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Many times women have said to me, "Marilyn, I have the feeling that God thinks women are second-class citizens." The more I dig into the Word of God, the more I want to respond with a shout, "Untrue! God loves women!" The "bad guy" in the Bible is not God, but the devil. Satan began his devious methods with Eve in the Garden and he has never stopped chewing her ancestors. Let's look at God's real feelings and His abundant provisions for women by going back to the "seed plot" of the Bible - the book of Genesis.

In Genesis 2:7, God formed man from the dust of the earth. The Hebrew word for "formed" is yatsar, which means "to mold like a potter or squeeze into shape." An entirely different word is used when it comes to Eve's construction in Genesis 2:22. When God made Eve, the Hebrew word banah is used and means "skillfully formed." Eve was not squeezed out, but skillfully formed and carefully molded. God's treatment of Eve from the beginning was super special, with care and gentleness. When God gave His blessing in the Garden, He blessed both Adam and Eve with five blessings. He directed them, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion." (Gen. 1:28). Both male and female were made in His image, and both were given power and dominion.

God did not take woman from man's foot for man to trample upon her; she was to be his equal and near his heart. That is why she was taken from the very rib of man. God's tender, loving care is shown in His command in Genesis 2:24: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." Men were to leave their immediate families; women were not. Eve's sin in the Garden was no greater than Adam's. In Genesis 2:15, Adam was commanded to dress and keep the Garden. In Verse 18 God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a help mate for him." From this context, we can see that Adam was not only to dress the Garden, he was also to protect it; but Adam did not protect the tree on that infamous day when Eve ate of it.

From that dreadful moment on, there has been a burning enmity between Satan and the woman. God commanded in Genesis 3:15, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Satan knew his days were numbered. A seed was to come through woman to give him an eternal bruising. Through the virgin birth God was to send a Savior—Jesus Christ—and through faith in Him, salvation would be open to all who believed. Satan persecuted woman in child-bearing for she was his enemy, but her seed-to-come would be his greatest enemy.

It is interesting to note here that God intervened in woman's behalf. First Timothy 2:15 declares she would be saved in child-rearing. The words of God struck deep into the heart of Eve. They also brought hope out of trouble to the defeated Adam, for he knew there would come redemption through the woman's seed. When Eve gave birth to her first son, Cain, she boldly confessed her faith, "I have gotten a man from the Lord" (Gen. 4:1). I believe that at that moment the Spirit of prophecy rested upon her. God also looked down the ages of time and gently touched a frustrated, barren wife - Hannah. (1Sam. 1) Through her barrenness she cried out to God and received a son, Samuel. She then prophesied a prayer and spoke another title of the coming Son of God. She called her Lord the Anointed One which is another word for Messiah. (1 Sam. 2:35) Hannah was the first to use it, the first ever to utter the revelation of the Messiah; and her revelation would rock the world throughout the eons of time.

Centuries passed. Then God sent His special angel on a mission to a young virgin girl named Mary, revealing to her the name above every name (Luke 1:26-33). Things in heaven, on earth, and even under the earth, would bow to that name. Again, a woman would speak that name of all power—Jesus! Three women have received the major revelation of His name. A fallen Eve had the promise of her offspring; a faith-filled Hannah saw a coming Messiah; and a young virgin would give birth to Jesus, the Savior of the world!

God called Abram to become a "Father of Altitude." The word "Abram" comes from the Hebrew word abar which means altitude. Because of his living in the altitude of God's Word, he would become Abraham, which means the "Father of Multitudes." His wife Sarai, meaning "contentious," would become Sarah, meaning "princess of the beautiful." She would become the mother of kings and nations (Gen. 17). First Peter 3:6 tells us she obeyed Abraham and called him "lord." Yet God told Abraham in Genesis 21:12 he would profit from his wife's counsel, so they became a team of faith. Abraham received faith to expect and receive a child; Sarah received faith to expect and conceive a child.

Years later when Issac received his lovely virgin bride, Rebekah, he took her into Sarah's tent. Perhaps he wanted her to experience the faith of his beautiful mother, Sarah. So Rebekah became the matriarch, appearing in the Messianic lineage along with Leah, Rahab, Ruth, and others. God had a special relationship with these women, for He placed them in the lineage of Jesus Christ, His very own Son, even though they were of foreign blood.

No male could be found in the lineage of Jesus Christ unless he met two very important conditions: He had to be a descendant of Abraham, and he had to be circumcised. Yet God took women of other nations and circumstances and wrote their names for eternity in the lineage of His first-begotten Son. God brought His revelation to Rebekah concerning her turbulent pregnancy, revealing to her the plan of two nations in her womb. He also saw fit to bring revelations to Hagar and Hannah during their pregnancies, revealing His purpose to the wife, rather than the husband.

Rachel was a gorgeous young wife with a problem. Her sister Leah bore their mutual husband one child after another, but Rachel was barren. Her problem stimulated her prayer life, for Genesis 30:22 declares: "God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her [prayers], and opened her womb." Rachel conceived and bore a son, calling him Joseph, which means "adding," for later and she declared, "I know God will add another son to me."

Joseph drew on the treasure of her faith and through his position in the wealthy nation of Egypt, he was able to save the nation of Israel from starvation. Jacob prophesied on his deathbed that Joseph's seed would multiply and be fruitful. Rachel's two grandchildren, Ephraim and Manesseh, did become famous, for each would receive a tribal heritage of the two largest tribes of Israel. In later years, ten tribes of the north would adopt the name of Ephraim as their national name. Truly, Rachel's seed was a "fruitful bough" for instead of adding, God multiplied her seed many times!

Source: Women of the Word by Marilyn Hickey
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Marilyn Hickey
Web site: Marilyn and Sarah
 
"Encouraging, optimistic, always upbeat and energetic" at the young age of 84, Marilyn Hickey actively ministers internationally, most recently in Sudan, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, India, China and Pakistan, as well as domestically in the United States through Bible Encounters and speaking engagements.
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