This was my first week of committing to a Bible study for 30 minutes everyday. Actually, my 30 minutes every day turned into 30 minutes every day to answer a series of questions and 2 hours ever night to answer all the questions I had about the answers I got for the questions that I answered during the 30 minutes. I have learned so much though, drawn some thought provoking comparisons, and enjoyed this time very much. I truly hope that those who are reading this have learned on their own as well as with me. I hope to have another inspiring study next week as we learn more about Eves’ fall and her children. I might have to spread that one over two or even three weeks because I can’t keep up with these late nights and early mornings 🙂 If after reading this you decide to study along with me, here is the link for the guide I am following. If you would like to read the story of the, “Why I chose this guide”, or, “My precious, little blue book”, click here.
The Front Matter and Lesson 1:
The second chapter of 1 Timothy is often a subject of heated debate partly because of the place it gives women in the church. There have been many articles and books written on the place of women in the church and I am not going to even attempt to compete with them. This study is on the women of the Bible and maybe through the study we will discover and understand her place better. I believe that we will find women have a very special place in God’s plan. I would like to take a minute to consider verse 15, however. I looked up this verse in Halley’s Bible Handbook and found something rather significant to think about. His thought is that the phrase, “saved through their childbearing”, refers to the birth of Christ. Implying that even though sin came into the word through woman, so did salvation. Isn’t that a beautiful thought? Any other thoughts on this verse?
The Proverbs 31 woman will be studied later in this course, but it is good to be familiar with this verse now. I think this verse should be memorized by every woman because of the encouragement it holds. So many women compare themselves to things of this world and all we need to remember is that, “a woman that feareth Jehovah, she shall be praised”. Any other thoughts on this verse?
Please read over page three carefully. It explains the layout of the book and each page so that you can get the most out of this study. The author really has put a lot of time and thought into the layout.
I plan on printing page four and keeping it in my study notes. It lays out the entire Old Testament into one easy reference chart that will become very useful throughout the study.
I don’t know if this will take you 30 minutes, but it took me at least that long. Following is my schedule for the rest of the week and, as I said, I will be building on it all week long. I am so excited to share this time with you!
Woman- Her Origin:
I have been looking forward to this time all day. I am so excited to be doing this study because it feels so good to be doing something for me that isn’t selfish. I have my kids laying down, I made a very yummy basil and banana smoothie (yes, it is good and yes I will post the recipe later), and I have my chocolate cookies.
This first section is very basic, more so than I thought it to be originally. It is my understanding that it is simply providing scripture to prove that we are made in God’s image. There are, however, a few things I would like to make note of and point out.
In Jn.4:24 we see that God’s nature is a spiritual nature. He has but one nature. Man, on the other hand, has two natures (Ecc. 12:7; Ps 16:10; Acts 2:27 and Rom. 7:14-25). A fleshly nature, after Adam and a spiritual nature, after God.
It was also of interest to read the examples of God having a heart, mind, and soul and then reading the greatest commandment in Matt. 22:36-37, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” So we should love God with the very part of us that is made in His image.
God created man (Gen.5:2) and therefor both natures of man were created by God, however only one nature was created in His image. It is this nature that we need to be listening to and feeding with the word of God rather than the fleshly nature that is of the world. It is also important to note that our spiritual nature, the nature after God’s image, our heart, mind and soul, will be eternal whereas our physical appearance, the one fashioned after Adam, will become dust once again.
Little tidbits that may help you with your study:
Pneuma is the Greek word for spirit which means a breath or a blast of air.
Psuche is the Greek word for soul which means to breathe or more accurately, life because of breathing.
I would like to hear what you got out of this first section or if you think I’m way off base. I would also like to disclose that I spent way more than 30 minutes on this. I am way out of practice on studying, but hopefully my study skills will be honed soon and I won’t have to stay up into the wee hours.
Eve – Mother of All Living and Her Creation:
I did not get to have my 30 minutes this afternoon because I was snapping beans with Grandma, but the time was still well spent. I love my time with Grandma. She is such a good example of how a wife should be. She always supported Grandpa and was a true ‘help meet’ for him. She did everything for her children and loves her family dearly. She is a wonderful mother and I am privileged to have her as my grandmother.
Responsibility of Mothers:
But what a greater privilege to be the mother of all living! To be the one who started it all. The one to have the first children and to be on this world, alone, raising children. I am excited to study her children more closely to see how well her and Adam did as the first parents. We should all remember that to be a mother at all is a privilege and gift from God (Ps 127:3). We, as mothers, have such a huge responsibility to the future Kingdom of God. It is true that our children are born with a free will and will choose their own path as they grow, but we still have a responsibility to do everything in our power to direct our children down a path that leads to God.
The Place of Woman:
I had always thought that the woman’s punishment for being deceived by the serpent was that she was to be subject to the man, but after reading these scriptures, I wonder if that wasn’t the plan all along. We read the woman was taken from man’s side in Gen 2:22. She is a part of man, she is of man, a wo-man, and was created for man, (1 Cor. 11:8-9). All of that happened before the fall of man. Gen. 3:16 tells us what her punishment was to be. Any further thoughts on this?
In Gen 2:18 we read that, “it was not good for man to be alone” and in Gen. 2:20 we read that, “there was not found an help meet for him”. We can contrast Gen.1:10, Gen. 1:12, Gen.1:18, and several others that all state the completion of His creation ‘was GOOD’. Now we see that man alone was ‘NOT good’ and therefor not complete. I like to think about how a woman completes a man. Woman was taken from man and was a part of him. Having that part of him near gives a man peace and comfort. (It should anyway! As long as the woman is a good wife 😉 I wonder if God did not give Adam a mate immediately, as he did other creatures, in order to give him appreciation for the woman that was to come.
There is a myth about the amount of ribs that a man has vs. the amount that a woman has. The original Hebrew word used in Gen. 2:21 was tzeila and actually means side, not rib. This is why Adam later says, “this is bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh”. So it is possible that God took a portion of bone and a portion of flesh to make woman. But, even if he did take a full rib for the making of woman, I do not believe all male children would then inherit this altered state of Adam. He was created with a certain physical image and that is the image he would pass down to his children.
I will make note that I gleaned some of these thoughts and original words from, The Creation of Adam and Eve: Gen 2:4-25, by Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum.
The first marriage took place in only a couple of verses, yet there is so much to be learned from it. It set the stage for an institution between a man and woman that would later be used to explain the relationship between Christ and His church. It is another example of how the Word of God is the story of Jesus and God’s infinite planning and wisdom in everything.
What did the first marriage look like?
Can you imagine the garden? I see it as green and lush and new. There is a bird sitting in a tree, singing his love song to his mate. There is rabbit scampering through the weeds trying to find his mate that is hiding. In the distance, the trumpet of an elephant can be heard followed by a quick reply from his mate. Near a small pond, a turtle basks in the sun with his mate. And Adam stands alone in the center watching all of this beauty that God has created from nothing. I can’t help but wonder if he is questioning where his mate is. I wonder if he is lonely. I wonder if God did not create woman immediately in order to allow man to appreciate her. God knew His work was not complete. As we studied yesterday in Gen.2:18, “it was not good for man to be alone”.
So what did the first marriage look like? After creating the woman, God presented her to the man, (Gen. 2:22). Adam saw her as the perfect mate for him and he claimed her with his response, “This is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh”, (Gen. 2:23). And it is said that he “cleaved unto her”, (Gen. 2:24).
cleave – to be joined together (Strong’s concordance)
marriage – the state of being united (Merriam Webster)
The Sanctity of Marriage:
Another picture of the garden could be that Adam witnessed polygamy and unfaithfulness in the animal kingdom. Now God presented him with one woman, and one marriage, and one flesh so as to give an example of a perfect union between man and wife, (Matt. 19:3-6). There was not another person to be attracted to or distracted by. It was just them alone and they were joined together by God. In Rom. 7:2-3 we read that the two are bound until death, or if one commits adultery. This is the only factor that is ever acceptable for dissolving the union in divorce according to God’s word, (Matt 19:9).
Christs’ Marriage :: Man’s Marriage:
I would like to compare and contrast the different relationships between these two and hope that you have some comparisons to share. If you do, please share scripture to back it up
Rev. 19:7 and Rev. 21:2,9
Christ is the bridegroom of the church :: Man is the groom of the bride
Christ is the head of the church :: Man is the head of the wife
Christ loved the church :: Man is to love his wife
Christ gave his life for the church :: Man should give his life for his wife
Christ declares that he will be with us always :: Man is to declare to be with his wife always
Christ will protect the church :: Man is the protector of his wife
Something else to ponder:
Halley’s suggest another possible comparison.
Christ was ‘asleep’ on the cross :: Man was put under a deep sleep
Christs’ side was pierced, proving his death and fulfillment of scripture so that the church could be established :: Man’s side was opened and closed so that woman could be created
Christ is referred to as “the last Adam” in 1 Cor. 15:45 so it stands to reason that the two could be compared in many different ways. God’s plan is sometimes so mysterious, but also laid out so beautifully and perfectly.
Her Home Life:
My time was broken up in little bits today, but I managed to find my 30 minutes. It has actually taken me much longer than 30 minutes to gather all the information that I have contained in this post, but it has been worth it.
The exact location of the garden is not known, but scholars speculate that it was somewhere in the Eridu region, near Ur, the home of Abram. (My map got messed up, but if you can find those two little dots in the lower right corner, you can see where the approximate locations of Ur and Eridu were). This same region gave us the ox, goat, sheep, horse, pig, dog, apple, peach, pear, plum, cherry, quince, mulberry, gooseberry, vine, olive, fig, date, almond, wheat, barley, oats, pea, bean, flax, spinach, radish, onion, and much of our fruits and vegetables. Coincidentally, this region is located very near the center of the Eastern Hemisphere. The red tinted area in the map below is commonly referred to as the fertile crescent, or the cradle of civilization. God made this land rich with gold, bdellium, and onyx, (Gen. 2:11-12), and caused every kind of tree to grow there, (Gen. 2:9). We watered it not with rain, but with a fine mist, (Gen. 2:5-6). This picture can only be described as a fitting and perfect place for civilization to begin. (Much of this information was found in Halley’s Bible Handbook. It is a great resource for Bible study).
We are stewards of God’s world:
In Col. 1:16, Ex 19:5, and Ps. 50:10, 12 God makes it clear that everything is His. God gave the first man and woman this beautiful garden that was abundant with life as their home, but they were charged with caring for it, (Gen. 2:15). Since they had to “dress it and keep it”, we must assume there was some work to be done. (Most likely there wasn’t enough work to be done because they both get into trouble as we will study later.) We must always keep in mind that all of this world was created for His glory, there will always be work in this world, and we were created to get the work done. We should view this as an honor, not a chore, (Col. 3:17 and 1 Cor. 10:31).
We are also warned of what can happen if we are not diligent in our work and become idle, or board, (1 Tim 5:13). According to my little blue book, my Great Grandmother answered the question, “What was said of idle women”, with, “Liable to gossip from house to house”. I enjoy hearing words from the past. Our great grandmothers and even our grandmothers had such a keen understanding of things that we have almost completely lost today. Women used to take joy in their work and kept themselves busy with handicrafts because they took to heart the teachings of the Bible. I asked my grandma today at what age she began having regular chores. She could not remember. She said, “I figure I’ve always done chores”, and I believe her. She grew up in a Christian home during the Great Depression and knew well what work was. She also knew how to work. One of her most common sayings that used to irritate me to no end was, “If a job’s worth doin’, it’s worth doin’ right”. That was her way of telling me I did something wrong, again. Now, I appreciate that saying and take extra delight when I hear her say, “You did good”. That’s her way of letting me know that my work met her standards.
The first diet of man appears to have been a raw vegan diet. Man was told to eat of the herbs of the ground that bear seed and trees with fruit that bear seed, (Gen. 1:29 and Gen. 2:9, 16). This could have included things like basil, thyme, apples, peaches, and even pecans, almonds, and other nuts. God gave man these instruction of what to eat and told him to not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, (or the KOGE tree). It wasn’t until after the fall that God instructed them to eat of every plant of the field, (Gen 3:18). I am not certain if there is a plant that does not bear a seed so I cannot say for certain that man’s diet changed after the fall. The first implication of fire being used was not until Gen. 4:22 where the crafting of bronze and iron is mentioned and you must have fire to craft those elements. It isn’t until after the flood, (Gen. 9:3), that God tells man to eat everything that lives and moves.
Underlying in all of this is God’s gift to us that separates us from animals; free will. Animals follow their instinct. We have a choice. We can choose to sit idle or find work. We can chose to eat healthy or unhealthy. We can choose to follow Christ or Satan. God did not want an army of robots that simply did what He said just because He said it. He wants us to desire to follow Him. When I wake up in the morning, I do not say to my children, “Love me”. There is no joy in that. I show them love first. I give them a warm home to live in, feed them good food, provide them with certain boundaries in hopes that they will be followed, and in return every morning I get a hug and two kisses. There is great joy in that!