In her book, Bad Girls of the Bible – And What We Can Learn from Them, Liz Curtis Higgs takes us on a wonderful adventure looking at the ten best-known femmes fatales found in Scripture. Mrs. Higgs has a wonderful insight into these women and their struggles and personalities, and what they can teach us today. Her blog on this book is HERE. This Epiphany study covers eight to ten weeks.
She says that when she became a Christian and began studying the women of the Bible she failed to identify with the saintly women of the Bible. But, as writes, “Something clicked inside of me when I happened upon Jezebel.”
The story of Eve is the story of what causes sinful desires within us and how we can, in looking at Eve, hopefully overcome or avoid these desires.
As presented by Higgs, the first important part of the story of Eve is her equal dignity. She is not created by God to be subservient to Adam.
As you read through the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife in Genesis 39, look at the different layers of indiscretion we encounter.
This story has an interesting life after the Scriptures. In later rabbinic literature and in the Koran, this story is reworked with some of the gaps in the Biblical narratives filled in or changed.
How is the story of Lot’s wife a wonderful example of the dangers of remaining in the past or the dangers of having an affinity with those to whom we do not belong?
The sin of Sodom, therefore, goes beyond inhospitality and sexual lust for heavenly beings. Ezekiel’s statement also gives us an insight into Mrs. Lot’s character and why she longingly looked back to her life in the city.
The Samaritan woman at the Well was an outcast of an outcast of a marginalized group. As you read through the story, keep in mind her complete lack of any social standing.
This outcast Samaritan woman we meet at the well becomes the first apostle. After this encounter, John tells us that she left her water jar and went back to the village to proclaim Jesus, and “many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony.”
The story of Samson and Delilah is one of the great romantic tragedies in Scripture. . . . As pointed out by Mrs. Higgs, Delilah is a complex character with many unknowns.
My, my, my, Delilah / Why, why, why, Delilah / I could see, that girl was no good for me / But I was lost like a slave that no man could free.
In Scripture, Rahab goes from being a Canaanite common prostitute to being one of the greatest examples of faith and the direct ancestor of Jesus. Her story of faith and redemption may be the greatest told in all of Scripture.
The story of Rahab, therefore, isn’t simply the story of a person who may have lived long ago, but is the very present story of the Church. As we read about Rahab tonight, think about how Rahab’s story is our story.
Jezebel is a very complicated person. She is evil. On the other hand, she is simply a strong-willed political operative of her time. And when death comes, she meets it defiantly and dressed to the nines.
It is easy to read the story of Jezebel and see everything that is wrong, ugly, and distorted in her life. The challenge for us, however, is to call out the divine beauty (no matter how hidden or disfigured) that exists within Jezebel.
But the woman has eyes that can see. And Jesus calls her out, forgives her sin, and gives her the peace that passes all understanding. In calling out her beauty, Jesus perfects her humanity.
We must see the Sinful Women as representative of us all. Luke lays out for us two paths – the path of the well-known and very righteous Simon the Pharisee or the unknown sinful woman. And it is the latter path we must take if we are to follow Jesus.