Welcome to our next seat of focus in this emphasis on royal posture. It is the seat of the strange woman. Seat offers us a few applications: the position of the heart, the place of rest or stopping, one’s nature, attitude, lifestyle, perspective, and judgment (or decision-making ability).
I know that “strange woman” evokes certain images, depending on our exposure to teaching. So, let’s get on the same Bible page, okay? The first mention of strange is in Genesis 35:2. It reads,
Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:
Jacob was running from the city of Shalem, where his daughter Dinah was “defiled” (34:27). Chapter 35 begins with God telling Jacob to go and dwell in Bethel and to build an altar. Then God makes a comparison for Jacob — Just like I appeared to you when you fled from Esau, now I will appear in Bethel when you go there, settle, and build an altar (35:1). The latter is inferred, and becomes Jacob’s motivation for moving.
Jacob’s next move was to command his household to prepare themselves to be near God (as they were connected to him), and here’s how the events unfolded:
- Put away the strange gods among you (v. 2)
- Be clean (v. 2)
- Change your garments (v. 2)
- Let’s arise and go up to Bethel (v. 3)
- In Bethel I will make an altar to God, who has a habit of answering me in my distressing times (v. 3)
- Jacob collected their strange gods and earrings and hid them under an oak tree by the city of Shechem (v. 4)
This first mention of strange provides context for our evaluation of the strange woman, and how to approach this lesson series. Common meanings include foreign, alien, unusual, and belonging to another. As we go and grow in these lessons consider a review of the Law concerning the strange peoples. They were not allowed to touch holy things.
For us, this lesson series is an invitation to go up to Bethel. That is, to 1) remember that God is able to meet us in a foreign place; 2) put away strange gods (if any) in our vicinity; 3) consider the necessary sacrifice (on what memory or “place” do we build the altar); and 4) declare last rites over the strange gods.
I am certain that others will come to mind…as Kingdom Queens though, we run the Word through us first. In the words of Johnny Cash, “…because You’re mine, I walk the line.” It’s going to get a little tight in this series, but stay with God and stay with me. We go and grow together, and address the feelings that come up along the way with our study. All will lead us to the truth we seek, and the truth that is seeking us (Palmer, 1993).
Join us next Tuesday, October 1st at 8PM Central (218.862.6400, code 6360503).
Reference: Palmer, P. J. To know as we are known:Education as a spiritual journey. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco.