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Isaiah20 Roles Confused

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Isaiah (16)

Role Disorder

Welcome and announcements

8 Doxology        “Majesty”

Call to worship and Greeting

8 We praise the Most High; we honour and glorify Him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. He does as He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. (Daniel 4:34-35)

8 Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

–         (Revelation 1:4-5)

8 Hymn no 32:                   “God is our Strength and Refuge”

Bible Reading:                  New Testament:                     1Timothy 2:1-15

Prayer of adoration and Confession of sins

Proclamation of pardoning

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9)

Hymn no 310:    “Brother let me be your servant”


Offering and Dedication

… every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine. (Psalm 50:10-11)

While the Offering is taken up, all (remaining seated) sing)  Hymn no 472:   “Fill now my life O Lord” (Only verses 1-4)

Prayer of Intercession

Bible Reading                                   Old Testament:       Isaiah 3:12-26

Sermon                                “Role disorder”


1.     The context of removal of all forms of security – leads to anarchism.

2.     Spin-off:  men refuse to assume their God-given roles of leadership.

3.     All this is the result of a humanistic society that severs itself from God to replace his order with a human code.  Man becomes a law unto himself.

4.     This leads to the so-called “political correctness” of our day: all forms of so-called oppression and discrimination need to be removed out of society.

5.     We have egalitarianism of all mankind, and all distinction between male and female falls by the wayside.

6.     The result is seen in Isa 3:12:

Youths oppress my people, women rule over them. O my people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path. (Isaiah 3:12)

God’s plan for woman

1.     Restoration of creation to what it was intended to be.  Jesus is the last Adam, and all those restored in Him are referred to as the wife, or the bride, of Christ.

created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:24)

2.     Misconstrued role of sinful men, who overstepped their role and assumed far more that what God intended.  They became like the nations around them which abuse woman and made them nothing more than just a piece of property whom they could discard of at own will.  Even the Mishnah and Talmud allowed for these practices.

3.     The woman was, with Adam, in a regal partnership over God’s creation.  Both of them were created in God’s image.  She is a helper, a complementing counterpart.

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18)

4.  Both Adam and Eve were, unlike all other things created, created from existing matter.

Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. (Genesis 2:22)

4.     Adam was put to sleep and had no part in the creation of Eve as if she was an inferior creation.

5.     Unlike the animals, Eve is endowed with those unique qualities that compliment man.

Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. (Genesis 2:19-20)

6.     Eve bore the closest of kin sociality to Adam

Then Laban said to him, “You are my own flesh and blood.” (Genesis 29:14)

7.     For each, man and woman, God ordained certain rules and tasks.  Man is to take leadership of his house and provide for them.  He is to secure the income and he has to provide safety.  The woman was ordained the privilege to bring into the world children.  To each of man and woman certain qualities were given to make this possible.  Men are physically stronger, but women have to qualities to with tenderness nurture her family and raise the children in partnership with her husband who takes on certain other responsibilities in the household. The apostle writes:

But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety. (1 Timothy 2:15)

Biblical order

The Bible makes a few rules very clear.

8.     The apostle Paul writes in 1 Tim 2:13

For Adam was formed first, then Eve. (1 Timothy 2:13)

9.     The second principle:  Adam was not deceived:

And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. (1 Timothy 2:14)

10.  As result of these principles the apostle writes:

I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. (1 Timothy 2:12)

11.  And further:

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says.
If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. (1 Corinthians 14:33-35)

Rise of Feminism and feministic theology

In reaction to Biblical principles. Femiist Aileen O’Carrol writes:

There are two knock-on effects of women staying at home minding the family. Firstly they are not financially independent. They do not earn any money and are dependant on income received from their partners. Because nobody gets paid for rearing a family it's status as an occupation is at the bottom of the ladder and because women are financially dependant on their husbands it means they, in the past, have had little input into the major decisions affecting the family. Today the family is a trap for women as much as it was for women at the beginning of the industrial revolution. It is for this reason that the issue of womens' ability to control their own fertility is key in obtaining womens' liberation. That is the fight for abortion rights, for freely available contraceptives, for 24 hour quality childcare. Better dead than wed, say I.

"I knew in the moment when the pain was greatest...that there is no God known to man that cares about children or about women. And that the God of woman is autonomy." --M'Lissa, Possessing the Secret of Joy (by Alice Walker)

"It all goes back, of course, to Adam and Eve -a story which shows, among other things, that if you make a woman out of a man, you are bound to get into trouble. In the life cycle, as in the Garden of Eden, the woman has been the deviant." -- Carol Gilligan

When women are wholly vain and self-centered, the cancer of moral decay is truly consuming the nation's heart. Proper adornment and true beauty in women should be a reflection of the glory of God.  When women cultivate and cherish beauty only for itself, they are infringing upon and detracting from the glory and beauty that belong to Him.

That ordinary women of the world should be vainglorious might be expected. But the daughters of Zion, women who live in the city of God, under the very shadow of the Temple, who should have set the example of the beauty of holiness, these are haughty and walk with outstretched neck.

Is Isaiah, however, one who can see no place in life for the beauty of adornment? Does he condemn beauty and ornament as such? That is not the case. It’s not the various articles of jewellery in themselves which are reached by his condemnation.

Something more serious has gripped his attention and drawn down upon itself his condemnation. In Jerusalem there was an inner pride and corruption of the heart which manifested itself outwardly.

"Wherever," says Calvin, "dress and splendour are carried to excess, there is evidence of hankering after, and many vices are usually connected with it; for whence comes luxury in men and women but from pride?"

And again he remarks, "First then, he justly declares pride to be the source of the evil, and points it out by the sign, that is, by their way of walking." Isaiah is in no conflict with Peter, who stated,

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (1 Peter 3:3-4)

The women Isaiah addressed were women with only one concern. They were concerned about their appearance and with drawing attention to that appearance.

About the utter lack of justice in the land and about the apostasy from God, however, they had no concern. In the work of the Lord women often take an active part. In Jerusalem, however, they were the leaders away from God. Little did it matter to them that the poor were the objects of abominable tyranny. So self-centered and puffed up were these women that they were only concerned to call attention to themselves. When the women of a nation have turned to such an extent away from God, the end of that nation cannot be far away.

If we thought our society looks better, let’s look at a few statistics:

In the United Kingdom retail sales of cosmetics and fragrances were valued at Bn$3.9 in 2000 UK.   Imports of cosmetics and fragrances reached a value of Bn$2.2 in 2000, with those exported worth Bn$2.287.  In the year to March 2001, $140m was spent on main media advertising of fragrances, while $110m went on promoting cosmetics.

In the USA Bn$35.3 is spent on, decorative cosmetics, while promoting Cosmetics for men reached Bn$15.6.  To advertise perfumes and colognes Americans spend Bn$63.9. Put this against the background of the $90.8m spent on the advertising of education.

The per capita on cosmetics and perfumes in Switzerland is $377.00 per year.

Put all this against the background of the following: The estimate is that

1)    - the cost of primary education for the 25% of children currently deprived from it is about $6,000 million (UNDP 97).

The expenditure on cosmetics only in the United States amounts to $8,000 million a year.

2)    - the cost of health care and nutrition of the world population currently deprived from them amounts to about $13,000 million a year (UNDP 97).

The expenditure on food for pets only in the United States amounts to $17,000 million a year.

3)    - the cost of gynecological care of women currently deprived from it amounts to about $12,000 million a year (UNDP 97).

The expenditure on perfumes in Europe and the United States amounts to $12,000 million a year.

4)    - the cost of drinking-water supply and sanitation for the world population currently deprived from them amounts to about $9,000 million (UNDP 97).

The expenditure on ice-cream only in Europe amounts to $11,000 million a year.

Overcoming the most severe dimensions of absolute poverty would involve an expenditure of $40,000 million, less than 0.25% of world G.N.P. Put this against the background of the Bn$8 spent on cosmetics.

5)    The market for cosmetic surgery in the UK was estimated to be worth $358.5m in 1996, growing by 9.3% to $409.8m in 1997. The largest sector in value terms was breast enhancement, with 25.8% of the market, followed by fat reduction at 21.5%. The market is predicted to rise steadily reaching $624.9m this year.

6)    Eyelid surgery attracts Bn$13 per annum in America, whilst even more is spent on facelifts per annum.

7)    Lip augmentation attracts Bn$80 per annum.

Isaiah's accusation was no vain charge. The women were haughty as he had accused. For that very reason, the Lord would undertake harsh measures.

"will smite with a scab" — From this action baldness may result. Some think that the verb means "to make bald,"

snatch away:

Jewelry Ankle chains designed to make the steps short. The corresponding word in Arabic, assad, denotes a large bracelet

the sashes — Girdles, ornaments of the bride (cf. Jer. 2:32).

the perfume boxes — Houses of breath, or houses of the soul (cf. Song of Sol. 1:13; Prov. 27:9; and the alabaster boxes of Luke 7:37; Matt. 26:7 and Mark 14:3)

the charms — Amulets or charms which perhaps were inscribed with an chant. Note the occurrence of the word in verse 3 (cf. Gen. 35:4).

21 the rings and the nose jewels — Either finger or nose rings (cf. Esth. 3:12; Gen. 41:42; 24:22,47).

22 the plaits — The root implies that these were garments that were pulled or stripped off, and hence used only on special occasions, "festal robes", "state gowns"; "holiday dresses" (cf. Zech. 3:4ff.). the over-tunics — Whether these were large flowing over-garments or whether they were undergarments is a matter of dispute.

The corresponding Arabic word means a "mantle."

the cloaks —"the shawls."

the purses — "pockets," and some think that these were pockets in which the previously mentioned shawls were placed, or which belonged to those shawls. The corresponding Arabic word has the same meaning.

23 Mirrors: small metallic mirrors. Others think that transparent clothing is intended; fine silk clothing; "garments of gauze."

the linen wrappers — Inner garments made of fine linen.

the turbans — collars: , "neck,"

Let’s consider the Word of God in 1 Peter this evening:

  Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. (1 Peter 3:3-6)



Hymn no 442:                   “Take time to be holy”


Threefold “Amen”

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