Saturday, May 7, 2016
WOMEN ARE PILLARS OF SUPPORT!
Dearly Beloved, WOMEN ARE PILLARS OF SUPPORT! “Warriors became fat and sloppy, no fight left in them. Then you, Deborah, rose up; you got up, a mother in Israel” (Judges 5:7 MSG). “Say hello to Priscilla and Aquila, who have worked hand in hand with me in serving Jesus” (Romans 16:3 MSG). Priscilla (also known as Prisca) was a Christian woman who with her husband, Aquila, worked together with Paul at Corinth. According to history, Priscilla and Aquila came to Corinth after the Roman Emperor Claudius expelled all the Jews from Rome (see Acts 18:2). They were Paul's co-workers who Paul left at Ephesus where they ministered effectively, especially to Apollos (see Acts 18:18-26). Apart from the fact that Priscilla was prominent in the Early Church, she is named before her husband in the majority of biblical passages (see Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19). Undoubtedly, this indicates her strength of character and/or her exceptional usefulness in Christian work (see Acts 18:26). She was indeed a pillar of support to her husband and other early Christians. Priscilla was not the only one that was a pillar of support to other menfolk in the Holy Bible. Deborah was another spectacular woman. In fact, she was a judge and a warrior who delivered the people of Israel from the oppression of the Canaanites and led the people. She was indeed “a mother in Israel” (see Judges 4-5). Other exemplary women in the Bible were Miriam (the sister of Moses and Aaron) who was referred to as a leader of the people of Israel along with Moses and Aaron in Micah 6:4; Abigail who saved the life of her husband (see 1 Samuel 25); Huldah whose counsel was sought by Hilkiah the then high priest and Josiah the king (2 Kings 22:14; 2 Chronicles 34:22); Mary who was highly favoured to be the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:26-28) and played prominent roles in His life and ministry; Mary Magdalene, Joanna the wife of Cuza, Susanna, Mary the mother of James, Mary and Martha and other women that served Jesus during His earthly ministry (see Luke 8:2-3; 10:38-42; 24:10); Lois and Eunice who mentored Timothy (see Acts 16:1-2; 2 Timothy 1:5); Phoebe, a deaconess of the church in Cenchrea and other women like Mary of Rome, Tryphena, Tryphosa, Persis, mother of Rufus, and many others that were pillars of support in the Early Church (see Rom 16:1, 6, 12, 13). Sadly, there were also bad examples of women that were pillars of support like Jezebel, Ahab's wife, famous for extending the cult of her own Phoenician gods to the land of Israel, and influenced her husband to take evil decisions (see 1 Kings 18:4,13,19; 19:1; 21:25; 2 Kings 9:22), and the bloodthirsty Athaliah (interestingly Jezebel’s daughter) who reigned both as Jehoram's consort and as queen regnant (2 Kings 8:18; 11:1-16). Women are indeed pillars of support wherever they find themselves. Although, the support may be positive or negative. As a woman, are you a good pillar of support to your husband, siblings, co-workers and other people around you? In what way can you really support these people? Happy Mother’s Day! In His service, Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor). Prayer Points: 1. Pray that as a woman, you will be a good pillar of support to people around you. 2. Pray for women that have been positive pillars of support in your life that God will continue to use them to support you in His own way. NB This message is dedicated to my wife, Florence Opeyemi Afolaranmi, who has been my reputable pillar of support for almost two decades.