The Scarlet Woman

Do you remember The Scarlet Letter, a book written by early American author Nathaniel Hawthorne? In the story, a young woman named Hester Prynne and her daughter were forced to wear a scarlet letter—the letter A—on their clothing. The adulteress and the child of adultery were shunned by the condemning community.
Centuries earlier, in biblical times, the color scarlet had already been associated with a problem past.

Scripture tells the “scarlet stories” of women who also experienced rejection by those around them:
• Tamar, a shrewd widow who took the law into her own hands in a scandalous way …
• Rahab, a hotel manager who, over the years, played hostess to many men …
• Ruth, a young refugee woman, who perfumed herself and lay at the feet of a wealthy landowner while he slept …
• Bathsheba, the wife of one of the king’s top thirty soldiers, who was called to the king’s bedroom while her husband was at war …
• Mary, a teenager who became pregnant while engaged to be married, yet claimed she was still a virgin …

Who are these women? Did God condemn them? It might surprise you to know that, in the first chapter of Matthew, the five women named in Jesus’ family tree are these scarred or scarlet women.

What was God thinking? Why didn’t God choose women who were named “Mother of the Year” … or “most likely to succeed”? Why did He choose women with questionable reputations?

If the truth were known, perhaps He chose women like you and me.

Perhaps He was telling some of us that we don’t have to wear the letter A for the rest of our lives … or pass that letter on to our daughters.

He was saying to all of us that we don’t have to stay in the scarlet areas of our lives. That there is a way out. That the vivid scarlet of His shed blood cancels out the blotched scarlet of our sins.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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