Rise up, you women who are at ease, hear my voice; you complacent daughters, give ear to my speech . . . you will shudder, you complacent women; for the grape harvest fails, the fruit harvest will not come. Isaiah 32:9-10 ESV
I find it interesting that this passage speaks specifically to women. The warning? If women are complacent, the harvest will fail.
I can’t help thinking of Jesus’ declaration in John 15:5, 8.
I am the vine; you are the branches . . . By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
Rise up, complacent daughters, or the fruit harvest will not come.
On Sunday we celebrate Mother’s Day. We set apart that day to honor women, applauding the influence we have in raising up the next generation.
But I’d like to take this time to speak to all women. And, if you’re willing to listen, to the men who have the potential to either encourage or repress.
You, precious daughter, have a significant role to play in reaping the Kingdom harvest.
The enemy knows it. And he wants to suppress it.
Perhaps you have believed his propaganda declaring that women have a lesser role. Jesus did, after all choose twelve men as His Disciples. And I can’t find anywhere that the names of the women who loved and served Jesus will be inscribed on the foundations of the New Jerusalem.
Yes. Satan easily convinces us that even God Himself holds women in a lesser regard.
This might be a good place to remind us that only together can man and woman fully reveal God’s image.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. . . . and behold, it was very good. Genesis 1:27, 31
In fact, the only place that God used the words not good in the creation story was Genesis 2:18.
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
Yep. Man without woman: Not Good.
Yet the message resounding throughout almost every culture and religion translates a little differently —woman: not as good. Veiled faces and withheld rights proclaim it. Our own nation’s history reveals it. And even today, women are regarded as property, sold as slaves.
Have you ever considered where it all comes from, dear one? I’ll give you a hint. The prince of this world sets its agenda, manipulating hearts and minds. But why would he direct so much attention toward devaluing women?
Consider God’s words in Genesis 3:15, spoken to Satan at the time of the fall.
“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
In case you’re wondering, enmity is hatred or hostility. Notice that man is excluded from God’s prophecy. That’s because earthly man would have nothing do with the deliverance God promised to bring. God Himself stepped into that role.
But He did use a woman.
This is why Satan has worked throughout history to crush women, beloved. He hates us, because God told him that He would bring deliverance through us.
And He kept His promise. From the womb of a virgin, a Deliverer emerged. God’s own Son crushed the serpent’s head. The serpent has not forgiven us.
But I think his hatred is also rooted in fear. You see, God’s Word is eternal and never returns void. So it’s still true, dear one. What God will birth from His seed planted within a woman still holds the power to crush the enemy’s head. He may bruise her heel, but the seed within her ensures her victory.
So you see, the enemy must convince woman she does not hold the power she wields. Otherwise, she will crush him.
Will you believe, dear one? Will you believe that Jesus sees eternal value in you that perhaps you cannot? Would you believe He has purposed great victories through you by the seed of His Word implanted within you?
Jesus spent His earthly life countering the enemy’s message that women have lesser value. He stood alone to rescue a condemned adulteress from being stoned, counting her life precious. He proclaimed Himself to be the Messiah for the first time to a woman—a woman considered an outcast in her town. And He revealed Himself after His resurrection first to Mary Magdalene, who happened to be in a garden.
That particular scene brings tears when I think of the whispers I entertained before stepping out in ministry—whispers that said, “Women have no place proclaiming Truth. That job belongs to the men.”
Jesus saw things differently. You see, Mary hadn’t been alone that day visiting the empty tomb. Peter and John had run there ahead of her. The disciples left when they found it empty, but Mary remained, weeping.
It strikes me that Jesus waited for Peter and John to leave before revealing Himself to Mary.
No, God didn’t say that Mary’s name would be inscribed on the foundations of the New Jerusalem. But Jesus loved her, and He chose to meet her in her grief. Then He gave her a job.
“Go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her. John 20:17-18
It seems the Apostles received a Word from Jesus through a woman.
Don’t let the enemy rob you of your value, dear one. Know whose you are, and that you are accepted in the Beloved.
Yes, men of God hold great value. But so do you.