Tidings for Tuesday

And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtle dove for a sin offering, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, unto the priest. Leviticus 12:6

Gruesome stories are told in many parts of the world of the widespread abandonment of baby girls by families that wanted baby boys. Those stories include leaving the babies in the wild to be eaten by wild animals, tossing the babies in the garbage, and, in our own time, the aborting of female fetuses from the womb. In China, for example, because of the government’s barbaric law that limits families to having one child, girl babies are given up for adoption at birth, and China’s orphanages are overflowing with unwanted girls. Much of the world – especially the Mohammedan world – treats girls and women as of much less valuable than boys and men. Leviticus 12 might almost seem to show the Israelites were to move in that direction, until you read today’s text and see that boys and girls required the same sacrifices. Contrary to popular opinion, God does not have a gender bias.

Chapter 12 shows us that the period of purifying for a woman was twice as long if she delivered a girl than if she delivered a boy. Also, there was no rite similar to circumcision when it came to the girls. But those were minor issues compared to the sacrifices that were required for babies. Our text says the sacrifices were identical. And, if God sees the value of children to be the same, so should we. It is easy to elevate the role of men and boys in our Assemblies to be somehow more important than that of women and girls. Maybe that’s because the males in our Assemblies are give the vocal and public parts. But we need to be careful not to fall into the trap of viewing the vocal and public parts as more important. Like God, we should not be a respecter of persons in this matter.

Although sisters are prohibited by Scripture from participating audibly in Assembly teaching, there is no rule that says those same sisters are any less Bible scholars than the men. Sisters are also often much greater prayer warriors than are men. They are also capable of dispensing wise and valuable advice to young Christians. It is a wise young Christian who spends frequent time discussing spiritual things with the older sisters in the Assembly. As the showpiece rather than the mouthpiece of the Assembly, the sister plays a role every bit as valuable as that of the brothers.

It required the blood of God’s only begotten Son to cleanse the sins of every brother and sister; God views them of equal value. So should we. – Jim MacIntosh

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