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Monday, August 20, 2012

Wifely Advice

In the biblical book of Esther, wicked Haman’s wife Zeresh gives him some “wonderful” advice: build a very high gallows and hang your archenemy Mordecai on it. (Esther 5:14) We know the end of the story: that Haman is made to honor Mordecai, and Haman ultimately gets hanged on that high gallows himself. His riches and house go to Queen Esther, a member of the Jewish race he planned to wipe out.

Other wives who gave equally bad advice:
     Ahab’s wife Jezebel told him, arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite (1 Kings 21:7b). Then she proceeded to forge letters with Ahab’s seal, frame Naboth, have him unjustly stoned to death, and steal his vineyard.
     Job’s wife said, Curse God and die (from Job 2:9). Thankfully, he refused to do so.
Wifely advice that should have been heeded:
      Pilate’s wife said, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him (Matthew 27:19b). Pilate gave in to the other “important” people around him, cared more about his political standing, and disregarded life in letting Jesus be crucified, even though he knew he was wrong. (I wonder if he or she ever slept well afterwards.)

I guess you could call this “pre-wifely” advice:
      It came from Abigail, who was the wife of Nabal at the time. She begged David not to take vengeance on her husband (who deserved whatever he got). She thus averted much bloodshed. And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand (1 Samuel 25:32-33). Later, Nabal died, and David took Abigail as his wife.

And this lousy advice comes from “a woman” whom Samson loved, not exactly his wife. She was clearly not an exemplary type:
      And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee (Judges 16:6). This tale of seduction and nagging and Samson’s very sad end is full of lessons for any man. Any woman who lives loosely isn’t trustworthy, especially with one’s deepest secrets.

I can’t end this blog with Delilah.

There were some wonderful women in the Bible who were assets to their husbands. How about these?
      Sara, Abraham’s wife—held up to generations after her as an example of a submissive wife
      Jochabed, wife of Amram and mother of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam—followed Pharaoh’s law to the letter, yet protected the future leader of Israel
      Deborah, wife of Lapidoth—prophetess, judge, and even military leader
      Ruth, wife of Boaz—Moabitess who trusted the Lord and was abundantly blessed by God
      Hannah, wife of Elkanah—prayed earnestly to the Lord, and God blessed her with Samuel and then with five more children
      The Virtuous Woman—Her husband and children rose up and called her blessed.
      Mary, Joseph’s wife—chosen by God to bear much shame and to rear His only Son
      Elisabeth, wife of Zacharias—encouraged Mary, obeyed God in naming John, and was miraculously the mother of the forerunner of Christ
      Priscilla, wife of Aquila—helped tutor the Apostle Paul in spiritual truth

I am glad the Bible gives us insights into the good women as well as into the bad. I am thankful that any Christian woman can influence her husband and children and those she ministers to for good.

I know that I would like to be known for my good wifely advice. I’m sure you would, too!


1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed this. We can learn much by both the bad and good examples. Another one that comes to mind is Samson's mother, Manoah's wife. Her name isn't given, but when her husband fears after seeing the angel of the Lord, she very practically encourages him (Judges 13). Not advice, exactly, but sometimes we both have to remind each other of what God has said.


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