Book of Ruth is a short book in the Old Testament that tells the story of this “beautiful gleaner”. She is remembered for her loyalty to her mother-in-law, Naomi, and her conversion to Judaism. The earnestness of her plea and her sincerity was expressed almost in the form of a prayer.


Ruth in Boaz's Field
Ruth in Boaz's Field (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
They were both destitute and Naomi tried to convince Ruth that she could offer her nothing but bitterness. Yet to Naomi she pleaded: “Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God, my God.” (Ruth 1: 16) Ruth’s steadfastness ultimately resulted in her marriage to her deceased husband’s wealthy kinsman Boaz, who was the father of Obed, who was the father of Jesse, who was the father of King David, the shepherd boy who became an anointed king of Israel.


Bible References:  RUTH – RUTH 1: 1 – 4: 22; MATT 1: 5








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Bible Women: All Their Words and Why They Matter



Book Recommendations : Jack Higgins, Night of the Fox - Classic Thriller

“Rommel.” Hitler smiled a ghastly smile that was almost one of triumph.
"So, the Desert Fox wishes to play games."
“I’m almost certain of it.”
"The people’s hero," Hitler said. "We must handle him carefully, wouldn’t you say?"
“Or outfox him, my Fuhrer,” Himmler said softly.
"Outfox him. Outfox the Desert Fox."  Hitler smiled delightfully. "Yes, I like that, Reichsfuhrer. I like that very much indeed."

Night of the Fox by Jack Higgins (available in eBook format)

Everybody knows Harry Patterson aka Jack Higgins. This international bestselling suspense thrilling author is among the world's most popular writers. Remembered by many for The Eagle Has Landed, his book Night of the Fox is equally as impressive. Though this book is a work of fiction, the writer's efforts to research the historical events on which it is based were painstakingly real. Higgins actually met with and reviewed the diaries of a woman who was trapped on Jersey during World War II.


Night of the Fox was made into a movie which starred two of my favorite actors, George Peppard (American officer, Col. Harry Martineau) and Michael York. (high-ranking German officer, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, the "Desert Fox"). If you are compiling a private library of suspense thrillers, this 3-in-1 would be a great addition! 


Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1977-119-08, Erwin Romme...
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1977-119-08, Erwin Rommel, Adolf Hitler (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel in December ...
Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel in December 1943. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Post first published at Dispensable Thoughts, Aug 15, 2012


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