The first passage today comes from the Prophet Isaiah:
16 The Lord said:
Because the daughters of Zion are haughty
and walk with outstretched necks,
glancing wantonly with their eyes,
mincing along as they go,
tinkling with their feet;
17 the Lord will smite with a scab
the heads of the daughters of Zion,
and the Lord will lay bare their secret parts.
18 In that day the Lord will take away the finery of the anklets, the headbands, and the crescents; 19 the pendants, the bracelets, and the scarfs; 20 the headdresses, the armlets, the sashes, the perfume boxes, and the amulets; 21 the signet rings and nose rings; 22 the festal robes, the mantles, the cloaks, and the handbags; 23 the garments of gauze, the linen garments, the turbans, and the veils.
24 Instead of perfume there will be rottenness;
and instead of a girdle, a rope;
and instead of well-set hair, baldness;
and instead of a rich robe, a girding of sackcloth;
instead of beauty, shame.
25 Your men shall fall by the sword
and your mighty men in battle.
26 And her gates shall lament and mourn;
ravaged, she shall sit upon the ground.
As I was reading through Isaiah again this passage stood out to me. It wasn’t so much the justice that God was going to mete, but the reasons for it. Haughtiness, pride, those are the things that provoke God to punish the women of Zion. And why not? They were proud in their prosperity, their wealth, their security. No longer did they hold fast to the Lord. In fact, they didn’t even think that they needed God anymore. And so the Lord decides to disabuse them of their misplaced sense of security of self.
Given the prosperity and wealth and security of the modern age here in the West, I think that most Christian women would do well to dwell upon reading these words, and tremble when thinking of what came after.
The second passage comes from 2 Peter:
14 Therefore, beloved, since you wait for these, be zealous to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15 And count the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
(2 Peter 3:14-18)
This passage, like a number of other passages in the New Testament, reveals that even early in the Church’s history there were those trying to twist scripture to fit their own purposes. Given that the apostles themselves had to combat heresy, why should it surprise us to see it so prevalent in general Christian culture today? Our Lord told us that the Truth would set us Free. The Adversary knows this, and so always endeavors to encourage deceit in men and women to keep the Truth buried beneath lies. Just like the apostles, we too need to confront and root out these lies whenever they show themselves. Otherwise they will take further hold in the hearts of the faithful and lead them astray. As for those who are not of the faith, they will never know it unless we bring these lies to light.