Pastor Foley’s sermon was entitled “A Wise Woman” from 2 Sam 20:14-22 about the wise woman negotiating with Joab and saving a city. He speaks of “Middlemarch” by George Elliot thought by some to be the greatest piece of English literature. He speaks of the character Dorothy Brook, a large hearted believer who marries an older man who is a preacher. Her desire to live her aspirations through the older man eventually kill him.
How to deal with women in church is the most substantial part of the pastoral epistles.
14 The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.
Alluding to Dorothy Brook he talks of Sarah’s efforts to help Abraham deal with his unfruitful ministry. We have examples of bad women such as Job’s wife or Ahab’s Jezebel. But, lets not forget the wise women. We see Moses listening to the daughters of Zelophehad and changing the laws of inheritance. Abigail defending her husband to David. We see that Joab listened to the wise woman, Moses listened to the daughters and then prayed and David listened and respected her. From 1 Peter we are to “dwell in understanding” living with the women of our lives with honor and dignity.
He then talks of the women seeing the resurrected Christ and are told to go and tell the men. They have been faithful while the disciples are hiding. Now they are to go and tell the men who are to be the leaders of the church. It was Abraham’s and Sarah’s faith that gave us the “therefore” of the fulfilled promise.
Back to “Middlemarch” where Dorothy Brook marries again and throws herself into the marriage giving herself to the husband. There were thoughts of her wasting her life and potential because of her honoring her marriage, he finishes with a quote that talked of a subtle diffusing of her wisdom and life in everything around her.