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Far Above Rubies

Far Above Rubies
by Herman Hanko

Today's Virtuous Woman

£8.00 + £0.80 (P&P) = £8.80
195 Pages
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Many books concerning the place of women in the kingdom of God are negative. Women may not preach; women may not be elders; women may not be deacons. This book, however, seeks to do more than affirm that women are excluded from the special offices of the church. Their positive contribution, a vital one, an indispensable one is set forth.

Far Above Rubies extols God-fearing women and underlines their importance. Without godly and pious women the Church could not survive. Infected by feminism, many in the professing church-world view the work of the home as "an intolerable bore" (p. 136).  However, as the book points out, "the Scriptures do not present it that way. The Scriptures speak rather of the fact that there are few, if any, callings in all of life that are more noble than the calling [of] Christian mothers" (p. 136). Bringing forth children was the hope of Old Testament women, because they believed that the Seed of the women (Gen. 3:15) would bring salvation: they longed to bring forth the Christ. That is why women like Jehosheba (II Chron. 22:11) risked life-and-limb to save the seed royal during the dark days of godless Athaliah; that is why Hannah poured out her heart for a son during the apostate days of the judges (I Sam. 1:11). New Testament women bring forth the church, future members of Christ's body.

One contributor describes the role of covenant mothers as "shaking Satan's kingdom" because "there is no sound more grating to the ears of Satan than the groans of mothers bringing forth the true Israel. In that cry he does not gloat. Who knows what these little ones will grow up to be and how they will withstand his kingdom!" (p. 80).

Feminists claim that Christians and the Bible are "against" women, because the Bible does not allow women to hold special offices in the Church. Far Above Rubies demonstrates that only the biblical position is for women': "the Bible has the woman's own best interests in view, and prescribes what is best for the woman herself" (p. 158).  Office-bearers are not lords over God's people (I Pet. 5:3), rather "to occupy a place of authority means very, very simply that you be a slave to God's people, the lowliest of slaves to God's people" (p. 133) so the idea that forbidding women office is to treat them as inferiors is mistaken. Another contributor reminds us that the Bible is "very concerned to guard against the headship of the man being interpreted to justify a harsh, tyrannical, domineering rule of the man over the woman" (p. 159).  Facing the objections head-on, he dismisses as ridiculous and a mere emotional appeal the argument that not to ordain women is to waste their gifts, and he issues this challenge to those who believe the Bible is culturally-conditioned: "Do you suppose for one minute that the Lord Jesus would allow Himself to be pressured by the cultural situation of His day? Did He ever cave in to the prejudices and wrongs of the culture of His day?" (p. 169)  Such a rhetorical question ought to silence all objection.  At stake is the doctrine of Scripture.

There is also practical advice on finding a godly woman and maintaining a godly marriage: "Young men even in the church often look only for a woman with physical attractiveness and charm. And if a girl lacks what the advertisers are looking for in a 'cover girl', even if she is marked by godliness and the fear of the Lord, then many young men in the church look away from her. Who is looking for a virtuous woman? I warn you, if you look for less, then the Lord may well give you what you are looking for, and you can spend a life-time learning that 'favour is deceitful and beauty is vain.' How many men are there, even in the church, whose lives are a little bit like hell, because God gave them that pretty she-devil that they were seeking?" (p. 8).  This is the stark warning to young men in the church.

The daughters of Sarah, therefore, ought not to envy the godless women of the world, for "generally speaking there has never been a more troubled, dissatisfied, unhappy and ungodly woman than the modern emancipated American woman" (p. 66), writes one contributor. Rather they ought to find satisfaction and fulfilment in their God-given role. The Proverb says of the virtuous woman, "Her children rise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her" (31:28). Thus this book will also encourage the men of the church to bless God for their godly wives, mothers and sisters.

This book was reviewed in the Standard Bearer.  Click here to read this review.

To read chapter 7 of this book in Afrikaans, click here.

To read chapter 11 of this book in Afrikaans, click here.