Sunday afternoon was our women’s Bible study and the 28th study we’ve had on the women of the Old Testament. This one took me all summer to prepare because the subject was the wrath of God as displayed in Jezebel’s death, and before I opened my mouth, I wanted to deepen my understanding, both of God’s wrath and of Christ’s substitutionary death for His people. Without thorough preparation, there was too much room for heresy! Plus, I was scared to teach it because I was a little too worried about whether the women would want to hear another study on Jezebel, having already heard two.
But by Sunday afternoon, God had met me, had provided great study resources and had warmed my own heart with His truths. He had reawakened me to the fury of the wrath I had escaped in Christ and to the preciousness of salvation, and I felt eager to share with the ladies 4 main things:
- That God is glorious, not only in His grace, but also in His vengeance;
- That we also are little Jezebel’s as witnessed by our own idolatry and thus deserving God’s wrath;
- That Jezebel’s judgment is a signpost God has graciously given which points ahead to the Day of Wrath and warns us to run to Christ;
- and finally, how in Christ we are saved from God’s wrath.
Okay, it was a lot to cover, and I knew the study might make the women uncomfortable, but I also knew that they needed far more than cooking lessons or fluffy or amusing little devotional talks. Like me, the women I know are fighting a daily battle against sin, and often losing. Like me, they need truth that will help them dwell as close to the cross as possible.
I know that. And yet this is how weak I am. The minute I stand in front of the ladies and begin to teach, all that certainty seems a million miles away.
I am so sinfully self-focused. Many times, even in the middle of teaching God-exalting truth, another distracting voice is superimposed on top. And it’s all about me. It keeps up a non-stop nagging commentary in my mind, saying, “Can’t you see how bored they all are, look, that one’s falling asleep! Whatever made you think that God wanted you to share such serious stuff? They’ll never come to your Bible study again. And so it happened Sunday. You won’t hear that voice on the CD but it was there, hammering away like a relentless woodpecker.
Yet praise God, He gave grace, and at a certain moment I felt the love for the truths I was teaching and the boldness of the Holy Spirit silence that other faithless voice. Now, two days later, what God may have done in the hearts of those who came is still largely unknown to me. But today I am praising God for what I myself learned, for the privilege of proclaiming it and for the promise that keeps me steadfast: our labor is not in vain in the Lord.