Lesson 12 – THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S SPIRITUAL CLOTHING
All Christians (men and women) should adorned themselves inwardly and outwardly with only what is fitting for one of God’s children. Our outward appearance should never shame the name of Jesus or our Heavenly father, nor should we have moth-eaten clothes or nakedness instead of the spiritual clothing God has intended. We know that man looks on the outward appearance while God looks at the heart (1 Sam. 16:7). “But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
So where should our focus be? Should we think only about our outward appearance?
Why do we spend so much time thinking about “take thought for” raiment (Matt. 6:24-34)? What should we do? Why?
Christian women know we brought nothing into this world and we will take nothing out. (1 Tim.6:7-9). “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.”
Most women want durable clothing, but what is it, and how do we get it? We know that only eternal things will endure. “And her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to the Lord: it shall not be treasured nor laid up; for her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before the Lord, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing” (Isa. 23:18). When men or women are subject to the authorities that God sets over them it is a beautiful thing before Him. Being subject to authority is being subject to God and not men. That is durable clothing.
Christian women should choose between outward adorning and the hidden heart (1 Pet. 3:1-4). When seeking the favor of God, the Christian woman will rend her heart and not her garments (Joel 2:12-13). Our Heavenly Father sees particular beauty in meekness. Fasting, afflicting our physical bodies or tearing our clothing is not what God wants; He wants us to turn to him and tear away every worldly thing from our hearts.
The Christian woman will adorned herself like the holy women of Old (1 Pet. 3:1-6). She also will adorn the doctrine of God (Titus 2:9-10). We notice that good fidelity (faithfulness) adorns, and in that way, we can be an attraction to God’s doctrine. Notice other things which may be bound on our heart (Pro. 6:20‑23; Pro. 7:2‑3)? We must believe the promises and have faith that His laws are good. That is beautiful in God’s sight. Fulfilling the covenant, which we make as Christians, is beautiful. Knowing and keeping His laws is also beautiful in God’s sight.
The Christian woman binds God’s words like frontlets between her eyes (Deut. 6:6-9; 11:18). Knowing and following the commandments our Heavenly Father makes us beautiful in His sight. Knowing the word and keeping it ever before us is also beautiful in God’s sight.
The Christian woman will clothe herself with humility (1 Pet. 5:5). God particularly favors those who humble themselves to submit. The humble will find more of His favor.
The Christian woman will clothe herself in strength and honor (Prov. 31:25). Spiritual strength is standing strongly for what is right and good. God praises (honors) those who are good in His sight.
The Christian woman avoids spiritual nakedness; she keeps (guards) her garments (Rev. 16:15). This was something the Laodiceans had not done. Will we guard our spiritual clothing so that we are not naked and shamed? “Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?” (Pro. 6:27-28). Women may understand this in both a physical sense and a spiritual sense too. We must guard our spiritual wardrobe.
How must we buy white raiment from Jesus (Rev. 3:18)? The Laodiceans were not clean and white. They were lukewarm and unconcerned for true holiness. They trusted in their own riches and had not clothed the inner man of the heart.
How does a bride adorn herself (Isa. 61:10)?
What is the wardrobe of the bride of Christ (Psa. 45:10-15)? The picture of walking in white is typical of a wedding ceremony. We know that faithful, worthy children of God will marry Christ. How can the Christian woman expect to walk with Jesus in white (Rev. 3:4)? White clothing indicates purity of heart and mind. White clothing is also symbolic of what is clean and pure. What else must we do or be to walk with Jesus in white (Rev. 3:5)?
As the bride of Christ, will we make ourselves ready (Rev. 19:7)? Christ’s bride must be fully clothed in righteousness. Will we be prepared and adorned to be the bride of Christ? The bride of Christ also is arrayed in fine linen. Let us note what the “fine linen” of the saints really is (Rev.19:8). “And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” Notice that the righteousness is the right acts or deedsof the saints. Will we be dressed in a fine linen wedding garment?
May God help us all to accomplish that goal.
It pays to know what we sing as well as it pays to obey the command to sing.
(SINCE) “THE LOVE OF GOD” (HAS SHED)
“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude v. 21)
INTRO.: A song which encourages us to keep ourselves in God’s love while looking to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life is “The Love of God” beginning “Since the love of God has shed” (#636 in Hymns for Worship Revised, #266 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text was written by Laurene Highfield, who, though her name is known, is next to anonymous, at least terrestrially as a songwriter. One source says that she was born at Quincy, IL, in 1870. What we do know about her is that she was a playwright, who lived in Adams County, IL, in 1900 and 1910. Some of the scripts attributed to her include The Usurper…
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Lesson 4: A LINEN EPHOD
“And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod” (2 Sam. 6:14).
Some believe David sinned by wearing the linen ephod in his worship. Although the linen ephod is primarily associated with the high priests‟ garments, it was by no means limited to the high priest.
The elaborately embroidered ephod was a garment which the Jewish high priest was required to wear when officially engaged in religious duties. (Exod. 28:4) Suspended from the shoulders, it covered both back and front like a tunic. On the shoulders were two onyx stones on which the names of the 12 tribes of Israel were engraved (Exod. 28:9-10, 39:6-7). Worn as an outer vestment, the ephod was held in at the waist by a twined linen girdle of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet. The breastplate with the Urim and Thummim was on top, held by golden chains and rings (Exod. 28:25-28, 39:19-21). The high priest was adorned in this fashion to symbolize the presence of God with his people.
Samuel wore an ephod (1 Sam. 2:18), and all of the priests with Ahimilech (the high priest at the time) wore ephods (1 Sam. 22:18) but not the elaborate garments of the high priests. There is no question but that the plain linen ephod was at least closely associated with the priesthood, but apparently the embroidered ephod was limited to the high priest. Samuel was a judge, a seer (1 Sam. 8:19) and a prophet, probably a priest, although the scriptures do not specify. Samuel was a descendent of Levi through Kohath (1 Chro. 6:38), the same tribe through which Aaron was descended (1 Chr. 6:1-3). His father was an Ephrathite, because he lived in Mt. Ephraim, but not because he was descended from the tribe of Ephraim. Hannah may have been of the tribe of Levi, but there is no record of it. Concerning Samuel’s ancestry, see 1 Samuel 7:9. “And Samuel took a sucking lamb and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the Lord: and Samuel cried unto the Lord for Israel; and the Lord heard him.” We know that King Saul was condemned for offering a sacrifice which only the priests and Levites could offer. Samuel was at least a Levite (if not a priest) or he would have been condemned along with King Saul. In any case, Samuel wore an ephod showing it was not limited to the high priest or even to the priests. David was a prophet (Acts 2:29-30) just as Samuel was a prophet, and thus authorized as much as Samuel to wear the ephod.
In 2 Samuel 6 we see David wearing a linen ephod as he is bringing the ark back to Jerusalem. It appears that Psalm 132 may be associated with the events of this chapter. The point we need to take from his wearing the ephod is that he was doing it “to the Lord” and not to men. He had removed his royal garments and was traveling among the priests who were bringing the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem. He commanded that animals be sacrificed every few feet as they went—obviously seeking the favor of the Almighty. His intent was to repair the breach that had been left between Israel and God ever since the Philistines had captured the ark during Eli’s time. Deeply dedicated to pleasing his Creator, King David worshiped and praised Him as he went that day. His dancing was to the Lord and not to men and his wearing the ephod was for that purpose as well.
After Uzzah’s death, David must have searched God’s laws diligently to understand why the Lord was not pleased the last time they tried to bring back the ark, and now he is making sure everything is according to law. Can we also be equally concerned about our worship to the Lord that we do what is pleasing in His sight? Are we concerned with our actions and even our clothing that we not bring shame but glory to the God who created us?
- Using an ordinary dictionary, find out how linen is made.
- Using 28:6-14; Exod. 28:31-35and Exod. 25:7 as your sources, describe the ephod in detail. Be sure to give the purpose of the ephod.
- For what did Abiathar use the ephod (1 Sam. 30:7-9)?
- How many people wore the ephod all at one time (1 Sam. 22:18)?
- For what did Micah use the ephod (Judges 17:5)?
- What is said about Samuel wearing an ephod?
- How did Gideon’s ephod cause the people to sin? Tell what happened to it (Judges 8:24-27).
- Using a Strong’s Concordance search the scriptures to find out more about the ark and the reasons it was taken by the Philistines.
- Read Psalm 132 comparing it to events in 2 Samuel 6.
- What happened the first time David tried to bring the ark back to Jerusalem?
- What was the prophecy concerning the absence of the Ephod from Israel ( 3:4)?
- Many people say it really does not matter what we wear when we worship God. How should we answer that statement