by Greg Watt
Does God regard women and girls as being less valuable than men and boys?
This is an important question because, if it is true, then God could be accused of being a respecter of persons which the Bible clearly states that He is not. In Acts 10:34-35 we read, “Then Peter opened his mouth and said, ‘In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.’” Notice that the apostle Peter says that, “in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.” The word “whoever” includes everyone; men, women, boys, and girls of every race on earth. This verse clearly shows that if we seek to obey God, then He will not treat us differently because of our race, gender, social standing, or background. What God looks at is our actions and our heart. No matter who we are, if we seek to obey His laws and are willing to be taught by Him, then God will accept us equally.
With that said, men and women were designed physically different by God and were intended to perform different functions within the home and society at large. These differences do not affect spiritual worth or value; it is simply how God designed us! At the same time, if anyone does wickedness – regardless of their gender – and does not seek to obey God, then He will deal with them according to His divine will as He cannot accept their sins. This is the only way that God treats people differently. It is important to remember that God has a plan to eventually turn the vast majority of people away from sin and to allow them to become part of His family. This is why it is often said that God loves the sinner but hates the sin. We are all potential members of His family and, as a father, He wants the best for all of us.
For me, one of the most inspiring examples of how God loves everyone the same is found in chapter 6:4 of Song of Solomon. Here the Beloved (Christ) says to the Shulamite (His Church), “O my love, you are as beautiful as Tirzah, lovely as Jerusalem, awesome as an army of banners”. Tirzah was one of the daughters of Zelophehad (Numbers 27:1). When Zelophehad died in the wilderness, he had no sons to pass his inheritance. So, when faced with losing their inheritance altogether, his five daughters petitioned Moses and the high priest Eleazar to give them, “a possession among our father’s brothers” (Numbers 27:4). Neither the head of civil authority, Moses, or his counterpart, the high priest Eleazar, could make a ruling so they agreed to submit the case to God for His decision. Accordingly, Moses brought their case before the Lord, who did provide a ruling and said, “The daughters of Zelophehad speak what is right; you shall surely give them a possession of inheritance among their father’s brothers, and cause the inheritance of their father to pass to them. And you shall speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘If a man dies and has no son, then you shall cause his inheritance to pass to his daughter” (Numbers 27:7-8). Christ showed them great kindness and humility when He accepted their petition! He then provided a ruling and amended an existing statute in their favour!
This account proves that God did not think that the daughters of Zelophehad were in any way less worthy of their father’s estate than any other son entitled to their father’s inheritance. In fact, it is obvious that God and Christ were delighted in these sisters, particularly Tirzah. Tirzah means delight or delightsomeness or favourable. That Tirzah was prominent among her sisters is evidenced by the fact that her name alone is mentioned in Song of Solomon and also, that a city favoured by the northern kings of Israel was apparently named after her. For a long time, it was the place of residence for these kings of northern Israel (1 Kings. 14:17; 15:21). If this important city was suitable for kings, then it must also have been a place of beauty. Tirzah’s beauty is reflected in the courage and in the attitude of obedience and humility demonstrated by coming before Moses and Eleazer to petition them for justice.
Due to Solomon comparing his beloved to Tirzah, Christ–through Solomon–demonstrates that He admired her courage and her determination to seek justice and truth, even in the face of adversity. These are the traits which Tirzah and her sisters demonstrated and which the Church is here compared to and are so admired by Christ. In Song of Solomon 6:4, Christ expresses His love and admiration of them both by comparing them to each other! Christ admires her spirit and her commitment to Him and recorded His admiration of her into scripture. In doing so, He proves that both He and God the Father do not regard women and girls as lesser than men and boys. God wants us all to be His children which everyone will become if we obey God and learn His way of life by following His path of righteousness.