PCC Scroll – Woman with the Issue of Blood

For “Women of the Bible,” I wrote about the Woman with the Issue of Blood. I have written about her before, but the them was different.

Name: Woman with the issue of blood

Her Character: The woman with the issue of blood was a woman of strong faith and courage.

Her Sorrow: She suffered from a medical condition for 12 long years.

Her Triumph: Through her faith in Jesus, she was healed.

Key Scriptures: Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-48

In this issue, we are writing about a woman whose name is not known. Though she is commonly referred to as the woman with the issue of blood, the old church gave her a name of Veronica because they felt she deserved a name. We find her story in the synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

In a way, in the complete story, Jesus brought two women back from death. Jesus was on His way to the home of Jairus, whose 12-year-old daughter was dead, when the woman with the issue of blood was healed. Although the woman with the issue of blood was not technically dead, her existence was one of seclusion and pain.

We know that she suffered for 12 years. During those 12 years, her life was anything but normal. Ritually, she was unclean, and she spent her time and resources seeking a cure for her illness. We do not know what she endured at the hands of the medical men of the day, but the Bible says her problem did not get better; it grew worse.

There are a few things about her we can assume from what we know. Because of the constant bleeding, it is very probable that she was anemic and in a weak physical state. Because she spent her resources seeking a cure, she was probably destitute. She was also socially isolated during those many years because she was considered unclean. She would have been shunned by family (and if she were married her husband may have divorced her) and friends. She would not have been able to worship in the temple.

She should not have been among people. Under the laws of ritual purity, she should have been at home. However, her situation was desperate. Technically, anyone she touched would have been made unclean and would have needed to go through a cleansing ritual, including Jesus and anyone she touched in the crowd. As a woman, touching a strange man in public was sociably taboo. Yet she dared to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment.

After all she endured, her path to healing was simple through her encounter with Jesus. She followed Jesus through the crowd. She touched His hem. She was made whole. Although He knew who touched Him, Jesus asked the question of who touched Him. She came forward, which took a lot of courage on her end. In the midst of the multitude, Jesus called her daughter, and He told her that her faith had made her whole. Jesus honored her faith, and He will honor yours. This woman, this outcast, desperately sought out Jesus, and she was rewarded for her faith.

This woman who was not named did not make a big production. She touched Jesus thinking her touch would not be noticed. Even though she had been failed in being healed time after time, she still had faith that Jesus could heal her, and He did.

Her story reminds us of several things. No matter what the report says, Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. When we are truly suffering and desperate, customs, traditions, and protocols will be thrown out the window, and we will hasten to the throne.

When no one sees or understands you, know that Jesus sees you, and He has compassion toward you. No matter what the circumstance, Jesus is still approachable. You are His child, and He wants you to be healed in all areas of your life. By His Stripes, you are healed.

 

Volume XV Issue I: Women of the Bible

I wrote about Anna for the “Women of the Bible” section of the Volume XV Issue I edition of the PCC Scroll.

Name: Anna
Meaning: Grace
Her Character: Anna was a devout woman who spent her widowhood praising and worshipping God in the Temple day and night.
Her Sorrow: Anna was widowed after seven years of marriage.
Her Triumph: Anna lived to see the baby Jesus in the temple, and she was able to praise God for His gift to man.

Anna was the daughter of Phanuel, and she was of the tribe of Asher. When she is mentioned in the Bible, she was 84-years old. She had been married, but her husband died after seven years of marriage, and she was childless. After becoming widowed, she dedicated her life to serving God and lived at the Temple in Jerusalem. She lived during a period when the Roman Empire was strong, and Rome had little use for and was quite opposed to the idea of a coming Messiah.

Like Miriam, Deborah, and Huldah, Anna was a prophet and a Godly woman. In the role of prophet, she did not necessarily prophesize the future. The title means that she was very devout and close to God. She cared deeply about Israel and the way Israel dealt with her God. Anna may have served as a deaconess or Sister of Charity.

The Bible says Anna never left the Temple. She spent her time there praising and worshipping God day and night. While in the Temple, Anna would have listened to the readings of the scrolls and sacred scriptures that were read there. She strongly and firmly believed in the prophecies of the scriptures, and she was waiting in earnest for the coming Messiah.

Anna, like Simeon (who is featured in “Men of the Bible”), was in the Temple when Mary and Joseph brought the baby Jesus to be dedicated to God. When she saw the child in Simeon’s arms, she gave thanks to God. Anna recognized Jesus as the Messiah. She proclaimed to those in the temple that the baby was the Messiah – the Hope of Israel, and the Redeemer of the world. As a Jewish elder, she would have been respected, and her prophetic words would have carried extra weight.

Anna’s existence was on a plain much different than most of us. She has been described as unearthly. Anna had an intimacy with God that few reach. She had a deeper insight and clarity into the things of God. Her entire existence involved prayer, worship, and fasting. She was quite spiritual. She had no need or use for any earthly preoccupations or material possessions. Her life did not contain any distractions from her created purpose of praise, worship, and prayer. She spent her life living out her purpose and gift.

Anna is a wonderful example of living in expectation for the promises of God. Even in her twilight years, she held on to the hope that she would see the Messiah. Like Anna, even in the twilight of our years or circumstances, God’s will and promises will come to pass for us. Anna is a living example. She is also an example of the importance of hearing and listening to the wisdom, advice, and experiences of those who have walked dedicated and prayerful lives with God.

Women of the Bible: Esther

Name: Esther
Meaning: Star
Her Character: Esther’s beauty gained the eye of the Persian king, but it was her character and strength that won his heart. She was a woman of strong courage who placed the needs of many before her own need for comfort and security.
Her Sorrow: Her people were threatened with execution.
Her Triumph: She was able to intercede on behalf of the Jewish people and save a nation.
Key Scriptures: The book of Esther

The name Esther means star. Esther’s Jewish name was Hadassah. Her Jewish name comes from the word myrtle, which is a type of tree. The leaves of this tree release a fragrance after they are crushed, which is suitable. Esther released a fragrance after she was pressed. Her challenges were transformed into opportunities.

Esther was orphaned, and she was adopted into her cousin Mordecai’s family. Mordecai raised Esther as his own daughter, and he was able to instill in her confidence as well as knowledge and respect for her Jewish heritage. Esther was open to his counsel, and she was willing to act on his advice.

In the book of Esther, King Xerxes put aside his queen, Vashti, because she did not obey him. He then sought another wife. Esther was among the virgins that were presented to him. He was enchanted with her. It is believed that he picked Esther for a showpiece. He did not know that she was a Jew, and Mordecai instructed her to not tell him.

So unknown to the king, he married a woman who worshipped the true God. This orphaned woman became queen of the Persian Empire. The Bible says that Esther obtained the favor of all that looked on her. In time, she won the confidence and love of the king.

Mordecai, who was her cousin and adopted father, acted as her advisor. He learned of a plot to kill the king, and he informed Esther. She was then able to warn the king. The king, however, neglected to reward Mordecai. This oversight was redeemed later. On another occasion, Esther was warned that the Jews were in danger of being systematically murdered. She was able to intercede for them. She risked her life by going before the king without being summoned. Because God’s Will was at work, she survived, and she was able to prevent the total annihilation of her people.

Esther was a woman of great faith and courage. The scriptures makes reference to her fast life. Because of these qualities, she was able to thwart the plans of those who wished genocide on the Jewish people. Throughout the situation, Esther exhibited wisdom and patience. She was within God’s will for her life because of her obedience.

Esther was strong and determined and an example of success despite adversity. She was willing to risk her own security to save others. Her security and faith were tied into God. She is a wonderful example that God has a purpose for all of the situations He places us in. God was always there working on the behalf of her and Mordecai.

She was in her appointed position at the right time during a critical season. Truly we are all here for such a time as this.

Women of the Bible—Huldah

The Women of the Bible section:

Name: Huldah
Meaning: Weasel, mole
Her Character: Despite the idolatrous time she lived in, Huldah was a righteous woman who had the gift of prophetic insight.
Her Sorrow: Huldah had to deliver the news of the punishment that was to come.
Her Triumph: Huldah was able to truly and freely act in her gift of prophecy.
Key Scriptures: 2 Kings 22:14, 2 Chronicles 34:22

Huldah was alive during the time of King Josiah in the 7th Century B.C., and she was a much respected prophet in Judah. Her husband was Shallum, who was the keeper of the king’s wardrobe.

During the reign of King Josiah, the king had his high priest, Hilkiah, go to the Lord’s Temple to count the money the gatekeepers had collected from the people at the temple. The money was then to be entrusted to the men assigned to supervise the restoration of the temple.

While at the temple, Hilkiah found a Book of the Law and the book was sent to King Josiah. When the court secretary read what was written in the Book of the Law to King Josiah, he was greatly despaired. He knew that his ancestors and people had moved far from God’s Law.

King Josiah sent messengers to the temple to inquire about the words written in the scroll and whether it was authentic. These messengers included his high priest and the scribe of the temple. These distinguished messengers were sent to consult with the prophet Huldah, who was a prophet that could still hear from God. The fact that she was sought out by the king and a high priest shows how well known she was in the kingdom and how respected her gift was.

Before and during her lifetime, many people had abandoned God and many of the priests were ignorant of God’s Law. The book that was found clearly highlighted how far the people had moved from God’s Law. But Huldah stood as a righteous woman with the gift of insight and the love of God in her heart.

Unfortunately for King Josiah, the scroll was authentic and the words were true. The disaster the Lord spoke of in the scroll would come to pass because the people had abandoned God and worshipped other idols. God’s wrath would be felt. But because of King Josiah’s love for God, his willingness to obey God, his repentance, and his despair, God’s punishment would not happen in his lifetime. Huldah’s words gave King Josiah the confidence he needed to fight evil in his land. He made a covenant to walk closer to God.

As a prophet, it was not always popular or safe to be the bearer of bad news, but Huldah spoke the words God gave her with no fear or fencing. Huldah is to be admired. She was able to keep and maintain truth during a time of much idolatry and a time many were ignorant of God’s Law.

Huldah was a woman who was well regarded in her time. Like Miriam and Deborah, she did not let being a woman get in the way of fulfilling what God called her to do in her life. Huldah knew who she was in God, and she did not let anyone control or change the truthful way she ministered to the people of God. Depending on the tradition, Huldah either taught publicly in school or she taught and preached to women. Regardless, Huldah was a woman who lived very close to God.

Volume XIII Issue II Women of the Bible – Miriam

Volume XIII Issue II Women of the Bible – Miriam

Name: Miriam
Meaning: Obstinacy (Stubbornness)
Her Character: Miriam was a quick thinker, courageous, and she handled herself well under pressure.
Her Sorrow: Miriam was jealous of the authority of Moses and this jealousy caused her to be openly critical of his leadership. She was stricken with leprosy, but she was healed.
Her Triumph: Alongside Moses and Aaron, Miriam led God’s people out of Egypt. Upon the defeat of pharaoh’s army at the Red Sea, Miriam led the women of Israel in giving praises to God.
Key Scriptures: Exodus 2, 15; Numbers 2

Miriam was the sister of Moses and Aaron. She was a prophetess of Israel, and she was a leader during the Exodus of the Israelites and during their 40 years wandering in the wilderness.

Miriam displayed her courage and intelligence at an early age. When we first encounter Miriam, she is a young girl. One account puts her at seven, and another account puts her at 12. She was watching her younger brother, Moses, float along the Nile. After he was discovered by pharaoh’s daughter, Miriam’s quick thinking and boldness enabled their mom to be his nursemaid.

From her life story, we can find two great life lessons. In her, we see an example of a woman who is a leader and a woman who recognized God for the victories. In her, we also see the frailty of our human emotions in her jealousy over the leadership role her younger brother, Moses, had among the Children of Israel.

In the first example, we see Miriam lead the women in song and dance in honor of God’s victory over the Egyptian army. Her celebration over this victory truly falls in line with the theme of this quarter’s newsletter.

Then there is the second example. As an older sister, it was probably hard for Miriam to see her younger brother be more successful than her, at least more successful in her own eyes. It was finally Moses’ choice of wives that gave her the opportunity to be openly critical of him. Whether it was her seeing her own role as the leading lady in his life and their community downsized or true concern, we don’t know. We do know that she murmured against Moses to Aaron over Moses’ choice of wives.

Miriam and Aaron were both jealous about Moses’ leadership role. Miriam pointed out that Moses was not the only sibling to be used by God. God reprimanded both Miriam and Aaron for their insubordination. As mentioned in the introduction, Miriam was stricken with leprosy, but she was cured after Moses intervened. Miriam was led from the camp and quarantined for seven days. She was not mentioned again until after her death. Like the other older leaders, she did not live to see the Promised Land.

From this story, we can see how jealousy and criticism can cloud our motives. There is a fine line between criticism to be constructive and criticism out of envy and jealousy. There is a danger in trying to raise ourselves up by taking someone else down. Before we point out anyone, we must first deal with the beam in our own eye. Each of has a unique place in the body of Christ. Being jealous or envious of another’s talent is a disservice to what we have to offer. Our role in the body of Christ is just as important as the next person’s role.

To leave on a positive role, let us focus on Miriam as a woman who celebrated her God. Let us focus on her as a courageous, intelligent woman who was a leader among her people. This is a role we all have.

PCC Scroll, Volume XIII Issue I: Women of the Bible

Name: Deborah
Meaning: A bee
Her Work: Deborah was a prophetess and a judge of Israel.
Her Character: Deborah was a wise woman who had a strong faith in God.
Her Sorrow: Israel was oppressed by the Canaanites.
Her Triumph: The defeat of Sisera and the Canaanite army.
Key Scriptures: Judges 4, 5

Deborah was a prophetess and a judge of Israel. She was the fourth judge of Israel and the only woman to hold the position of judge. As a prophetess, God used Deborah to communicate His will to His people. As a judge, her authority was considered by the Israelites as appointed by God. From the Bible, we know that she would sit under the Palm of Deborah. The various tribes would seek her to settle disputes, and her judgment was trusted.

Deborah was married to Lappidoth, who we don’t know much about. They lived near the border of Ephraim and Benjamin. Deborah was known as a wise leader. She was skilled at mediating, advising, and counseling. She was able to plan, direct, and delegate.

To set the stage of her story, Israel did evil in the sight of God, and God turned them over to the Canaanite king, Jabin. The people of Israel were severely oppressed by the commander of Jabin’s army, Sisera. This went on for twenty years, and the people finally called out to God for help.

God spoke to Deborah, and she sent for Barak. She instructed Barak to gather an army to battle against Sisera on Mount Tabor. She told Barak he would have victory. Barak requested that Deborah go with him. She agreed but told him the victory over Sisera would be at the hands of a woman. That woman was Jael, and her story was shared in Volume XII Issue I of the PCC Scroll.

Deborah went with Barak, and Sisera’s army was defeated and his oppression over Israelis in the north ended. It is important to note that Deborah’s presence gave Barak, who would be leading 10,000 men in battle, comfort. This showed that she inspired people to share her trust in God. Because of this, it is fitting to add the word warrior in the list of words used to describe her. Centuries before Joan of Arc rode in battle, Deborah paved the way.

After the battle, the “Ode of Deborah,” which is one of the oldest military songs in history, was composed. Deborah had called the people to battle, and they were led out of idolatry. After the battle, Israel lived in peace for 40 years. Deborah’s faith led to hope, freedom, and peace.

Deborah is a great example of what can be done when a person is engaged and focused. Her example teaches us to be available to God, as well as to serve other people. We see in her an example of a woman and leader focused on what she could do, and what she could do through God. God can accomplish much through a willing vessel.

Deborah stands out among the many distinguished Women of the Bible. She was rooted in a close, personal relationship with God. She was confident that God had chosen her to guide His people, regardless of her sex. She did not let her position as a woman or wife hinder her from serving God, and she was always careful to turn the praise back to Him. As women of God, we should strive, like Deborah, to be comfort and strength to those around us.

PCC Scroll: Women of the Bible – Rahab

Name: Rahab
Meaning: Broad
Her Character: Rahab was a woman of great faith and courage.
Her Sorrow: Rahab was a prostitute.
Her Joy: Rahab was able to save her family by helping Israeli spies, and she accepted their God as her own.
Key Scriptures: Joshua 2; Joshua 6:17-25; Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25; Matthew 1:5

Rahab is an excellent example that our beginning is not our end. When we meet Rahab, she is a prostitute. What we subsequently learn about her from her actions and words leaves us without a doubt that she was a woman blessed by God. If you are looking for an example of stepping out on faith, look no further. Even as a cracked vessel, she displayed faith and confidence in God.

Rahab’s story is familiar, and it’s found in Joshua. She lived in Jericho, and she aided the spies Joshua sent into the city to survey their opponent. She helped the spies by hiding them when soldiers came looking for them. She told the soldiers the spies left at nightfall. She had heard of the victories Israel had won with the help of their God. She had also heard of the miracles performed along the way, and she believed. She proclaimed that the God of Israel was God. In return for her help, she requested that she and her family be spared when the Israelites came to take Jericho. The spies agreed to help her and instructed her to tie a red cord to her window. She was also instructed to have her relatives in her house at the time of the attack. Because her home was along the city walls, the spies were able get down with a rope through her window when it was clear. Rahab’s faith and actions saved her and her entire family. After Israel conquered Jericho, her family was saved before the city was set on fire.

Through Rahab’s example, we learn an important lesson in judgment. How many of us would have shunned this woman because of her place in society? We cannot doubt that her peers did. Rahab was a woman who was rejected by society because of her occupation. Rahab took a huge leap of faith when she helped the spies. She reached for God, and He did not reject or abandon her. Regardless of what her past was before turning to God, she is considered among the righteous. We have a clear example that where we are now is not where we will finish. Who knows what potential lies within each of us?

Rahab went from being a prostitute to a woman who is one of four women mentioned in the genealogy of Christ in Matthew. She is mentioned in Hebrews 11:31 for her faith, and she is mentioned in James 2:25 for her good works. Her end was much better than her beginning.