Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tabitha: A Woman of God

Last night, I went to my Wednesday night Bible study. We are going through Acts right now, and it's really fascinating and stirring. Acts 9:36-43 was one of the sections we went over. For some reason, I hadn't heard about Tabitha (aka Dorcas) as one of the leading women of God in the Bible. When I think women of God, I think of Deborah and Esther, Rachel and Sarah, Mary and Mary Magdalene. They all did important acts and outstanding deeds. But this woman Tabitha I have hardly even heard of. She doesn't have a book written about her, or even a whole chapter for that matter. A few verses in chapter 9 of Acts are hers, but even in so few words, a shining character comes forth.

"36Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. 37In those days she became ill and died, and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. 38Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, urging him, "Please come to us without delay." 39So Peter rose and went with them. And when he arrived, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them. 40But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, "Tabitha, arise." And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. 41And he gave her his hand and raised her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. 42And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. 43And he stayed in Joppa for many days with one Simon, a tanner."

Now, reading this at first may draw attention to the miracles of Peter. But I like to look at the least important and see their worth. First, it says that Tabitha was a disciple. That doesn't mean she was a pastor or a deacon. She was merely a follower of God out to evangelize. How did she evangelize? Through "good works and charity." Again, she didn't have to have a pulpit or a standing before hundreds of people. In verse 39, after Tabitha had died, the ladies that she associated with were heartbroken and were showing each other and Peter all of the tunics and other garments that she made for them. Tabitha's ministry was weaving and sewing. She used a talent that she had, as a woman, to minister to the women around her.

What did I take away from this? To be a disciple of Christ, you don't have to be miraculous or outstanding in worldly terms. You don't have to be named as a winner. You don't have to be known for miles around. But simple things like making clothes can reach the hearts of people far quicker than a loud sermon or an altar call.

"She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands... She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle." (Proverbs 31: 13, 19)


Nathaniel M said...

Wow... This is honestly really touching to me. Very good post, content & writing. I've never heard this concept be put into words so well - excellent job! Thanks for sharing... I believe that writing is one of God's gifts to you. I need to work more on using my gifts to glorify God...

Lydia said...

Thanks, Nathaniel :)

Nathaniel M said...

You're very welcome, Lydia :)