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IBC Women’s Ministry Blog – September 14, 2023

IBC Women’s Ministry Blog – September 14, 2023

Jesus & Women

By Susan Smith

Idlewild Women’s Ministry Summer Bible Study was “Jesus & Women” by Kristi McLelland. She approaches Bible Study through a Middle Eastern lens because the Bible was written by Middle Eastern authors and highlights much of Middle Eastern culture. McClelland encourages the Bible student to take what is learned from Bible Study and, like a river, share the teaching through us to others rather than to keep it to ourselves much like dead or stagnate water. So, here are the things I learned and hope to remember that I will share with you over the next few weeks on the Women’s Ministry blog.

Healing Wings

After hundreds of years of slavery… The Israelites were instructed to put tassels on the corners of their prayer shawls. In total, the tassels had 613 knots to represent the commandments. The Hebrew word for these tasseled corners may also be translated to wings. The Israelites would put violet or blue thread in the “wings”, which made them more expensive and identified the Israelite as part of a royal priesthood set apart by God.

The Old Testament ends with this thought: Malachi 4:2 “the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.”

Between the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament ages, there are hundreds of years of no new words from God. In the New Testament we are introduced to a woman who had an issue with blood. She would touch the wings (corner) of Jesus’ robe. This woman, who would’ve been shamed and isolated by her community, knew the word of God and had faith. How did Jesus respond to her touch? He could’ve shamed an unclean woman for touching a holy rabbi. Instead Jesus says, “Take heart, daughter, your faith has healed you.” Jesus healed her, physically and spiritually.

Sometimes, there is a large gap in time from the years of pain and suffering before God provides the healing in His wings. How do you think and act during these times of waiting for God’s healing? The Middle Eastern way is to ask what is God teaching me instead of asking why do I hurt. Instead of asking how did it happen, the Middle Eastern thought is to ask why would God allow it to happen. In the West, we tend to look at things with ourselves at the center. We focus on how this applies to us, whereas in the Middle East, the focus is on the character of God. What does the story reveal about God. As we focus on God, we learn how to live in Him.

Psalms‬ ‭63‬:‭7‬ “For You have been my help, And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.”

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