(The Single Woman Series – Batch 2)
What did Rebekah, Zipporah and Ruth all have in common?
While you figure it out, let’s have a little chat. Have you ever imagined, like I have, where you will meet your husband? You have no idea when but you find yourself wondering if it will be at next Sunday’s service or that concert you’ve purchased a ticket for or that camp you’ve decide to attend. Maybe you’ve signed up for an academic course or are going overseas to pursue your career and you’re thinking, maybe, just maybe, I’ll meet him this time.
It is good to be optimistic and to keep the hope alive. However, as am sure you may have realized by now, try as you might, God cannot be figured out.
I have been there. I am quite the analytical kind of person and I like to figure everything out in advance. However, when it comes to God and his ways, I am always stumped. For example, we have this special thing together with the rainbow. To me, whenever I see it, it is his way of reminding me that he is with me, no matter what I am going through and that everything is going to work out fine.
Many days I have found myself deliberately looking up at the sky, especially when in the middle of a spiritual storm in my life but search as I may, I never catch a glimpse of a rainbow. Even when rain has fallen or the sky is overcast and the clouds bursting with rain about to pour, even when I am sure that there must be a rainbow lurking somewhere, when I look up, I never see one. However, God has chosen to plant a rainbow in the sky and to allow me to suddenly see it, every time when I least expected it and was not even looking.
Imagine my shock and gasp every time I suddenly happened to look up at the sky quite casually and with nothing in mind and see the beautiful array of magnificent colours! There was even one morning on a day when I was going through a lot of adversity my life. I was walking a little distance out from where I live, to get a taxi on my way to work. Absolutely no rain was falling and the place was bright like a normal sunny day. I therefore wasn’t looking. I wasn’t expecting it. Yet then, as my eyes accidentally looked up, there it was in all its glory!
I couldn’t believe my eyes so I took pictures, then called one of my brothers to tell them the strange thing that had happened. Who would have ever thought it? A rainbow on a sun-shiny day! To me, that was God’s way of saying to me: I am in control. Stop over-thinking things. I will bring the one I have ordained for you to marry when you don’t know he is coming.
Anyway, I have digressed a bit from the topic. My question to you at the beginning was what did Rebekah, Zipporah and Ruth have in common? Have you given it some thought?
The answer is this: They were all discovered for marriage by their spouses or someone representing their spouses, while they were busy WORKING!!!!!
Whoooaah! I know. That’s a big one.
Be patient and stay with me. I am going to take it even further.
Let’s look firstly at Zipporah. Exodus 2:16-21 states:
- “…But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well. Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came to draw water and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them and watered their flock. And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon today? And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds and also drew water enough for us and watered the flock. And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? Why is it that ye have left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread. And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.”
When Zipporah met Moses who turned out to be her future husband and the father of her children, she wasn’t home on her bed fantasizing lazily about Prince Charming and what he would look like. She wasn’t sitting in a corner somewhere doing absolutely nothing and feeling sorry for her single self. She was out and about and working for her father. I wouldn’t be surprised if the other six (6) sisters also ended up marrying because they were workers too!
Now let’s take a stroll back in time to Genesis, when Rebekah’s love story emerged.
Abraham, a wealthy man of God was getting really old and wanted his son to marry and settle down in his own family. He therefore sent a trusted servant of his, miles away to an area where he used to live, to search with God’s guidance, for a wife for him.
The servant took his journey obediently and when he arrived, stopped at a well of water with his camels. Whether strategically or coincidentally, the Bible states that he went to that well “…at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water.”
Did you see that? He was positioned, whether of himself or by God, in the place and at the VERY time, when women were used to going out to WORK!
Him being in the right place and at the right time, he did not leave it there but he prayed to God asking him specifically, to lead him to the woman he wanted his Master’s son to marry.
The Bible says that before he had even finished praying his prayer to God:
- “…behold, Rebekah came out…with her pitcher upon her shoulder…and she went down to the well and filled her pitcher and came up. And the servant ran to meet her and said, Let me, I pray thee, drink a little water of thy pitcher. And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted and let down her pitcher upon her hand and gave him drink. And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking. And she hasted and emptied her pitcher into the trough and ran again unto the well to draw water and drew for all his camels.”
Now note that she did all of this, without the promise or expectation of a marriage proposal from anyone and without even knowing that a wealthy, attractive, God-fearing man was at the end of it. She had a genuine heart and a mind to WORK and to SERVE others.
When Abraham’s servant, who was the ticket to her becoming Mrs. Isaac came, had she been at home eating everything in sight and wallowing in self-pity because no man had come yet or being filled with bitterness and envy because other friends and family members had gotten spouses and not her, then she would have missed this opportunity. For, her time for love had come and the servant discerned that she was the woman that God had chosen to be Isaac’s beloved wife.
In faith, she returned to where Isaac lived with his father and married him and God gives us a snapshot into their lives when the Bible states that Isaac loved her, so much so that she brought comfort to him after his mother’s death.
Finally, there is the famous story of Ruth the Moabite.
Instead of sitting around home feeling sorry for herself and hopeless because her husband had died and she was childless and penniless and had nothing to eat and was in a land that was not her own and in fact, a land where Moabites were scorned and looked down at by the Israelites, she decided to selflessly go out to WORK somewhere, so as to feed herself and her poor aging Mother-in-Law.
It was while she was in the field, picking up the corn that fell from the reapers, that she too was DISCOVERED! Ruth 2 states:
- “And she went and came and gleaned in the field after the reapers and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz…And behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem and said unto the reapers, The Lord be with you. And they answered him, The Lord bless thee. Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this? And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab.”
The rest is history.
What am I trying to say?
I’m saying that these women were all discovered for marriage, while they were busily in the process of WORKING. They were not preoccupied with their biological clock. Ruth sure wasn’t or else she would have gone back to her people in Moab as Orpah had chosen to do. For, accompanying Naomi back to her homeland, appeared to be a choice by Ruth, to kiss all of her dreams of remarrying goodbye or to at least place them on the backburner.
What Rebekah, Zipporah and Ruth have in common is that they were not sitting in a corner somewhere twiddling their thumbs or being bitter and angry at God because they were single and in Ruth’s case, widowed. They went OUT and got busy doing something.
Now, how does this compare to you and I? Many women will say, Well I have a job so I’m good. However, I am using these examples and applying them to the SPIRITUAL WORK that God has called ALL of his Christian daughters to do, for HIM. He has said that the harvest (for the salvation of souls) is plenty but that the labourers (those who are working on this cause) are few.
Why is that? This is because in addition to other reasons, many women who profess Christianity are just sitting around, waiting on MR RIGHT to come and woo them and marry them and put them in a house and give them babies and in the meanwhile, they are doing NOTHING or hardly anything for God.
God has given them a gift or in some cases gifts and he has also equipped them with talents to be used for the benefit of society but they choose to sit on them. They have resolved that they will start to use them to witness to lost souls and to edify the body of Christ, AFTER the man comes.
This is so sad. A Christian woman’s single years are blessed years, although there are times when, admittedly, you will find yourself longing for a family of your own. Nothing is wrong with that. That is a good desire to have. It is when you become preoccupied with the status of marriage, to the point where you cease doing anything worthwhile for God’s Kingdom, that the problem lies.
During your single days, weeks, months or in my case years, it provides a wonderful opportunity for you to get to really know yourself, to grow deeper in your love story with the Lord and to reach others for his name’s sake.
I am still in my season of singleness and when I look back on my past single years (and it has been many), I can’t say that I have always been strong or jovial or that I have always appreciated my singleness but I have had some good times with just me and the Lord. Were a man to never come, I have already experienced the best of love stories, thanks to Jesus, the lover of my soul.
My Lord has been there when I cried and when I rejoiced, when I was afraid and when I was confident, when I was up and when I was down. He understands me like nobody ever has and ever will and in retrospect, my single years have been wonderful through Christ Jesus!
He has achieved so much in me during these years and helped me to grow so much spiritually that I am grateful. He has had me teach two Sunday School classes, attend a camp in my late adolescent years as a Counselor for young children, chair a Woman’s Convention at my Church, join the Church choir, attend some Christian Weekend Workshops at a sister’s home, visit the Home for the Aged, write a book about my life and his goodness (not yet finished), pen several Articles about Christianity, Faith and Relationships, witness to people in the bus, on the streets and at the workplace, develop my praise warrior skills, spread his message of love and faithfulness through songs of deliverance, birth and develop a wonderful business idea I am passionate about, along the lines of my talents, my skills and professional experience (although not yet launched) and the list goes on!
I believe that he has also had me prepare for when THE ONE he is sending me comes, by having me listen for at least five years almost every week, to at least two radio programmes on christian relationships and understanding men. I believe he had me compile a list (although I didn’t want to initially), of what I am looking for in a spouse (mainly spiritual traits) and record details as to the approach I intend to take to protect my heart and glorify God at each stage of my one-day relationship, from presentation, to courting, to engagement, to marriage.
I have even created my own cookbook on my computer with dozens of recipes I found or tried and that I intend to use to feed the family I am trusting God to give me.
So, my single years have indeed been a blessing. I am sure that marriage will be too, as both come with their benefits. I have learned though, that whatever season God has you in, embrace it and thank him for it.
During this single season, I have not even tapped into my full potential but the important thing is God never has me just sitting down at any point in my life and doing nothing. Yes I have had my low moments and moments where I longed for THE ONE to come but God has had me doing some kind of WORK for his Kingdom throughout my single years (ironically, even when I was without secular employment) and I am grateful.
God can do anything and he can provide a spouse for you even if you are not actively working for him and his Kingdom but why should he? He says quite clearly in his Word, “…seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)
It doesn’t matter your age or how many of your friends are already married or how much you long to be called somebody’s wife. Put that longing on the back-burner like Ruth and go OUT and WORK for God. Let your hands get busy doing something for his glory. It doesn’t have to be something big. You can start small. You don’t need a whole lot to do a little good.
People are dying to a lost eternity everyday, while you sit there obsessing and even idolizing (and I have been guilty of this too on some occasions) over getting a husband or monitoring the progress of others who God has chosen to bless with a spouse. Maybe God has chosen to bless you with one too but maybe it is just not the time he has set as yet, according to HIS timetable.
It is your time to WORK. This does not mean that when you are married, you are no longer expected to toil in your heavenly Father’s field but given that you don’t have a husband to give your loving to at the moment, you can choose to give ALL your loving to your heavenly Father.
Zipporah, Rebekah and Ruth are only three women in a Bible full of women, who may have met their significant others in a variety of ways but it is certainly noteworthy that they were all preoccupied with WORKING when they were found for marriage. It is also important to note that the men they married were not ordinary men. They were special, spiritually strong, of noble character and God-sent.
Go work in God’s vineyard with all you’ve got while you’ve got your singleness. When God is satisfied with your spiritual WORK ETHIC, he may very well decide (although this is not a guarantee), to send you a man that exceeds your wildest dreams.
That ought not to be the reason why you work though. Zipporah, Rebekah and Ruth all worked with a pure heart, not trying to manipulate God into getting them down the aisle. You can’t fool God, so don’t even try. He wants you to get to the place where you love him more than the idea of having a loving husband and family in your life and where he is your first love. Do what you know he wants you to do and do so willingly and wholeheartedly. Go spread the gospel and use your gifts to edify, encourage and build up other Christians.
Now, as a single woman, I know that there are days when you may not feel like it but still will yourself to do it. Ruth may not have felt like going out in the field to bend her back and walk behind the reapers and pick up the corn they dropped. It may have even been considered to be an activity that was shameful! Worse yet if the sun was out and scorching.
Zipporah may not have felt like going to the well, knowing that the shepherds there always made things difficult for she and her sisters but guess what? Ruth and Zipporah were not deterred by the challenge. They still went!
This was because the cause was greater than their discomfort! And guess what? When they least expected it, they were rewarded. All three women got married to men that were of such high quality, that today, we women would refer to them as society’s most eligible bachelors.
What are you waiting for? GET TO WORK!
(Written on: 26th September, 2016)
Dear Reader, If you found this Article to be useful, informative or interesting, you may also be interested in reading the following:
- Note 59 – ‘Nine (9) Tips For The Single Woman Hoping To Be Married’
- Note 72 – ‘Qualities That Got Women Noticed And Eventually Married To
Good Men In The Bible’
- Note 240 – ‘Serve God Wherever And In Whatever You Are Called‘
Additionally, under the ‘BIBLE-BELIEVING Daughters of God’ Page:
- Note 169 – ‘The Christian’s Mandate: Go‘