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The Gender of Leadership
"At a lodging place on the way the LORD met him [Moses]  and sought to put him to death".
God was going to kill Moses after commissioning him – even before he got back to Egypt!
Exodus 4:24
for the sake of peace in his home, Moses had submitted to his wife's decision not to apply to their own son the circumcision-sign of God's promise-of-the-land given to Abraham for Isaac's descendants, and so applicable to Moses' own people in their Egyptian bondage.
Genesis 17:1-19.
But as her husband, he had had no right to defer to her decision, even though God had already commissioned him to lead Israel out of Egypt to that promised land.
Moses' wife was forced to choose between the death of her husband and the pain of her son. Zipporah chose unwillingly, but she chose, and so saved her husband's life.
"Then [Moses wife] Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son's foreskin and touched Moses' feet with it and said, 'Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!' So He [God] let him alone. It was then that she said, 'A bridegroom of blood,' because of the circumcision."
Exodus 4:25-26.
had been an issue of a husband's leadership in his home, but it was more than this.
It was an issue of God's design of the relationship between a man and a woman from the beginning. The Holy Spirit speaking through Paul taught the early Christians –
1 Timothy 2:12-14,
not inferiority, simply
psychological difference
"I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.
For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.
is saying that the order of human creation of male and female indicates a psychological difference between between them in their reaction to the same situation, the temptation. In other words, it is not a design flaw in the female, but a purposeful difference, in which special responsibility for leadership is designed into the male.
Of course, this means that when there is no male available or willing, then a woman is responsible to do what is necessary – to the shame of the men; and the Bible gives us an example of this in Deborah to help our understanding, to Barak's shame
was leader in Israel when her people's spiritual unfaithfulness had turned it into enemy-occupied territory. She spoke by the Holy Spirit that their nominal leader Barak should rally his troops against their enemy. In his unbelief he insisted that she accompany him, and Deborah prophesied that therefore God would give the victory to a woman, shaming Barak (Jud.4,5). He no doubt thought at the time that her prophecy meant the woman concerned was Deborah herself.
Instead, the great enemy leader is killed single-handedly by Jael, a woman who was not even an Israelite, thus shaming Barak's entire nation (Judges 4:22).
So in
God's design of male and female, equality is not equivalency. The male was specially designed to lead –
"For man was not made from woman, but woman from man.
Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.
That is why a woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, for the sake of the angels."
1 Corinthians 11:8-10
as witnesses of creation,
and God's consistency
Some would make out that this reference to 'angels' concerns the sexual aberration before the Flood and it somehow prevents this occurring again by marking out the wife as her husband's property. This is not so, for then it would apply only to married women, whereas the basis of the Bible teaching here is the sequence of human creation. Leadership lies with the male by design, not with the female. The angels are eyewitnesses of God's original intention. They were there, and are witnesses to the consistency of God.
is not a personal issue!
Yes, at the most intimate personal level, there is to be complete equality between a husband and his wife, or between a wife and her husband.
"For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does.
Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does."
1 Corinthians 7:4
But the leadership issue is a social issue that applies in the home and in the church.
It does not mean that if no man is able to lead that no one should lead. Of course not. But it does mean that male and female are not equivalent substitutes for each other. As the Lord showed us in His dealing with Israel, recorded for our instruction – prophetesses yes; priestesses no.
Therefore –
"...the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church..."
Ephesians 5:23
the closer we come to the return of our blessed Lord, the more is expected of us as the people of God – to apply all aspects of His precious Word, as the Holy Spirit prepares Christ's Church for that awesome union.
Church Ministry Church Meetings Head Covering God's Mind on Marriage
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