#DailyDevotion The Birth Of The Child Guides Our Lives
1 Tim. 29Women should dress in decent clothes, modestly and properly, without braiding their hair, without gold, pearls or expensive dresses 10but, as it is proper for women who promise to worship God, with good works. 11A woman should learn in silence, completely submitting herself. 12I don’t allow a woman to teach nor to have authority over a man; she should keep silent. 13The reason is that Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14And Adam wasn’t deceived; the woman was deceived and so fell into sin. 15But women, through the birth of the Child, will be saved if they live in faith, love, and holiness, and use good judgment.
After giving men some directions on prayer, Paul turns his attention to the women of the congregation. What? Do women not pray? But I think these directions he is giving to Timothy, because he is the pastor have to do with the corporate worship life, not the private lives of his members. So, again, with the women, when they come to worship, they need not doll themselves up. They are not coming to attract a husband but to worship their Lord Jesus Christ who can see their hearts, their best duds won’t impress him. Instead it is proper for women who promise to worship God dress up with good works. Yes, their proper adornment for the worship of God is the works born of faith throughout the week.
Then comes this passage which tends to drive feminist crazy but should not any woman who is born of God. Paul says that women should learn in silence, submitting herself. We are talking in the context of worship. Now I’m not sure but I can only guess that in the synagogue worship the men could ask questions of the rabbi who was teaching. Now this is not some one off of Paul. In 1 Corinthians, the same letter feminists like to point to because Paul says women should prophesy with their heads covered also says in chapter 1434”the women should be silent in church because they are not allowed to speak. They should submit, as the Law says. 35If there is something they want to know, they should ask their husbands at home. It is a disgrace for a woman to speak in church.”
Paul then gives the reason, Adam was formed first then Eve. On top of that the woman was deceived but Adam wasn’t. Now to be honest, there are some today to say when Paul says men and women, he is referring to husbands and wives because the words in Greek mean the same thing. Well there is something to that. Most certainly wives should be submissive to their husbands, just as husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the Church. Here in Timothy though, in the context of worship (not every interaction of men and women in society), they are modeling Christ and his bride the Church. So I don’t think it’s wives not talking to their husbands but speaking with authority. In the Church, during worship, men should have authority over women. It is a return to the relationship before the Fall.
Funny enough that Paul mentions the Fall as women should not have authority over men because Eve was deceived. The corollary is not only was Adam not deceived; he sinned outright. He knew what he was doing. Never the less, men are given the responsibility for leading worship, teaching and preaching in the Church and the home. Finally, there is the enigmatic statement from Paul 15”But women, through the birth of the Child, will be saved…” The text doesn’t say women there. The verb just says he/she/it will be saved. Paul has been arguing Adam then Eve. One could say, “He will be saved.” Then the verbs in the rest of verse turn to plural. Of course we are all saved through the birth of the Child, the child Jesus. The promised one in Gen. 3:15, 22:18 and Luke 1:31. His birth saves us if we remain in love, godliness and holiness with sober thinking. The important thing for us is the birth of the child, Jesus who fulfills the covenant for us, for our salvation. Everything else flows from that act of love.
Almighty and merciful God, grant us your Holy Spirit that we may in true humility submit to your will and your ways, to the glory of the name of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord in who name we pray. Amen.