Tagged: Women of the Bible

HELLO ZIPPORAH PART II

Last week we met Zipporah, Moses’ wife. Today I want to continue sharing her story with you however the post will be short due to Nano Poblano and my posting everyday this month. I hope you’ve been checking out my Nano Poblano posts.

In Exodus 4 we see Zipporah again. This time she is protecting her husband from death.

Exodus 4:24 At a lodging place on the way, the Lord met Moses and was about to kill him. 25 But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it. “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me,” she said. 26 So the Lord let him alone. (At that time she said “bridegroom of blood,” referring to circumcision.)

You see the Hebrew covenant called for all baby boys to be circumcised. Zipporah however was not Hebrew and she did not have her son circumcised.

Time was passing and Moses has an encounter with God who calls back to Egypt to lead his people out of slavery. Moses reluctantly accepts the call and let’s his father in law know that he would be going back to his birth-land. So Zipporah backs their bags and accompanies Moses back to Egypt. However on the way there Moses nears death. According to commentaries it seems that Moses’ near death experience could have been the result of overwhelming stress due to the fact that his son was uncircumcised. Basically his conscious was literally driving him crazy to the point of death.

I love that Zipporah jumped into action at the sight of her husbands torment. Commentaries also suggest that the son hadn’t been circumcised at her request. So that fact that she turns around and swallows her pride to save her husbands life speaks volumes. Zipporah circumcised her son herself and immediately took the bloody proof to Moses. Yup, she saved his life! Maybe she caused the problem to begin with but when she realized the harm done she corrected her mistake.

Let’s take her story as an example. Let’s correct our mistakes. Let’s stay humble and not allow our pride to be the cause of torment in other’s lives.

My Prayer for You:

Dear Jesus, help us to be aware of our mistakes. Help us to discern your sovereignty in our lives. I pray that every reader and I may be able to humble ourselves and accept responsibility for our actions. Help correct our mistakes. Please do not allow our pride to hurt others or ourselves. Thank you for your grace and mercy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Memory Verse: Proverbs 28:13 Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

I’m excited that this post was under 500 words… woot woot!!!

Love you guys!

Keep Shining, Nat

HELLO ZIPPORAH PART I

I hope you enjoyed last week’s guest blogger, Sarah! If you didn’t get a chance to read that post then click here. Also, I highly encourage you to check out her blog as her words are so real and encouraging, click here.

Today we continue our journey through Exodus. It just so happens that Moses had quite a few women in his life. So far we talked about his biological mom, his adoptive mom, and his big sis. Today we focus on his wife, Zipporah in Exodus 2:15-21.

At first glance Zipporah seems like a character to be quickly over looked. The first time she is mentioned we don’t know her name. She is just one of seven sisters, the daughters of the Midian priest, Reuel. The sisters were out doing their daily chore of watering the family’s flock when Moses showed up.

The sisters were probably like… “Heeeeyyy!!!

LOL I bet it was unusual for them to see random guys coming up to the well. Especially when this random guy became their knight in shining armor. The problem was that the men of that area didn’t want to share the water with them. Who knows why…  I really can’t imagine it was a quantity issue as much as it was a gender equality issue, but that’s just my opinion. Anyhow, Moses defended the Midian sisters and got water for their flock.

(This sounds familiar but I’ll table the patterns for a later date.)

So the girls are like, “Moses!! Our Hero!!

They go back home singing his praises and tell their dad about the foreigner who saved the day. Of course Reuel wanting to thank the one who helped his daughters tells them to go back and invite him over for dinner. He accepts the dinner invitation.

Moses didn’t just get dinner he also got a wife. In verse 21 we learn the lucky sister is Zipporah, Moses’ new wife.

This creates so many questions in my mind.

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HELLO MIRIAM PART II

love of a sisterI‘m so excited to continue this Hello Miriam Mini Series. Last week we got to take a look at Miriam as a child. This week we get to see her as a worship leader! Truly, I love her story. There is actually more of her story in the book of Numbers so I think we will add to this series when we get to that book. If you didn’t catch Hello Miriam Part I click HERE before you continue reading!

By the way THANK YOU so much for being here!

This part of Miriam’s story has always spoken to my heart. I haven’t talked about my testimony very much so I’ll take this opportunity to share a little bit of it. I became a Christian at the age of 15. I remember it like yesterday. It was a Friday night in 2000. I was at Generation Noah youth group. The preacher did an alter call and my spirit did somersaults. God was calling me by name right at that very moment. Jesus met me right where I was and in return I walked up to the front of that alter and knelt down before the foot of the cross. I accepted Jesus as my LORD and savior that night. I bawled my eyes out thinking about the sin I was being cleansed of. Grateful that God would sacrifice His son. Grateful that Christ would sacrifice His life. For me! It was a pivotal moment. Everything changed. Life as I knew it was never the same. It hasn’t been perfect. It’s been really difficult at times. But one thing I know for sure is that when you say Yes to Jesus it’s like God ties a string around your heart and never let’s go. No matter how far you drift…. He will ALWAYS pull you back in! That’s been my story.

2015-10-16 16.24.13

Ok so how does my story tie into Miriam’s?

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HELLO MIRIAM PART I

Hello again!

The book of Exodus is all about how Moses, a Hebrew boy, who should have died was saved from the Nile river by the very daughter of the one who ordered his death. This same Moses then grew up to lead the Israelite people out of captivity in Egypt alongside his brother Aaron and his sister Miriam. So far in the series Women of Exodus we have seen some very courageous midwives who refused to murder infants. We met Moses’ biological mother and his adoptive Egyptian mother. Today I want to take a close look at his older sister, Miriam. She plays a great part in the story of the Hebrews’ exodus out of Egypt. She can very well be one of the most important women of the Old Testament. I’m so excited to take a look at her life and share her story with all of you.

We first meet Miriam in Exodus 2:4 His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.

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HELLO PHARAOH’S DAUGHTER

A couple of weeks ago I introduced the book of Exodus with, HELLO SHIPHRAH AND PUAH. Maybe you’ll remember that these ladies were midwives who stood up to pharaoh. The pharaoh in Exodus was more ruthless and a bit of a coward compared to the pharaoh in Genesis who was generous and respected God’s people. The new pharaoh wanted to suppress the people of Israel who resided in Egypt. He did so by condemning all new born baby boys to death. How disgusting is that?! The following week I spoke about Jochebed. She was a Levite woman who was brave and sacrificed her safety in order to save her son’s life. Today I want to tell you about the Egyptian woman mentioned in Jochebed’s story. That Egyptian woman was pharaoh’s daughter.

The evil pharaoh had a not so evil daughter. We can see her goodness come through in Exodus chapter 2.

Exodus 2: 5 Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. 6 She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.

The first characteristic we see is that she was compassionate. She felt pity for the poor child that was doomed to drown in the river.

The story continues and in verse 9 pharaoh’s daughter shows mercy. She literally saved the boy’s life.

9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him.

In verse 10 she demonstrates a generous heart.

10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son.

She adopted the child knowing that otherwise he would be murdered. She was offering him a life that would be far better than the life of a slave under her father’s rule.

Overall pharaoh’s daughter exhibits all of the qualities that her father was lacking. She saved a Hebrew while her father was attempting to murder all of their baby boys. She also was kind and caring.

Without knowing it she harbored the one who would be used by God to set the Israelites free from pharaoh’s reign.

Honestly, my main take away is that you do not have to inherit the negative qualities of your parents. I know I sometimes think about my parents and their qualities. I consider the ones that I want and the ones that I struggle internally not to take as my own. We don’t have to be full of worry, negative, doubtful, bitter, and unforgiving, a quitter or any other negative trait you can think of.

As a matter of fact. Take a minute and think about what that characteristic is. Do you see it in your mind?

Now say this out loud:

I DO NOT have to be (insert negative quality here) like my mom/dad.

Did you do it? Do you believe it?

I want to expand my faith that it may cover you and help you believe.

Like pharaoh’s daughter, let’s not take on the poor mindsets or attitudes of those before us. Instead let’s choose to inherit their positive qualities and add the ones they are missing which we want to pass down to the generations coming after us.

My Prayer For You:

Jesus, I pray that you may give us the courage to change. Help us identify the qualities that can easily stick to us but which would not give you glory. Help us to honor our parents by praying to you for their healing. Help us to reflect you in all that we do with our lives. That the generational curses may end with us. That we may not continue passing down destructive cycles, be it of worry or bitterness. Jesus, thank you for your word that is rich and complete. I pray that as we learn from it, it may renew our minds and satisfy our spirits. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Memory Verse: John 8:32

John 8:32 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 

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Come back next week for HELLO MIRIAM!!

HELLO JOCHEBED

I bet you’ve never heard of Jochebed before! Have you? See, I knew you’ve never heard of her because her name is given in one of those long, and kinda boring, lists of names often found in scripture. As important as these names are for historical purposes, to make connections and family trees, they are a bit bland. Jochebed is first mentioned by name in Exodus 6:20 “Amram married his father’s sister Jochebed, who bore him Aaron and Moses. Amram lived 137 years.”

That’s right! Jochebed was Moses’ biological mom. Remember last week we took a look at two extremely bold and courageous women, Shiphrah and Puah. If you didn’t get a chance to check out that part of the story go ahead and click on their names to read that first. You will want to know what was going on politically during the time of Moses’ birth.

Exodus 2 begins with the story of a Levite family who became pregnant and had a son during a period of time when all Hebrew baby boys were under a severe genocide. The mother and father are left nameless until chapter 6 when we learn that the father is Amram and the mother is Jochebed. The baby boy, who according to pharaoh, should not be alive was the very one who would one day be used by God to deliver the Israelites from their bondage in Egypt.

Jochebed broke man’s law to honor God’s law. She was a God fearing Levite woman. I have no clue if she had some kind of premonition that her children would change the course of history for their people. What I do know is that she was brave. Jochebed loved fiercely enough to risk her own life in order to spend even a few months with the child who grew in her womb. I think she might have kept him hidden longer if it wasn’t for the fact that Moses was growing and could not be safely hidden any longer. Again, the love of a mother kicked in. I can’t imagine that any mother would choose to sacrifice their child’s life. This particular mother became creative and instead of plainly throwing her child into the river to drown she placed him within a waterproof basket. I bet she was strategic in choosing her basket launch location. Moses floated along with the current and was safely discovered by an Egyptian woman. Imagine that! Next week I will tell you more about who the Egyptian woman was. If you know the story of Moses then you probably already know.

Releasing the basket in the river was not the end of the story for Jochebed. The Egyptian woman who found Moses selected his very own mother to nurse him and care for him until he was old enough to go live with her. WOW!

How great Jochebed’s faith must have been! To believe that God would protect her son in the middle of this horrendous genocide. She believed and God delivered. Her son survived. He grew up to lead his people out of slavery.

This story encourages my faith. Sometimes when our faith is weak it helps to read a story as powerful as this one to remember God’s faithfulness is true.

My Prayer for You:

Dear Jesus, I ask you for every single person who is struggling with their faith. I pray that you may surround them with people who will encourage them and love them. I pray that you may help every single one of us draw near to you as you meet us right where we are. Thank you for your patience and your countless opportunities as you work on our hearts and character. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Memory Verse: Luke 1:45  Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

 

HELLO ASENATH

Hey guys, have you ever heard of Asenath before?
No?
I didn’t think you had.
She is the woman I want to focus on this week. She’s one of the obscure figures of Genesis and I’m excited to introduce her to you. But before we jump in why not take a minute and check out last week’s post, Hello Potiphar’s Wife. Last week I had the blessing to see Potiphar’s wife from a completely new perspective. I was slightly surprised with how relevant her story is. I was definitely able to relate to her and her struggle. I hope it speaks to you.
I never noticed Asenath until today. This Egyptian lady is found in Genesis 41. She was given to Joseph as “compensation” for his interpretation of pharaoh’s dreams. Not much is said about Asenath. All we know is that she was the daughter of Potiphera who was a priest of On also known as Heliopolis. Her father was a priest which implies power and status. Genesis 41:45

You know, I get the feeling that Asenath was not just a prize, I think pharaoh wanted Joseph to assimilate to the Egyptian culture as much as possible. After all he was second in command, the Egyptian people needed to be able to trust him. What better way to do that than to have him marry an Egyptian woman. I’m sure it was also part of the plan for Joseph to be associated to an Egyptian family who was well known and respected. Asenath connected Joseph to what would seem to be a rich Egyptian culture. The people he governed would not be able to tell that he was really a foreigner and not one of them.

This idea immediately makes me think about the influence we as women have. It actually reminds me of that line from the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, “The man is the head of the house but the woman is the neck.” It makes me smile and giggle a little bit. I can’t even begin to claim that I know anything about that being that I am seriously single and have never been married. But a woman doesn’t need to be married to have influence. The fact of the matter is that we are all influencers. Either we influence for good or the opposite. We each have a circle of influence. We have an instagram/twitter/facebook following and the amount of followers doesn’t matter because the point is that someone chooses to follow you. Honestly the people you influence the most are probably unrelated to your social media. Whether we like it or not there are people who watch what we do and will follow suit.

I’m reminded of the students I get the chance to lead at The Wave Student Ministry. Yes, many of them follow my social media accounts but I’m reminded on a regular basis that they are watching my actions more than my instagram posts. I’ve experienced first hand how students will follow my behavior during worship or even when I was in the classroom my mood would set the tone. People will follow suit.

I think that Asenath was successful in her influence over Joseph. If you know the story you know that Joseph’s success solely came from God however I think that God blessed his marriage. Even though Asenath wasn’t a Hebrew woman God was able to use her to bring forth fruit in Joseph’s life in the form of two sons.
So the question is, how are we using our influence?
This past Wednesday our youth pastor gave an incredible message on occupying the school hallways in such a way that students transform their schools. He used the story of Zacchaeus from Luke 19:1-10 to connect the way the crowd prevented Zacchaeus from seeing Jesus. He posed the challenge to our students of clear the crowd or get out the way but don’t be part of the crowd.

Now I pose that same challenge to you and myself. Are we part of the crowd? Are we preventing people from seeing Jesus? Or are we clearing the crowd so that Jesus can be seen even by the shortest around us?

Our influence can do that. We can “Live out loud” for Jesus and help others get closer to Christ just by living influential lives on purpose. Living intentionally with the bigger picture in mind. The bottom line is that we are influencers like Asenath. It’s up to us to determine the direction in which we will lead.

My Prayer for You:
Heavenly Father thank you so much for opening our eyes to you. Thank you that there was someone in our lives who we were influenced by and in turn we met you. Thank you for giving us the ability to also be influencers and leaders to those around us. Jesus I ask you to help us  live our lives on purpose. That we may be intentional about living for you. That we may be careful in our decision making, remembering that every decision we make will influence those watching. It will either draw them closer to you or suggest that they can distance themselves from you. Please help us to influence those around us towards you always. I pray that our lives may be a huge arrow that points everyone we encounter in your direction, that they too may meet you and know you. Thank you for your mercy and patience with us as we navigate through this corrupted world. I pray that you may shield us from all the false glitter that constantly tries to distract us. Help us to shine so bright that your light in us may clear the crowds. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Memory Verse: Hebrews 12:1
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us

Thanks so much for checking out this post.
How have you been an influencer lately? Share in the comments below.
Don’t forget to subscribe for the next newsletter! You don’t want to miss the info for the giveaways that are coming soon. These will be for members only, so type in your email address today to subscribe!!

See you next week!
Keep Shining,
SuperStarNat!

 

HELLO POTIPHAR’S WIFE

Welcome back!! I’m always so honored that you would take time out to hangout here and read the words God has placed on my heart to share with you. If you missed last week I was talking about Tamar. She was Leah’s daughter-in-law. Feel free to go back and catch up.

But before you continue to today’s woman of the bible, I recommend that you type in your email address in that space on the right so that you can receive the next newsletter. My friend says it’s like reading a page out of my diary.

If you know the story of Joseph, Jacob’s favorite son, then you’ve heard of the infamous wife to the Egyptian, Potiphar. Now Potiphar’s wife is left nameless in Genesis 39 where she get’s her fifteen minutes of fame. Whenever scriptures leaves a person nameless I immediately feel like this is someone whose place I probably could have filled. Or maybe you could have filled. What I’m saying is that in my opinion if a character is left nameless I think it’s to help us see ourselves in that situation. We can’t say, “Oh, only so-and-so’s go through that.” A nameless character opens up the possibility of us saying, “Oh! That could be me!” But that’s just what I think, I didn’t look it up or anything.
Keeping that in mind, when I read this story I immediately feel like I could be Potiphar’s wife! I also feel like I’ve already been Potiphar’s wife.

Let’s talk about Potiphar for 2.5 seconds. Right off the bat in Genesis 39:1 we learn that Potiphar is an Egyptian official who works directly for pharaoh. His official title was, Potiphar the Captain of the Guard. So we know that this is a man of power. He is a wealthy man in the most powerful country of that time. We also learn that he is a very smart man. Why do I say this? Well, in verses 2 – 6 we see Potiphar recognize that Joseph wasn’t like all the other slaves. Potiphar didn’t worship the God of Israel but he noticed that this God blessed Joseph, He blessed Joseph so much that anything Joseph touched prospered. So Potiphar being the intelligent man that he was placed all of his businesses in Joseph’s hands because then it would also prosper. However this is also where we see what Potiphar’s vice is. Verse 6 “… he did not concern himself with anything except the food
he ate.” Hmmm…. our smarty pants, super high ranking official Potiphar was also a gluten.

Keep verse 6 in mind as I go back to Potiphar’s wife.
Now that we know a little bit more about Potiphar we can draw some conclusions about Mrs. Potiphar.

1. She was married to a rich man = she was rich.
2. She didn’t work so she was home all the time.
3. Her husband bought a slave, gave him all his work to manage, and just ate all day.
4. She was probably super bored and lonely.
5. She is the original desperate house wife!

Now you and I know that sometimes when people are bored they end up doing some pretty dumb things. And I don’t want to make any generalization but sometimes when someone has everything they could possibly need or want they end up thinking they can always get whatever they want and no one will ever say no. Which ends up being the case with Mrs. Potiphar.She was bored and spoiled and when she wanted something she went after it until she got it. The problem is that not everything we want is good for us. And just because we want to do something doesn’t mean it’s okay to do it.

At the end of verse 6 going into verse 7 there is an important detail to this story, “Now Joseph was well-built and handsome.”

Mmmmhhhmmmm.
My boy Joey was a holy hottie. He had God’s favor all up on him and he wasn’t painful to look at.I think you might know where this story is headed now.
Mrs. Potiphar noticed Joseph and was like, “How you doin?”

Now why is this wrong?!? MRS. Potiphar!!!! She was obviously married and not just to a random person. She was married to Joseph’s boss.As we continue reading chapter 39 we watch as Potiphar’s wife goes from being a rich, bored housewife to a vengeful angry desperate housewife.
She starts by noticing Joseph’s good looks. She gets bold (in a negative way) and straight out throws an indecent proposal his way, verse 7 “Come to bed with me!”
Actually I take it back, after rereading that verse again for I dunno how many times… I realize that she wasn’t asking him or proposing it as if he had an option. Mrs. Potiphar was commanding Joseph to go to bed with her as if it was part of his job description. I know this isn’t about Joseph but his responses are so on point. He obviously says “No!” Verse 10 reveals that she was not prepared to handle the word “NO!” “she spoke to Joseph day after day…” She was determined to get Joseph into her bed one way or another. Finally her desperation got the best of her. Verse 11 says that one day Joseph went to work and none of the servants were in the house. Meaning it was just him and the desperate housewife. Honestly, I think she probably gave everyone some distracting out of the house task to get rid of them and create this opportunity. In verse 12 she caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” Joseph was no fool. He literally RAN for his life. He ran so fast that Mrs. Potiphar was left with his coat in her hand. She was livid. Remember she wasn’t used to being denied what she wanted. Our desperate housewife sot out to get even with Joseph for the humiliation. She took his coat to her husband and cried, “RAPE!” You and I both know that she was lying but her husband believed her. She didn’t get what she wanted out of Joseph so she had him thrown into jail for having integrity.

Potiphar’s wife is often referred to as one of the Bad Girls of the Bible  . I think she was simply bored, neglected and spoiled.

So what’s the takeaway? How have I been Mrs. Potiphar before?
Maybe you’ll be able to relate.

Have you ever wanted something so bad that it makes you mad when you can’t have it?
Have you ever been angry with God because you pray and pray and keep praying for something in particular and God just keeps on saying…. “Ummm, NO!”?
Have you ever been angry with someone for not doing what you want them to do and look for a way to get even?
Or, have you ever chased after what you wanted even though the door kept shutting in your face? And the more often that door was slammed the harder you chased?!
On another note….
Have you ever been so bored that you start lusting after something you normally would stay far, far away from?

Oh lust.

Most people think that lust is just about sex and sexual desires. But the truth is that lust can translate to anything. You can lust after money, fame, popularity, nicer shoes, a bigger house, a fancier car, a certain type of relationship, a particular job, and the list goes on and on. The problem with lust is that whatever you are lusting after can become an idol in your heart. You want it so bad you start wanting it more than you want Jesus. Yea, I said it. Lust will lead to idolatry. Which is why I pray almost on a daily basis for God to remove the lust from my heart. I know what it is to place something/someone on a higher pedestal than God and it has never ended well.

Potiphar’s wife was definitely dealing with lust. She was lonely, bored, had too much power and wanted someone to follow her orders and obey her every command. She wasn’t a believer so she didn’t know it, but I truly believe that was her conflict. She was idolizing her power and when her power wasn’t enough she went from desperate to MAD.

I can go on and on so I’m going to leave you with one thought.

1. Run away from lust!
2 Timothy 2:22 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.

My Prayer for You:
Dear Jesus, I ask you to please grab hold of each and every single heart that encounters this blog post. I ask you to search those hearts. Reveal any lust in them and please remove that lust. I ask you to not just remove it but replace it with purity and righteousness. Lord Jesus, I thank you for this story in your word. I pray that your scripture may not return to you empty but that it may penetrate and change someone’s heart today. Thank you for each and every reader. Please bless them beyond their imagination. Pour down upon them supernatural favor and blessings that spill over. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Memory Verse: 2 Timothy 2:22
2 Timothy 2:22 Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.

Thank you so much for stopping by. If you enjoyed it or if God spoke to you through it go ahead and click that like button. Or click that share button if maybe you know someone who needs to read these words. Don’t forget to subscribe for the next newsletter which will be sent out on Sept. 1st.
Until next week!
Keep Shining! Nat

HELLO TAMAR

I’m BACK!!! It’s been two weeks since my last post. I’ve been kicking myself in the butt over and over again for not making the time to write. If you got the newsletter last week then you know what’s been going on. If you didn’t get the newsletter than what are you waiting for to subscribe?!? Stop reading and go on over to the right hand side of your screen and type in your email address. I send out a newsletter the 1st and 15th of every month. I really don’t want you to miss the next one.

This week I want to continue learning about the women of Genesis. We’ve been in Genesis for what seems like forever! But it’s been a ton of fun getting to meet some women who I had never noticed before. Today’s woman of the bible is Tamar! Tamar is part of Jacob’s family through marriage. Click on that read more button and jump into this unexpected story.

 tamar

Why was Tamar disguised?
Wife. Widow. Wife. Widow. Prostitute?
In Genesis 38 we see how Judah, one of Jacob and Leah’s sons, branches off and starts his own family. He gets married and has three sons. He arranges a wedding for his eldest, Er. Er marries Tamar. But sadly Er is not a good guy. He is actually so evil that God decides to eliminate him. This leaves Tamar as a widow. Being a widow is never easy and in biblical times it was even harder. Remember that women didn’t have the kind of rights that we have today. They were pretty much helpless without the backing of a man, father or husband. To help widows from utter helplessness there was a custom in place. This custom called for the deceased husband’s brother to take the widow as his wife and carry on the brother’s name. That’s how Tamar went from widow to wife. After Er’s passing Judah arranged for his second son Onan to marry her and carry on Er’s name. Onan wasn’t fond of the idea of his seed carrying on his brother’s name. He went out of his way to make sure that Tamar never became pregnant. His plan didn’t work out well, God was not amused. He was seen as wicked by God and so God eliminated him too. Onan’s death left Tamar a widow all over again. Luckily for Tamar, Judah had a third son. At the time of Onan’s death the third son, Shelah, was too young to marry. Out of fear of losing Shelah the way he lost Er and Onan, Judah sent Tamar back to her father’s home to wait there for Shelah to grow up and become her husband.

Shame on Judah for blaming innocent Tamar for his sons’ deaths which were caused by their own wickedness.
In any case, Tamar waited. And waited. And waited. All along she was in mourning for her two dead husbands. She waited for Shelah to grow up. And grow up he did, but he never went to Tamar and she was never called back to her husbands’ home. She was left, forgotten.


So much time passed that her mother-in-law passed away. After her passing Judah decided to go
check on his workers who were shearing his sheep near Tamar’s father’s house. He must have forgotten about the proximity to Tamar’s home or the possibility of running into her. Tamar however did not forget the debt that was owed to her. She disguised herself as a prostitute to deceive Judah and seduce him. The old man completely fell for it. She convinced him to leave valuable personal items as collateral in the meantime that he sent payment for her services. Of course she ends up getting pregnant. The town finds out and the word gets back to Judah. The law is that prostitutes are to be put to death so he condemns her and calls for her death. Not realizing that she was his very own daughter-in-law. She sends him the collateral items with a message, “Recognize these? The owner is the father of my child.”
Bam!

Judah had no option but to take responsibility.
Tamar is saved from her death sentence and ends up having twin boys.

Poor Tamar. I’m thinking that all she wanted was security. Love would have been a great bonus but in her situation she needed to be taken care of. She was wronged repeatedly by Judah and his sons. So she took manners into her own hands. Her methods were probably not the most morally correct but she got results.

I think that sometimes we don’t get the results we want because we are afraid to do something we normally wouldn’t do. Think outside the box. Be creative and innovative when searching for solutions. Maybe try a disguise.
I am NOT saying that prostitution is ok.
I am saying that being bold before the Lord is. Nothing you or I do will surprise our God. He has placed everything we need within us. And by “everything” I mean the HOLY SPIRIT.
I am studying the book of John with some of my students from church and today I read John chapter 3. The second half of verse 34 blew my mind. John 3:34b “for God gives the spirit without limit.” As I finish writing this post I recall this verse and the thoughts that ran through my head.
God blesses us without limit. There is no end to the amount of Himself that God gives to us. Starting with His creativity in designing and creating this world we get to enjoy. Continuing with the sacrifice of His one and only son. He tops the giving with an unlimited supply of Holy Spirit!
We in our humanness are the ones who create limits for God. Suggesting that He can’t do one thing or the other.

Today I want to suggest that perhaps the solution to the situation you’ve been dealing with has been in front of you this whole time! I am sure Tamar felt limited. She probably felt hopeless and helpless. I bet she even felt a bit confined. But she was outright bold and fearless. She was determined to break the limits that had been wrongly placed on her by others.

Today I dare you to be fearless! I dare you to tear down the limits that you’ve created around yourself. I dare you to step into that which God has been calling you to. Like Tamar take off the figurative widow’s clothes and throw on a brand new veil. Tap into the unlimited supply of Christ’s spirit that resides within you and watch as He brings forth double the blessings!
My Prayer for You:
Heavenly Father I pray for all of the eyes reading this. I ask you to bless them. I ask you to reveal to them where in their lives they have raised limits before you. I ask you to give them boldness and courage to tear down the limits and to take of the “widow’s clothes”. I ask you to dress them in new clothes of an unlimited nature. That abundance may be upon them. That they may experience your faithfulness in an extravagant way. I thank you for Tamar’s story. It reminds me that you created me to be creative and innovative. I pray that you may spark creativity and imagination in the minds of my readers today. That they may be able to see through your eyes. Thank you Jesus for your goodness. It’s in Jesus’ holy name that I pray, Amen.

Memory Verse: John 3:34
John 3:34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.

I would love to hear of your bold moments. Share one in the comments below. Don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to get more from SuperStarNat.com

HELLO DEBORAH of Genesis

Last week in Genesis 34 Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, had a traumatic experience that changed the course of her family’s life. This week in Genesis 35 we meet Deborah.
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 Deborah is mentioned in one verse and then nothing else is said of her. Even though we know very little of Deborah this one verse speaks volumes of her character. First of all it says that she was Rebekah’s nurse. Remember Rebekah? Jacob’s mom. By now in Genesis 35 Rebekah has passed away but her nurse was still alive. From this one verse it is unclear how Deborah came to be with Jacob and his family. All we know is that he was on his way back to his father’s home and on one of the stops, Deborah the nurse passes away. Verse 8 says “Soon after this, Rebekah’s old nurse, Deborah, died. She was buried beneath the oak tree in the valley below Bethel. Ever since, the tree has been called Allon-bacuth (which means “oak of weeping”).” I want to zoom in on what the location of Deborah’s grave is dubbed, Allon-bacuth or Oak of Weeping! Deborah must have been greatly loved by this family to be so remembered. The fact that her grave sight was a place of weeping tells me that she was a woman worth mourning. She must have led a remarkable life. Which draws the question… 
Am I leading a remarkable life? To answer that I guess first I would need to define what I believe a remarkable life would look like.
Remarkable Life:
Kind
Caring
Generous
Humble
Grateful
Patient
Honest
Selfless
The list can go own…

If I am completely honest with myself and you, I’d have to say that I have a long way to go. The last couple of weeks I’ve been working on memorizing the book of James for United Camp 2015 (subscribe to the newsletter to get more on camp). I got up to chapter 3 but in chapter 2 I came across a verse that has been pressing on my heart like crazy. Jame 2:13 Kind mercy wins over harsh judgement every time. (MSG) It’s as if God were literally writing this verse on my heart. Revealing to me the immense need for kindness in the world around me. I think maybe this verse has been on repeat because Jesus is doing a work in me. Have you ever noticed how much it hurts when God grabs the hedge cutters and starts pruning you? Well, in order to live a remarkable life, one that is remembered decades and centuries after you are gone, one that leaves a mark and creates a legacy; we must be pruned. Oh my sweet friends, let’s allow God to do a great work in us that like Deborah we made live lives worth mourning.

I’m grateful for verse 8 in which we get to meet Deborah if only for 3 sentences. She reminds me that it’s possible to become the best version of me. She reminds me that I CAN impact the world around me. She reminds me that I can break the generational curses in my family and boldly say, “IT ENDS WITH ME.” Whatever that IT may be. Deborah also reminds me that it’s up to me. How I am remembered and mourned is up to me.

My Prayer For You:
Dear Jesus, I pray for every reader who happened upon this post. I pray for every faithful reader who visits this blog weekly. I ask you to please open their eyes to your work in their lives. I pray that they may pray bold prayers. I ask you to give them courage in their prayers. I pray that you may give them strength and assurance as you move in and through them. Please continue working in them that they may continue to grow and become better versions of themselves. Please give us all spirits of kindness. Help us exercise kindness in our daily lives with loved ones and strangers. I ask you that as we live out your kindness you may reveal yourself to the world around us and increase your kingdom. Thank you for the kindness and mercy that you so graciously bestow upon us. In Jesus name, Amen.

Memory Verse: James 2:12-13 MSG
James 2:12-13 Talk and act like a person expecting to be judged by the Rule that sets us free. For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly. Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time.

I am sure your definition may be different from mine. I would love to know your characteristics for a remarkable life… please leave them in the comments below. Also remember to subscribe to the newsletter, it’s emailed every 1st and 15th of the month!