Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Part 13: Jezebel vs Sarah - The Power of Submission

If you're interested in review or in sharing this particular series of posts with others, here's a page where each post is linked: Series Links: Jezebel vs Sarah.

As you read, let me again ask that you please be patient with this work, as it unfolds here and in your life.

Continuing from the last post, where do we go after having already come to the bottom line on this whole Jezebel vs Sarah contrast? We walk it out, with the Bridegroom in mind and the hope of being found attractive and worthy before us.

I wrote how that 1 Peter 3:6 presents the model for wives ("Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord") as a parable about the Bride of Christ, but that it's not "merely" a parable. Sarah's obedience, even calling her husband, lord, is an example that is followed by wives who trust God, being in subjection to their husbands. The way of playing church that so many of us are coming out of is a way of make-believe instead of "believe," or trust. We must not deceive ourselves into thinking this matter at hand is theory or an academic exercise. We can't cheat, the Lord won't be fooled. There is no loophole. Don't be a lurker, here, or just a critic. Walk it out in practice and pay the price in shoe leather. The cross and the death of the flesh is before us. And, may I say that I sure need it - and so do you!

You'll notice I am focusing most of the attention so far on what is required of women. What you should realize is that gender commands in the Bible are biased in content quantity towards women. While it's easier for those who are eager to shine the spotlight of inspection in another direction by dismissing this as a case of Bob, Peter and Paul being gender biased, when the profound secret of Ephesians 5 has really been demystified you will appreciate the extra attention given to how women and wives should behave. I want to see myself in it because I want to be attractive as adorned with the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, trusting God in subjection to my own Husband, Y'shua! I'm hoping you do too! A man should go before his wife, first in humility. If he doesn't, and the wife is faithful to what is required of her, the husband will be humbled, make no mistake.

Is God cruel towards women? Many say, yes. I bet not. I believe he has something wonderful in mind.

8) Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
9) And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Hebrews 5:8-9

Ladies, is the Lord going to make everything smooth and easy for you? Don't bet on it. I've never been a woman so I can't speak as one, but I know a few. I am a man, and it's my testimony that learning obedience is a good and necessary thing; far from easy but worth it.

11) But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
12) And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

Matthew 23:11-12

If the truth of the above passage can be denied, the wife as servant model might seem like something quite unappealing, but, when accepted as true, the model appointed to the wife may be seen as one of honor. Men and women both should make note of this, and it will be well with us to keep it in mind. The Bride, who subjects herself willingly and fully, will be exalted. So it is with wives. So it is, too, with every man, woman and child.

Let's return once again to 1 Peter 3 to consider what it looks like when a woman trusts God, being subject to her own husband.

1) In like manner, the wives, be ye subject to your own husbands, that even if certain are disobedient to the word, through the conversation [Strong's G391 - anastrophe: manner of life, conduct, behaviour, deportment] of the wives, without the word, they may be won,
2) having beheld your pure behaviour [anastrophe] in fear,

1 Peter 3:1-2 (YLT)

The NASB offers, "even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word." WAIT? Did Peter actually write, "won WITHOUT A WORD"? Peter had the audacity to write such a thing as that? What was he thinking? Was he an imbecile? Didn't he realize that a woman's tongue may be her greatest weapon? Surely he hated women. Who would want to be his wife and be so abused and devalued? Without a word. Absurd. Ludicrous. Ok, I'm play-acting here. But, really, this is a common kind of response. When I propose such a thing, repeating the testimony of the scripture, I get this response, and so will you. In our culture today, how could anyone expect such a thing to be taken seriously. Yet, what if the Lord who actually gave the command isn't insane or evil? What if He actually requires obedience instead of lip-service? What if we actually are under a curse because of disobedience with regard to such a command? What if Y'shua is going to use this kind of criteria when He chooses His Bride?

"Without a word." Oh, boy. What a set-up. What a trap! He's got the woman right where He wants her! Dependent! That's right. No, not on her husband, let's not be short-sighted and focused merely on the natural. The dependency is upon God. In the natural, yes, she is indeed dependent upon her husband. If there is no God, or no trust in God, the woman is in a real pickle. Do you see it? That's the point! Women who have not faith in God struggle and strive against this.

Jezebel (as any carnal worldly minded woman) HATES being put in such a spot. She will NOT abide it because she operates not by trust in God but the appearance of it. Yet, a dependent woman who abides so faithfully may become the daughter of Sarah. This is the correct model of the Bride of Christ, of those proven dependent, and willing to be dependent. The model of Jezebel is that of Mystery Babylon, the rebellious harlot church.

In 1 Peter 3:2, a very important point must be made. The fear evident when beholding the wife's pure behaviour is not the fear of her husband, for this is a woman who trusts God.

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Matthew 10:28

A powerfully effective witness in a marriage relationship is that where a wife trusts God, being in subjection to her husband. In the fear of God, she refrains from speaking even a word of correction to him, "even if certain are disobedient to the word."

It's on this point where the enemy focuses attacks with subtle deception, "even if certain are disobedient to the word." That leaves no way out of dependence, so it must be cloaked as in a dark mist. I fielded a comment recently that recalled a familiar rationalization used to justify disobedience. There are many such kinds. Here is the comment.

"This is good! Can you please also speak to us regarding the verse that says 'we ought to obey God and not man'? As a female, I am often confronted with this verse by well meaning sisters who say that if my husband (a believer) is asking me to do something (i.e. go to a movie that may have violence or bad language) and I feel it is not appropriate for a believer, I should put my foot down and say "no" whether he likes it or not. What are your thoughts?"

Should the church put her foot down before Christ, drawing the line? If the church sets limits and boundaries, Christ is no head. This is Mystery Babylon, what rebellious Jezebel models. There is in that no trust in God, no fear of God, because there is no subjection at all, only the show of it where it conveniently serves Jezebel's level of comfort and personal agenda. It has been oft said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and that adage most certainly applies here.

The enemy knows a good trap. The trap is set, presenting a truth. "We ought to obey God and not man." Certainly. The trap is immediately sprung by twisting a truth into a lie. The lie tempts the woman to sin. If she draws the line she actually disobeys God and obeys man, seizing her husband's authority, even Christ's! She trusts herself, which is more honestly trusting the lies of demons, the rebels Jezebel and Satan. It's a clever trap. Women fall for it, and when the hapless husband, if he's the average believer, hears that rationale, even knowing he's just been kicked to the curb can seldom offer an effective counter measure.

Let's be clear. Am I actually suggesting that the woman draw no line and never put her foot down? Actually, I'm stating pretty plainly that a wife should not even speak a word of correction. I'm simply repeating the clear declaration of the scripture.

1) In like manner, the wives, be ye subject to your own husbands, that even if certain are disobedient to the word, through the conversation [Strong's G391 - anastrophe: manner of life, conduct, behaviour, deportment] of the wives, without the word, they may be won,
2) having beheld your pure behaviour [anastrophe] in fear,

1 Peter 3:1-2 (YLT)

Remember, wives be subject to your own husbands, meaning, in like manner as a servant to their master. This draws directly upon 1 Peter 2.

18) Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.
19) For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
20) For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
21) For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
22) Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
23) Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
24) Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
25) For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

1 Peter 2:18-25

You may think, "Oh, Bob, you can't be serious." I am, and those who desire to be found worthy of the Lord at His coming must be serious. I'm not writing this to the fainthearted compromising pseudo-saints committed to Babylon and her daughters. How can we expect to be found worthy when we don't trust Him? That's what this is about! Do we really trust Him, or just make the claim as it seems convenient? Will not the unworthy with hypocrites be cast into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth?

Let me explain the dynamic here, as the understanding has been given to me. As a hypothetical case, suppose a man asks his saintly wife to wear something quite immodest and appear with him in public, decked out even with braids, gold and pearls. She trusts God, and therefore doesn't offer a single word of complaint. Without deliberating on what she should do or even thinking to argue, she complies. She would no more argue with him or seek to correct her head than to argue with or correct his head, Christ. So, off they go. Maybe. Or, possibly, they won't even get that far.

Now, think about it. If the Lord is just and mighty, seeking an obedient child, how is He going to respond to this situation? For woman who take such matters into her own hands, rebelling and usurping her husband's and your own authority, the Lord is under no obligation except to grant demons the authority of the appropriate curses for rebellion. However, for such a woman who has faith, when not a word is spoken because she fears God rather than men and submits to humble obedience, for a woman such as this, He is obliged to respond. At some point, He will encourage obedience and acknowledge this genuine love with a great shower of passionate love! At the first, He is likely to let that woman be humiliated. Otherwise, how can he prove her sincerity. This is how it is with training in discipline. Yet, if that woman proves her love, persisting in obedience, she will find this great faith rewarded beyond measure!

So far as the husband is concerned, how will it go with him, who might command such a precious saint as that as an abusive master. Will not the fear of God come upon him? I say, yes! The husband will know the fear of God whether he lives or dies, because the Lord is just! When I read from 1 Peter 3:2, "having beheld your pure behaviour in fear" I cannot say the fear of God must only apply to the obedient wife. I believe it applies also to the husband!

When we are humbled will we not be exalted, if we abide according to His commands? I pray that the lies of the enemy that have overwhelmed us and robbed us of faith and of the true beauty of adornment with a meek and quiet spirit, which is, before God, of great price, will be overcome with discipleship in Truth. May the love of the Bridegroom be manifested in His beloved as they abide in Him, subject in all things.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe you will cover this later in the series Bob, but while the bible is clear about the wife's behavior before a disobedient husband (1 Pet 3:1-6), what should the husband's behavior be toward a disobedient (Jezebel?) wife?