Rejoicing Women - First in a Series
Rejoice always (IThess 5:16), rejoice in the Lord always (Phil 4:4), rejoice whatever your circumstances (Jas 1:9; Hab 3:18), rejoice when you suffer for Christ (1 Peter 4:13); when you rejoice, there is great glory! (Prov 28:12). Those who seek the Lord shall rejoice (Ps 105:3); particularly, the righteous are to rejoice, and to rejoice together in the place where God is worshipped (Deut 12:12; 16:11) and in remembrance of his mighty works of deliverance (Lev 23:40; Deut 27:7).
Fullness of joy in Christ is a healing feeling. It is not as the fleeting joy that watching sports or movies may furnish, nor even as the joy of personal achievement. A "winner" may still have a cold heart, but Christian rejoicing has to do with a warm heart. We cannot be lukewarm and rejoice.
Let's look at instances of women rejoicing in Scripture. What do these stories teach us today? The first story is Miriam's as she led women in song.
Miriam, the sister of Moses, watched over him when his mother set him in an ark near the river's edge, to hide him from Pharaoh who had ordered his midwives to kill all the Hebrew male babies. When Pharaoh's daughter sought to keep him alive, Miriam found a wet nurse for her, Moses' own mother.
Miriam was a prophetess (Ex 15:20) who spoke for the Lord, which at one time swelled her head in opposition to Moses (Num 12:2), but her rejoicing in Exodus 15 echoes her brother's words. He led the men in song after the Lord saved their lives by heaving the parted waters of the Red Sea over the Egyptians as they pursued the Hebrews to the death: I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.… (Ex 15:1)
… Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. (Ex 15:21) She led all the women in song and dance with a timbrel in her hand.
When good men rejoice and praise God for his help and salvation, good women should testify in response. If you have good men in your life, be supportive, and rejoice when they rejoice, and weep when they weep (Rom 12:15).
But what if you have bad men in your life? Know that the Lord sees you and in time will deliver you. He waits in order to be gracious to you (Is 30:18).
Let all rejoice that in Christ There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal 3:28).
Christian sisters are not covered in black garb, but with all God's men we are invited to exchange the spirit of heaviness for the garment of praise (Is 61:3).
Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all [ye that are] upright in heart (Psa 32:11).
Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, Rejoice (Phil 4:4).