Day 9: Judges 6 – end, Ruth, 1 Samuel 1 – 9

A recent meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion issued this statement: “We acknowledged with grief that gender based violence is a global phenomenon and that all but a very small percentage of such violence is perpetrated by men against women, with devastating effects on individuals, families and society.” (Dublin, January 2011)

Reading today’s passage from the Book of Judges is sobering: not much seems to have changed. Abduction, provocation, revenge, prostitution, multiple rape, human sacrifice, murder, dismembering of bodies – women are victims of them all – and often at the hands of the so-called godly and ‘chosen’ men of God! The stories of Ahimelech, Jepthah and Samson portray women as ‘objects’, ‘playthings’, ‘possessions’ – hardly human at all – with whom men have their way, satisfying their sordid and evil lusts.

Yet it is through the faithfulness of women that God so often does his work. It is through the faithfulness of women that God brings to birth the great leaders of Israel (e.g. Ruth and Hannah). It is through the faithfulness of women that God ultimately makes himself known in Jesus Christ.

The picture is, of course, far from black and white. There are good men (like Boaz and Samuel) and evil women (like Micah’s mother); but today’s passage must surely cause us not only to rejoice in faithful women, but also to repent for our part in condoning their ongoing abuse through the ages and around the world. The Primates’ message comes not a moment too soon.

Vanessa Herrick

Read the Bible on line at Bible Study Tools. Today’s passage (NRSV) is here:


One Response

  1. I pray that we might come to the point when we are able to value and cherish everyone that God has created in His own image, for who they are, and not on gender, position, posessions or any other worldly viewpoint, just as Jesus did.
    Blessings in Jesus,

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