Luke 1:58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.
It’s interesting how many times mercy is mentioned in this unfolding of God’s plan of salvation. That a previously barren woman would have a child at all was and is a cause for great joy, as countless Internet videos attest, but it was particularly significant in the society of the day that the baby was a boy. Women were, sadly enough, devalued, a holdover from days when physical strength was a prime requirement for survival. One of the scandals of Jesus’ ministry was that He was so accepting of women, and even allowed them to sit at his feet and receive teaching. (Luke 10:38-39) It seems to me particularly significant that He revealed Himself after His resurrection first to a woman. (John 20:10-17) Some feminists today attack Christianity as being “oppressive of women,” not realizing that the genuine liberation of women stems from the attitudes taught in the New Testament. With remarkable illogic they equate differing roles with different value and demand sameness instead of equality, suffering hugely in the process. Paul has been widely accused of misogyny, but he was the one who wrote, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) It is indicative of the spirit behind radical feminism that they ignore the horrible oppression and abuse of women in Islam, choosing instead to attack the one religion that gives women full dignity and value.
I was raised in a family that certainly valued women. My parents became missionaries individually as singles, and courted and married in Japan. My maternal grandfather was a champion of women in ministry, founding a school to train them when the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary wouldn’t accept them as students, and at one point over half of the foreign missionaries under appointment by the Southern Baptists were graduates of the Carver School of Missions. Today there are Southern Baptists who don’t want to admit my grandfather was ever around, and his portrait has been removed from the building that was absorbed into the seminary. Be that as it may, I have a high respect for women, but I would not make the mistake of thinking they are identical with men. That’s part of the whole lie of homosexuality, because men and women were created to be complimentary to each other, balancing each others’ strengths and weaknesses. I do a lot of marriage counseling, and this point is a major part of that. When we expect someone of the opposite gender to be the same as us, we get into a lot of trouble! This is a soap box I could spend a lot of time on, but this isn’t the time or place. I am to express God’s truth in love in every area of life, so that people may receive that truth and be set free indeed from the multiple traps of our enemy the liar. (John 10:10)
Father, I certainly didn’t expect to write on this when I started! Thank You for Your perfect plan for every area of life, for expressing it in Your Word and bringing it to life by Your Spirit. May I walk in Your truth consistently, doing Your will in Your way on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!