Bad Girls of the Bible-The Sinful Woman

Hola Divas! Welcome to our Bad Girls of the Bible Study by Liz Curtis Higgs.  (YAY!) Just in case you are joining us for the first time, please read about the “Dance Fit Divas Bad Girls of the Bible Study“.  You should also read past posts on each bad girl: “EVE“, Potiphar’s WifeLot’s Wife , Woman at the WellDelilahSapphiraRahabJezebel, and Michal.

Our Bad Girl for our final week is a girl who had been around the block more than a few times in more than a few ways.  Like many of our bad girls, she did not have a name.  She is just called the “Sinful Woman”.  Ooooh….what a way to be addressed.

Sinful Woman

Our bad girl’s story started with a dinner party with an A-list guest attendance.  With all kinds of boldness, our girl crashed the party.

When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. Luke 7: 36-37 (NIV)

She heard that Jesus would be there and she just HAD to go and see HIM for herself.

As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. Luke 7:38 (NIV)

Can you imagine how many people began to gawk and gasp and what was going on between the Sinful Woman and Jesus?

Well, Simon not only gasped he was appalled….

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” Luke 7:39

Isn’t it funny how people who know your past, never seem to let you live it down?

The Bible tells us that Simon was talking to himself.  Perhaps he just thought the sentence above or maybe he muttered it under his breath.  But Jesus heard him.  Jesus knows our thoughts….we can’t hide and neither could Simon.

Jesus responded to Simon by telling a story about forgiveness and then he contrasted Simon’s behavior and the Sinful Woman’s behavior.

Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.  You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.  You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Luke 7:44-46

OUCH.

Simon learned a valuable lesson.  Jesus sees us differently from the way the world sees us.

When we interact with Jesus we learn who HE is but we also discover who we REALLY are.

Then Jesus lowered the sonic boom for all of us:

Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

How is our love?

Does our love show how grateful we are to Jesus for saving us?

Have we forgotten how much we have been forgiven?

Do we need to confess some things so that our true worship can begin?

Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:48  Hallelujah!

In the final verse of the chapter Jesus spoke to the Sinful Woman and said:  “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 7:50

In the book, Liz Curtis Higgs gives us a formula for igniting our faith based on the actions of the Sinful Woman so that we too can go in peace:

“Seek Him openly. Abandon self humbly.  Worship Him completely.  Embrace his forgiveness joyfully.”

I would also add BE QUIET! 

There is no account of the Sinful Woman talking. She worshiped without words and let Jesus speak to her.

As the Holiday Season rushes in, and the burdens and drama stack up in our hearts, remember the Sinful Woman who showed us there is power in listening, expecting,  and soul-cleansing quietly before the Lord.   

Bad Girls of the Bible-Michal

Hola Divas! Welcome to our Bad Girls of the Bible Study by Liz Curtis Higgs.  (YAY!) Just in case you are joining us for the first time, please read about the “Dance Fit Divas Bad Girls of the Bible Study“.  You should also read past posts on each bad girl: “EVE“, Potiphar’s WifeLot’s Wife , Woman at the WellDelilahSapphira, Rahab, and Jezebel.

Our bad girl this week is a woman scorned.  Her name was Michal and she was a victim of betrayal by men in her life she should have been able to trust:  her father, her brother and her husband David.

Michal

Now Saul’s daughter Michal was in love with David, and when they told Saul about it, he was pleased. “I will give her to him,” he thought, “so that she may be a snare to him and so that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” So Saul said to David, “Now you have a second opportunity to become my son-in-law.” 1 Samuel 18:20-21

Huh?  Yes you read that correctly.  Saul gave Michal to David as a way to get to him.  Saul was jealous of David because the Lord was with David and had left Saul. You also read the “second opportunity” part correctly.  David originally wanted Michal’s older sister Merab but Saul gave Merab to another man.

Michal’s love for David was mentioned more than once but there is no mention of David loving Michal.

When I think of Michal I can hear Taylor Swift singing “You belong With Me”.

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Image Source-Wikipedia

Michal loved David so much she chose the welfare of David over the wishes of her father. Michal warned David about her father’s plan to kill him and he escaped through a window. When Saul’s messengers were searching for him, Michal sent them away while pretending David was ill.

While David was in hiding, Saul married Michal off to a man name Palti.

Stop the car! Was she even divorced?  Did she WANT to be married to Palti? Wouldn’t David come back for her?…She loved him and she helped him escape.

David, “Mr. Big Man on Campus”, seemed to have forgotten about Michal. While in hiding, he acquired several concubines and actually married two new brides Abigal and Ahinoam with whom he had children.

About fourteen years passed and through a turn of God-ordained events, David became king of Judah and Ish-bosheth Michal’s brother (and Saul’s son) was king of Israel.  In a total political move, David demanded Michal be given back him, in return for peace between them.

Oh no he didn’t!

Yes Divas, he did and Michal’s brother went right along with it.

So Ish-Bosheth gave orders and had her taken away from her husband Paltiel son of Laish. Her husband, however, went with her, weeping behind her all the way to Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, “Go back home!” So he went back. 2 Samuel 3:15

So Michal is taken from a man who loved her so much he wept behind her when she was taken away and was then forced to endure seeing David’s new wives their children and his concubines on a daily basis?

WOW!

As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart. 2 Kings 6:16 (NIV)

Before we get too upset with Michal….2 Samuel 6:14 reads: Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might. Liz Curtis Higgs describes an ephod as a loincloth–in Katina terms….thong like underwear.

When David returned home to bless his own family, Michal, the daughter of Saul, came out to meet him. She said in disgust, “How distinguished the king of Israel looked today, shamelessly exposing himself to the servant girls like any vulgar person might do!” (2 Samuel 6:20)

After all the hurt in her life, Michal was so filled with bitterness she simply could not sense God’s presence or feel his love.

She couldn’t see that David was dancing for the Lord, she only saw him dancing in his undies in front of other women.

While her bitterness may have been justified, her story illustrates the cost of remaining bitter…..HER happiness.

So Michal, the daughter of Saul, remained childless throughout her entire life. 2 Samuel 6:23 (For a Hebrew woman, life happiness and value were tied into having children.)

Divas, we must learn from Michal to be BETTER not bitter.

We become better by forgiving people who hurt us…not for them but for us.

We become better by forgiving ourselves.

We become better by giving our bitterness over to God and concentrating on our own dance with the Lord.

Bad Girls of the Bible Study-Jezebel

Jezebel

Hola Divas! Life got in the way last week….so we will have two bad girls this week for our Bad Girls of the Bible Study by Liz Curtis Higgs.  (YAY!) Just in case you are joining us for the first time, please read about the “Dance Fit Divas Bad Girls of the Bible Study“.  You should also read past posts on each bad girl: “EVE“, Potiphar’s WifeLot’s Wife , Woman at the WellDelilah, Sapphira, and Rahab.

Our bad girl this week is beyond bad.  Her name was Jezebel and she was a princess turned queen.  Before the Disney Princess music begins to play in your ears, you must know…Jezebel was NOT your average princess.

With her cunning and manipulative ways, she convinced her husband Ahab, King of Israel, to abandon his worship of God and begin to worship Baal.

Ahab son of Omri did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, even more than any of the kings before him…..he married Jezebel, the daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians, and he began to bow down in worship of Baal. 1 Kings 16:30-31

If that was not enough, Jezebel AKA “Mrs. Baddy”, killed hundreds of the Lord’s prophets and replaced them with priests of foreign Gods. (1 Kings 18:4).

Jezebel killed hundreds.  Who was the King again?

In 1 Kings 21 we find King Ahab attempting to purchase a vineyard from a man named Naboth.  Naboth refused to sell it to Ahab because it was his inheritance. (Acutally it would have been against Jewish law for Naboth to sell his land.)

So King Ahab demanded the land immediately! (NOT!!!!)

King Ahab went home and pouted and refused to eat. 1 Kings 21:4

Can’t you just see Jezebel roll her eyes as she asked:  “What’s made you so upset that you’re not eating?” 1 Kings 21:5

I can almost hear Jezebel suck her teeth when Ahab told her why he was so upset.

Her response was laced with disdain, sarcasm, and disbelief in Ahab’s ability to handle the situation:

“Are you the king of Israel or not?”  ……..“Get up and eat something, and don’t worry about it. I’ll get you Naboth’s vineyard!” 1 King 21:6

OUCH. Sounds harsh but how easily do we tear down our spouse, children, or people who report to us at work?

So, taking matters into her own hands, Jezebel set Naboth up and had him killed!  (Yes, yes, we are reading the bible!)

Ahab happily took Naboth’s property that the REAL KING, his wife Jezebel provided for him.  However, the prophet Elijah appeared to him and predicted his death and the death of King cough….gag…..I mean Queen Jezebel. (1 Kings 21:19)

Years went by, Ahab was killed and his son became king, but God’s promises are always fulfilled.

When Jezebel heard that a man named Jehu had come to town, she knew her time was coming to an end.

Did she cry, beg for forgiveness, or shake in fear?

NOPE!  Mrs. Baddy put on make up and did her hair!

file0002006872187 (1)When Jezebel heard that Jehu had arrived in Jezreel, she made herself up—put on eyeshadow and arranged her hair—and posed seductively at the window. 2 Kings 9:30 MSG

Dat Girl was something else!

He  (Jehu) looked up toward the window and asked, “Is anyone up there on my side?” A few palace workers stuck their heads out of a window, and Jehu shouted, “Throw her out the window!” They threw her down…. 2 Kings 9:32-33 (CEV)

Can you imagine working for her?  Do you think the palace workers were apprehensive about tossing ol’ girl out the window?….I think not.

When they went to bury Jezebel, only her skull, feet, and the palms of her hands were left because her remains had been devoured by dogs just like Elijah prophesied. (2 King 9:37)

Dear God,

Thank you for your Word and the story of Jezebel.  Lord you know that I struggle with thinking that things go so much better if they were done my way.  Allow me to recognize when I begin to manipulate people or things in an effort to achieve.  Please help me take direction, listen to the ideas of others and be an encourager instead of a tearer-downer.

Amen

 

 

Bad Girls of the Bible Study-Rahab

Rahab

Hola Divas! Welcome to week seven of our Bad Girls of the Bible Study by Liz Curtis Higgs. Just in case you are joining us for the first time, please read about the “Dance Fit Divas Bad Girls of the Bible Study“.  You should also read past posts on each bad girl: “EVE“, Potiphar’s WifeLot’s Wife , Woman at the WellDelilah, and Sapphira.

This week’s bad girl is another girl with an eyebrow raising past.  Instead of being married multiple times and “shacking up” with man number six like the Woman at the Well, this week’s bad girl, (Rahab) was a harlot.  Some commentaries say a prostitute others say an innkeeper.  Makes me think of Miss Kitty from the western series Gunsmoke. (My Daddy LOVED western movies).

photo from Wikipedia

In true western style, Rahab’s story in Joshua chapter 2 opens with two strangers coming into town.

Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.

Did you see the tumbleweed blow by during the opening credits? (LOL)

 

Since word travels quickly, the King heard that the spies were at Rahab’s house.

But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. Joshua 2:4

Not only did Rahab hide the spies, she lied and said they had already left the city.

Just before bedtime, Rahab went up on her roof where she had hidden the spies and professed her fear, faith, and reverence for God:  “I know that the Lord has given this land to you (Joshua 2:9) ….for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below (Joshua 2:11).

Rahab won the spies’ trust through her faith in God.

Knowing the impending doom for the city of Jericho (but not exactly how it was going to take place), Rahab asked the spies to protect her and her family. They agreed and Rahab instructed them to go and hide in the hills.  She lowered a scarlet cord out of her window to allow the spies to escape.

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The spies instructed her to leave the scarlet cord tied to her window and to gather all of her family and to stay inside until they entered the city.

For seven days, Rahab and her family heard the Israelites marching around Jericho.

On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times.  The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city!  (Joshua 6:15-16)

…..at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. (Joshua 6:20)

But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—and she lives among the Israelites to this day. (Joshua 6:25)

Because of her faith, God not only saved Rahab, he gave her a new life.  She was able to live among the Israelites and a man named Salmon chose her for his bride.

Ludacris and Jay Z are wrong, a Ho can turn into a Housewife.

.…with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

Our dear bad girl who stepped out in faith and became good, is part of the geneology of Jesus.

Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David. (Matthew 1:5-6)

WOW! Talk about a story of inspiration!

“It isn’t who you were that matters God. It is who you are in Him. And who you are becoming by the power of his Spirit.” –Liz Curtis Higgs

Bad Girls of the Bible-Sapphira

Annaias & Sapphria

Hola Divas! Welcome to week six of our Bad Girls of the Bible Study by Liz Curtis Higgs. Just in case you are joining us for the first time, please read about the “Dance Fit Divas Bad Girls of the Bible Study“.  You should also read past posts on each bad girl: “EVE“, Potiphar’s WifeLot’s Wife , Woman at the Well and Delilah.

Our bad girl for this week, Sapphira was a another material girl.  She loved money to death….literally.  When I read Sapphira and her husband Ananias’ story, I could hear the OJays singing “For the Love of Money” in the background.

The smooth lyrics to the song begin with the OJay’s crooning…money-money-money..MONEY.  Their soulful tune was the theme song for Donald Trump’s apprentice.

LogoJust as the song says:

“Some people got to have it Some people really need it……..do things, do things, do bad, bad things with it…Almighty Dollar”.

Our dear Sapphira’s story can be found in Acts 5:1-11.  However, before her story begins, Acts 4:36-37  tells the story of a man called Barnabas who sold a field and gave the money to the apostles so that it could be used for believers who were in need.  In the first century, Christians cheerfully shared their resources so that no one would be without.  (WOW!)

With such a generous gesture, Barnabas probably received quite a bit of attention, praise and gratitude from the other believers.  One commentary reported that his name was actually “Joseph”, but the apostles called him “Barnabas” which means “Son of Encouragement”.

Attention, praise, gratitude, their names on a brass plate on the church pew, or a facility named after them?  Oh yeah! Ananias and Sapphira wanted some accolades of their own.  So, they “also sold a piece of property” (Acts 5:1) and put their profits “at the apostles’ feet” (Acts 5:2).  Only, Ananias secretly pocketed some of the proceeds “with his wife’s full knowledge” (Acts 5:2).

Do you hear the OJay’s now?  “Call it lean, mean, mean green….” (I’m singing here)

9173-The-Ojays-5x5Yep, ol’ Ananias thought he was getting over!  He made it seem as though he was giving the whole amount to the apostles.  But sin always gets revealed…sooner or later.

Peter confronted Ananias.  He scolded him and told him that he was not lying to men but to God.  Ananias fell out and died..right on the spot.

Three hours later, Peter confronted Sapphira.  He asked her about the price of the property and she lied.

Just like her husband, our dear bad girl dropped dead on the spot.

We can glean quite a few lessons from Sapphira:

1.  We will be judged as individuals.

Peter confronted Ananias and Sapphria as individuals, not as a couple. It is futile to play the blame game and place all of the responsibility of our spiritual growth and discernment on our spouse (or anyone else for that matter).

2. Honesty truly is the best policy

I tell my daughters all the time:  “If you do something wrong, just tell the truth.  Yes, there will be consequences but lying ALWAYS makes it worse”.  Divas we need to own our mess!

Discussion question:

Can’t you just see Ananais and Sapphira rationalizing how their lie was ok to tell?

“Look how much we are giving…It’s our business how much we really made off the property…It is our property after all…People need to mind their own business…..We have needs too…”

What are some practical ways you can put your big girl panties on and own up to the truth?

 

Bad Girls of the Bible Delilah

Delilah

Hola Divas! Welcome to week  five of our Bad Girls of the Bible Study by Liz Curtis Higgs. Just in case you are joining us for the first time, please read about the “Dance Fit Divas Bad Girls of the Bible Study“.  You should also read past posts on each bad girl: “EVE“, Potiphar’s WifeLot’s Wife and the Woman at the Well.

Unlike Mrs. P (Potiphar’s Wife), Lot’s Wife and the Woman at the Well, this week’s bad girl has a name. Her name is Delilah and her story is directly intertwined with a man named Samson.

Samson was a Nazarite.  Angels predicted his birth to his mother and gave her specific instructions: she was not to drink any alcohol while she was pregnant or eat any unclean foods.  Once Samson was born, she was instructed to never cut his hair because he had super strength.  Samson had a call on his life from birth to deliver Israel from Philistine oppression.  He used his brute strength to tear apart lions with his bare hands and kill thousands.

Yet, his kryptonite was women.

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By the time we get to chapter sixteen of the book of Judges, Sammy Boy had already been jilted at the altar by a woman from Timnath (Judges 14:1-2).

Perhaps that is why we find him with a prostitute  when chapter 16 opens.  (YES a prostitute.  I am so not making this stuff up! Read your bible…it’s in there.)

One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her. (Judges 16:1)

Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. (Judges 16:4)

If y’all are counting, we are already at three women in only a few chapters..his betrothed, a prostitute or harlot as some texts call her, and our dear bad girl…Delilah.

The Word says Samson fell in love with Delilah.  There is no mention of her falling in love with him.  There is also no mention of a wedding.

“Friends with benefits” Bible-style.

The Philistines noticed that Samson was hanging out with Delilah.  So the Philistines approached Delilah with a business deal.

The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver. (Judges 16:5)

Eleven hundred shekels of silver in today’s money would be about $750,000.00.  As such, Delilah was very direct:

“Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.” (Judges 16:6)

When Samson played games with her and told her lies about where his strength came from, she used Mrs. P’s tactic….persistence.  The Bible implies that Delilah whined and cried daily.  When she needed to , she used the age-old line “If you loved me you would ______________”.

So Samson told her.

When he was sleeping in her lap, (doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how our bad girl got him to go to sleep so soundly), Delilah called the Philistines to cut Samson’s hair.  When Samson awakened he found himself without his strength.

Subdued and weak, Samson was captured.  The Philistines gouged out his eyes and put him in prison.

file2021250181486Why didn’t Samson catch on to Delilah’s ways?  Because Samson is just like us.  We rely on our own strength and dance with temptation instead of fleeing.  We get too close to the fire and the “sin-smoke” makes the truth impossible to see.

Sightless and powerless, Samson was humbled and he turned his heart to the Lord.  In his final act of revenge, he sacrificed himself and killed more Philistines than he ever had by knocking down their temple.

Not sure what happened to bad-to-the-bone Delilah.

From Samson and Delilah, we can glean a life lesson summed up best in 2 Chronicles 7:14:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Homework for this week:  Read chapters 4 & 5 (Woman at the Well and Delilah)

 

 

Bad Girls of the Bible-The Woman at The Well

Woman at the Wella

Hola Divas! Welcome to week  four of our Bad Girls of the Bible Study by Liz Curtis Higgs. Just in case you are joining us for the first time, please read about the “Dance Fit Divas Bad Girls of the Bible Study“.  You should also read past posts on each bad girl: “EVE“, Potiphar’s Wife, and Lot’s Wife.

Our bad girl for this week is another woman without a name. However, her lifestyle kept her from being referred to as “her husband’s wife”.

When we met our leading lady, she was at the community well to draw water.  (Hence being called the woman at the well.)  Water gathering was an intricate part of a woman’s life in biblical times  and the well was where a girl could get caught up on all the latest village gossip!

Our bad girl went to the well in the heat of the day to escape the condescending looks from the other women of the village.  She was “that woman”. Her many failed marriages and current living situation would have made her a juicy topic on any morning! So, she traveled at a time when everyone else would be going about their day.

Although she expected to be alone, a strange man was at the well.  Not only was he strange, he was a Jew AND he spoke to her and actually asked her for a drink of water!  Jewish people despised Samaritans. Drinking after a Samaritan would make a Jew “ceremonially unclean”.

Isn’t it just like our Jesus to see and place value on what the world has thrown away?

Since our girl had been around the block a couple of times, she wasn’t afraid to ask questions.  

How can a Jewish man like you ask a Samaritan woman like me for a drink of water?” (John 4:9 GW).

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” (John 4:10 NIV)

“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14)

Living water = SALVATION from sin’s bondage and condemnation.

The woman at the well thought Jesus was talking about real water…H2O, Aqua.

I can imagine her getting all giddy inside about not having to come back to the well and risk being talked about.

Then Jesus dropped a bomb on her:  “Go, call your husband and come back.” John 4:16  (It would have been customary during those times for any business to be discussed man to man.)

Can you feel her shoulders wilt and her head drop as she answered Jesus?

…I have no husband, John 4:16

I bet her head sprung up and her eyes widened when Jesus said:

“You are right when you say you have no husband.  The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband.” John 4:18-19

Sucker punch to the stomach. All of her ugly out in the open.  Instead of being silent, and walking away discouraged, our bad girl confirms that Jesus must be a prophet.  After a small conversation on Samaritans vs. Jews, Jesus revealed to the woman at the well that He is the Messiah.

Just like any one who truly comes in contact with the love of Jesus, our bad girl left her water jar and ran back to the village to tell everyone about the Man who told her everything she ever did. Because of her testimony, many of the very people who shunned her encountered Jesus and were saved.

God values us in spite of what we have done.  He values people our society discards. We can try to hide like the Woman at the Well, but He already knows.  What do you need to ask questions about?  What invisible person do you need to open your eyes and see? What do you need to leave at the well  so that you can run and tell people about Jesus?

Reading for next week’s session: Chapters 4 &  5 (The Woman at the Well and Delilah)

Bad Girls of the Bible-Lot’s Wife

Lot's Wife

Hello Divas! Welcome to our weekly discussion on our Fall Bible Study Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs!  If you didn’t know it before, you surely know it now….the Bible is a very interesting read!  There is drama, sensuality, suspense, action, and mystery.  Move over reality TV hello God’s Word.

Our Bad Girl of the week is another woman only known by her husband’s name…Lot’s wife.  Her story is found in Genesis chapter 19.  Just like Mrs. P (Potiphar’s Wife), Lot’s wife probably enjoyed the lifestyle that her husband’s prosperity afforded her.  Unlike Mrs. P, Mrs. Lot was not a desperate housewife.  Lot’s wife was a pillar in the community who ultimately turned into a pillar of salt.

The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city……Genesis 19:1

The fact that Lot was sitting at the city gate tells a little something about his high position in Sodom.

Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.” Genesis 19:4-5

Huh? Pump da brakes.  Did the MEN of the town just tell Lot to bring the two MEN in his home out so that they could have sex with them?  Are we reading the bible?

Yes divas we are reading the Bible.  The Word even warned us about Sodom when Lot chose to pitch his tent in the direction of Sodom when he and his Uncle Abraham decided to part ways.  “the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord” (Genesis 13:1)

But girlfriends, what Lot suggested next made me throw up a little in the back of my throat.

No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. Genesis 19:7-8

Whaaaaaaaaaaat? I have no words.

Just as the men of the town attempted to break Lot’s door down, the angels saved the day by striking the sex-crazed men at the door blind. (Genesis 19:11)

At dawn, the angels urged Lot, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away” (Genesis 19:15).

But Lot and his family hesitated. Actually, Genesis 19:16 in the Message says:  “Lot was dragging his feet”.

Dragging his feet? Didn’t they just see these two men save them from the sex crazed men of the town?

Yes, and they still hesitated.  Lot procrastinated and most likely tried to rationalize how he could stay AND save the town.

I go through rounds of mental gymnastics when I KNOW there is something I need to do but it is going to cost me.

So….The angels grabbed Lot and his family by the hands “and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them” (Genesis 19:16).

After leading them literally by the hands, the angels gave them the following directive:  Flee for your lives! Don’t look back (Genesis 19:17)

But Lot’s wife looked back and she became a pillar of salt. (Genesis 19:26)

Many reasons are speculated as to why Lot’s wife looked back.  Family, possessions, and comfort are just a few that pop into my mind.

Before we judge her we must get gut honest with how we would respond if God asked us to leave our lives as we know them and just trust that things will work out.

Much later in the book of Luke, Jesus used Lot’s wife as an example to the disciples and to us about His return to earth:

“……On that day a person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. A person out in the field must not return home. Remember what happened to Lot’s wife! If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.”

Luke 17:31-33

Discussion question:

If God asked you to walk away from something for your own good, what would be your response? What would be the hardest person,place or thing for you to walk away from? (Tell me in the comments)

Homework for this week:  Read Chapter 2 and 3 (If you want to go deeper in study, complete the study guide questions at the back of the book.)

 

Bad Girls of the Bible-Potiphar’s Wife

Potiphar's Wife

Hola Divas! Welcome to week two of our Bad Girls of the Bible Study by Liz Curtis Higgs.  Just in case you are joining us for the first time, please read about the “Dance Fit Divas Bad Girls of the Bible Study“.  You should also read the post on the original bad girl “EVE“.

This week, we are talking about a girl who was bad to the bone!  A girl who was so bad, she didn’t even get a name.  She was only referred to as her husband’s (Potiphar) wife. For the purposes of this discussion, we will simply call her “Mrs. P”.

Mrs. P’s story is told in Genesis chapter 39.  The chapter opens with a description of the whereabouts of a Hebrew man named Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers. (Talk about a reality TV show).  Joseph was bought by Mrs. P’s husband Potiphar and because of God’s hand on Joseph, every thing Potiphar touched prospered.

So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.  Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, 7 and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” Genesis 39:6-7

What just happened here?  Did she just say what I think she said?

Oh yes Divas, she did.   As Potiphar’s wife, it is easy to assume that Mrs. P enjoyed the comfort of her husband’s prosperity. Yet although she may have been comfortable, something tells me that she was not happy.

A happy wife with a wealthy, endearing husband does not usually act as desperate as our dear Mrs. P.  It is simple math, an inattentive husband who is gone away on business often equals a lonely, unfulfilled wife with nothing to do.  This is the square root of the saying: “While the cat is away the mouse will play”.

Mrs. P was the original Desperate Housewife!

Desperate-Housewives-Season-7-Episode-14-Flashback2

So what did ol’ Joseph say to Mrs. P after she invited him to bed with her?

…..he refused..……Genesis 39:8 (NIV)

Yep, a big fat NO.

Now when you really want something and you believe that it will make you happy, a simple NO is NOT going to stop you…and it didn’t stop Mrs. P.

She kept putting pressure on Joseph day after day, but he refused to sleep with her, and he kept out of her way as much as possible. One day, however, no one else was around when he went in to do his work. She came and grabbed him by his cloak, demanding, “Come on, sleep with me!” Joseph tore himself away, but he left his cloak in her hand as he ran from the house. Genesis 39:10-12 (NLT)

Accepting NO can be a bitter pill to swallow.  If we are not careful, unfulfilled dreams and desires can grow into depression, anger and in Mrs.P’s case down right wickedness:

When she saw that she was holding his cloak and he had fled, she called out to her servants. Soon all the men came running. “Look!” she said. “My husband has brought this Hebrew slave here to make fools of us! He came into my room to rape me, but I screamed. Genesis 39:13-14 (NIV)

Rape? Seriously?

I didn’t hear a scream.  Did you?

I can just see Mrs. P smiling inside when her husband became enraged and threw Joseph in jail for attempting to dishonor his wife.

By the very next sentence, her glib smile was probably turned into a frown:

“But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden. Before long, the warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison.” Genesis 39:21-22

Discussion question:

Boredom, restlessness, and a sense of entitlement can lead to trouble with a capital T. How well do you accept the answer “No” when you really want something? What steps can you take to steer clear of those things that appeal to your flesh at the risk of your spiritual growth?

 

Eve-The Original Bad Girl

EVE dvd“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”-Genesis 3:1 (NIV84)

“Did God really, say? Are you sure you can’t have just a little? Don’t YOU deserve to be happy too? YOLO (You only live once)” Ahh yes, doubt, Satan’s 2000 year old tried and true way for us to get off the path God has set for us.  It worked on Eve all those years ago and unfortunately, it still works on us today.

Just by asking her the question “Did God really say?”, Satan was actually able to convince Eve that SHE knew better than God.  In Genesis 3:2-3 Eve explains to Satan how God said that if they ate from the tree in the middle of the garden, or even touched it they would die.

To her explanation, Satan emphatically tells Eve “You won’t die”.  Then basically says the following….[Not only will you not die but you will be like God and know everything.] So, Eve fell for it and she ate. Eve heard God say if they ate from that tree they would die. Period.  There was no need to question or offer a lengthy explanation because the Great I AM said so and she heard HIM.

Many theologians say pride was what caused Eve to be tricked.  I can see pride but I also see a contentment issue.

Eve had the perfect life.  She didn’t have any stretch marks, she didn’t have to work or cook and her man thought she was perfect…there were NO OTHER women to compare her too.  Yet even with perfection, Satan was able to convince Eve that she needed more.

I don’t know about y’all but I have done a whole lot of manipulating, calculating and rationalizing in an effort to get more only to end up with my head hung in shame just like dear Eve.

The amazing part of the story is the grace and forgiveness from God.  I just love how Liz put it on her blog:  “Yes, there were deep consequences because of their sin—there usually are—but because of God’s mercy, Adam and Eve did not remain stuck in their sin. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Discussion Question:

Eve couldn’t stop listening to her growling stomach or marveling at how pretty the fruit was or thinking how helpful it would be to have more knowledge. Our craving for more is manifested in every area of our lives. What do find yourself wanting more of (yet needing less of) in your life?

I find myself wanting more time.  I always feel so rushed and I am constantly running late.  In my desperate attempts to get just one more thing done, I am often harried and haggard when I arrive at my intended destination.  If I am really honest, I am not always a good steward of my time.  Facebook, surfing the net, talking on the phone can really get me distracted.  When more time doesn’t appear, I move to wanting to have more money.  More money would naturally mean more time… wouldn’t it?

Ok, your turn.  Tell me in the comments!