THE SINS OF THE WOMEN (1)

HAPPY WITH CHURCH TONIGHT

This evening the sisters in our church gathered for the ‘women’s fellowship’.  It was truly wonderful. We prayed, praised God and encouraged each other as we shared testimonies. The presence of God was strong in our midst. I still feel a trembling in my chest and my knees. I told them that the last time we gathered, I prepared a message on healing. But I was not free to deliver it. We only prayed and interceded. The message of today revealed a hindrance to our healing. The Holy Spirit revealed a tendency to take our blessings for granted, to become spiritually lazy, a secret desire to backslide and to be ‘at ease in Zion’. We repented and prayed for revival to come.  Healing shall follow. No doubt at all. This is part one of the message:

“Rise up, you women who are at ease,

Hear my voice;

You complacent daughters,

Give ear to my speech” (Is 32:9)

This passage is the warning of the Prophet Isaiah to the women living in Judah. At this time the northern Kingdom of Israel has been conquered by the Assyrians. Its inhabitants, men, women and children have been sent into exile. Shenacherib was preparing to attack Jerusalem but the people, especially the women, were careless regarding the coming danger. They are described as being ‘at ease’. In Hebrew, the word describes someone who is at peace, secure and quietly resting. To be at ease it means to be comfortable, free from pain, labor, constrain, difficulty or embarrassment. It means to be free to be yourself and none can rebuke you for that. Being at ease can be seen as negative or positive. In verses 9 and 11 it is used in a negative way. It describes women who are proud, careless of other’s pains and living in a ‘fool’s paradise’, as they say. They are successful as wives and mothers but have no longing to know God. They are prosperous but do not pray. They are settled but not spiritual. They are wealthy but do not worship God.  But the same word is used in a positive way in verse 18 and it describes the true rest and peace of the repentant woman who is spiritual, humble and loving.

Isaiah identifies the sin of these women and rebukes them. He wants them to repent, to change. Like a military commander, he uses one verb after another to wake them up from their foolish slumber and false peace. He tells them to rise up and to tremble. He commands them to listen to the Word of God. He tells them to strip from their fancy dresses and to dress up with ‘sack clothes’, as a sign that they have truly repented.

These words are painful but necessary. May we repent from being at ease and unspiritual! May we hear the voice of the Lord! May healing come!  In Jesus name, amen!

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