Sunday, December 27, 2020

Someone needs to speak for those who cannot!


 I have no husband, to speak of, so I know what it's like to be misunderstood, misinterpreted, misnamed, dishonored and labeled or black-listed.  Rumor has it, I have been black-listed among the pastors of my small town.  How bad can a woman be who is black-listed among alleged men of the cloth? I must be a real rebel, yes? This I cannot tell you, but I can tell you this, I know the Bible, front and back. Am I an expert? Heck no, but I know more than many.  I say this not to boast, actually, these days, if you are a woman who knows the Bible, you are not liked among men. How is it that I know it so well? I read it, over and over and over. I didn't read it to become holy, I read it because I hurt, and hurt a lot. So, a woman who knows what the Bible says is  black-listed, because of sinful human pride, something that comes so naturally, we don't even know it's there.  

My first blog that I ever wrote was titled, "The Woman at the Well was no Ho!"  It goes on to explain how it is that we with 21st Century eyes have labeled what could have been a very a holy woman as a "whore."  That poor woman was not an immoral woman, she was set apart. Oddly enough, the actual definition of the word holy means to be set apart.  She was set apart to be the first missionary, and now, because of the misogyny bigotry of men,  she has a bad rap.  She was a holy woman.  She had  rough life.  She was married five times, and the man she is living with is not her husband, said Jesus.  Now, let me ask you, besides being described as  Samaritan woman, where in Scripture does it say that she was shacking up, sleeping around, spreading herself thinly among the men of the town? I will tell you where, NOWHERE

In order to understand the context, one must know the historical context. It was a patriarchal system back in those days, a woman could not live alone. A woman could not work, unless she was a harlot, the oldest profession.  Even those women weren't there voluntarily, no more than the ones of today.  They were forced into it, because either they were abandoned, or had no other way to make an income, because people did not hire women for anything back in those days. Maybe she had no male relative to take her in and care for her.  A woman could become a slave, or servant, IF she could find someone to take her in as one, and most would happily do so, but left to herself, there was no other option.

 She had five husbands, that doesn't mean she fooled around on them, that means she had five husbands. Back in the day, if a woman made a bad meal, a man could toss her out, OR think about the lifespan of a man, somewhere in the mid 40's or 50's.  Maybe she was dumped by five husbands, because she was barren. A barren woman in those days were shunned. They were shamed second only to lepers. This woman could have been such a woman, one who was taken in as a servant, by a man, thus she was living with a  man who was not her husband, but a relative, a slave owner.  Maybe she was living with a son-in-law, or a brother-in-law. Here's something to really consider, no one knows how old this woman was. She could have been 85 years old for all we know. Maybe she was abandoned by husband number five, and she could not find another man to marry her, because she was too old, not of child-bearing years, or she had a reputation of being bad-luck for a man.  The most likely scenario back in those days was that she was widowed five times.  

A woman who had been widowed several times was considered a holy woman, believe it or not.  It was said of her that GOD had set her apart to be holy, to be His.  I get this, believe me, I get this.  I was set apart.  Set apart for what remains to be seen, but being set apart means being put through the fiery furnace of affliction for many years, even decades.  She was burned all right, and to this day, she is still being burned, as a woman who was immoral when GOD favored her.  My husband left me. Maybe my husband didn't want to be married to a Christian wife anymore. Does that make me an immoral woman? Let's not just assume things about people, because we can't see people through GOD's eyes, we have human eyes, flawed as they are

      So how do I know she was set apart, a holy woman, not immoral? Simply by her conversation with Jesus. She knew Scripture.  She knew what to look for in the Messiah, she understood the significance of Jacob's well, and she knew the controversy between where the Samaritans worshiped and where the Jews worshiped.  She quoted Scripture.  Let me ask you, how many prostitutes do you know that can quote Scripture? Not too many. Oh, you say you don't know any prostitutes? Well then, how many woman who can quote Scripture do you know?  How many women do you know that can quote Scripture, Scripture that you don't know, and how many of them do you not like

Last but not least, this woman was believable.  This woman was bold enough to bear witness to Jesus. I don't know if you know this or not, but respectable men back then didn't follow prostitutes when they bore witness about a holy man or a prophet.  Would you follow a prostitute who came up to you in the town square and said, "Come and follow me, I have found the Messiah!"  I am going to gather that you would not.  Neither would I.  However, if a woman who knew Scripture, who was reputed to be set apart by GOD, said, "Come and see what the Messiah has to say," Would you follow that woman? If you were set apart, you'd go to where that woman pointed you. If you were a proud seminary-taught man, you would black-list her and call her a trouble-maker. This I do know, by experience.

So, please, let's cut this poor woman some slack and stop referring to her an immoral woman. She was GOD's chosen to bear witness to the town of Samaria to the Christ, the first one to do so. That's an honor, not a reason to be black-listed as a "ho!"



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