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Women in the Bible: Do you Fear the Unknown? Nana Dolce

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
December 15, 2023 5:15 am

Women in the Bible: Do you Fear the Unknown? Nana Dolce

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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December 15, 2023 5:15 am

Do you fear the unknown? Join Nana Dolce as she explores Old Testament stories of women struggles, overcoming fear, and finding redemption. Discover the key to having hope in difficult times!

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Merry Christmas. We're getting really close to the holidays. It's so exciting.

You know how I know, Shelby? Because there's packages on our front door every day. Amazon makes the daily job day. Somebody in our family buys a bunch of Christmas stuff.

Yes, I do, and I love it. She loves Christmas. Our guests are Dave and Ann Wilson. You can find us at This is Family Life Today. Well, it's fun to be in the studio with you guys today, and you're kind of my guest today. So welcome to Family Life Today, Dave and Ann Wilson.

Thanks, Shelby. We're a little scared to be on this show. Are you super intimidated?

Yeah, you're an intimidated guy. You've got your jean jacket on. You've got hair that you mousse this morning. I can't compete. Mousse?

What is this, 88? I don't know. I don't use those products.

He hasn't had hair in a long time, Shelby, so he doesn't know. It's called texture lotion, actually, is what it's called. Are you serious?

I'm 100% serious. That's what it's called. Love it. Okay, you've got a nice texture going today, Shelby. Well, I am Shelby Abbott, and this is a special episode because throughout this past month, we've been highlighting some of the best moments from Family Life Today in the year 2023. And yesterday, in fact, we enjoyed snippets from conversations this year about the impact of a good man on a family and a community. But as we mentioned at the end of yesterday's discussion, not every woman lives with one of these quote-unquote good men. So today, we want to speak directly to the hope found in Jesus for those women, and in fact, how the life of every woman, regardless of their circumstances, can point to Jesus. It's really true, isn't it? Regardless of where you're at. Women are right now that are living in this position of just like, man, my man's not generally the good man. He might be good, but I feel like we're just failing and struggling and he's not walking with Jesus.

He doesn't even know Jesus. And you're going to address me today? This is a great day. I need this.

Yeah, it's a really important specific that we need to talk about. So I'm super excited because in order to do what we're talking about, we're going to be hearing a few highlights from a series we had with Nana Dulce, one of our favorite guests. This is Nana Dulce Day. The whole day is about Nana. Yeah, and the temptation has been to break out into song for Nana Dulce Day.

I'm going to go ahead and stop you right before you get started, Dave. So Nana Dulce Day is going to be clips from your conversation that you had with her. So we'll get started with Nana's description of a few women who overcame fear and intimidation to glorify God and how that ultimately impacts you and me today, right now.

Let's listen to this. One of the things I wanted to do in this book was to talk about 30 individual women. But at the end of it, I wanted you to look back and see the big story of the Old Testament. And so we walk through Genesis to Exodus and we go to the time of the judges, the time of the kings, to the exile and talk about women within the different time periods of Israel's history.

Some of them you'll be familiar with, some of them you won't be as familiar with. But I want you to see this grand story unfold and to see the faithful God who keeps his promise and who uses unexpected saviors. So when Exodus begins, you know, Exodus is this story that Moses is telling. He tells Genesis as well. He tells the first five books of the Bible. But I love how it's like Moses can't even get to himself until he talks about these six women first. And all of them are actually women that are used to save him. The one who will be used to be the mediator of the Exodus is himself saved by six women. You're right. I had never thought of that because it's Moses telling the story. But he highlights them.

He does. Yeah. In a beautiful way. So he starts with these two midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, who are just these. They look like small fish in this big sea of this story. There's this story of this big nation that's multiplying and the Pharaoh who sees them as a threat and is trying to subdue them. And then comes these two little women.

They're nobodies. And yet the Pharaoh wants to use these nobodies as really his hands at the birthstool to smother the children and to kill them. And this Pharaoh actually reminds me of the serpent in many ways. So actually, culturally, he wore a crown that had a cobra on it.

So he's this simple. I only know that through watching Moses the movie. Even the cartoons. But it must be true. You're saying it is true.

It is true. So he very much represents the, you know, if there's the seed of the woman, there's also the seed of the serpent, because that's part of the promise in Genesis three, 15, that the seed of the woman would crush the offspring of the serpent. And so this Pharaoh represents that in many ways. And he comes to these two women and really gives them these women that are nobodies.

It's almost like a chance to be somebody. Right. You are Pharaoh's, what's the word I'm looking for?

Instrument. You're literally his hands at the birthstool. What a chance for them to have been the most feared women in that community. And yet it's said that they didn't fear Pharaoh, but they feared God and they let the children live. Probably thinking that they would be murdered as a result.

I mean, how do you say no to Pharaoh? And yet these women did because they feared God. And so the end of their story doesn't end with less children, but actually with more.

Because God gives them families and they add to the number because they fear God. So that's Shiphrah and Puah. But let me ask you this, as a woman, how do you copy that?

How do you carry that spirit forward as a woman? Yeah. You know, knowing what they did. I mean, as you said, critical. They don't do that.

Yeah. All of history is different. Their stories actually remind me of Corrie Tamboon and how they, because of their fear of a greater authority, they actually don't listen to the authorities of their day and they hide the Jews.

We can even look at people who hid slaves on the Underground Railroad, right? Who subverted the authorities that were calling them to do something evil because of their fear of a greater authority. How many, in smaller ways, those are dramatic stories, but it makes me wonder how many ways does God call me to fear him over the things that call my attention to fear, just within the regular everyday life of being a woman? Where am I tempted to fear and give my allegiance to something other than God as opposed to fearing him and trusting him? It can be in small ways or it can be in big ways, but I think we always have a chance to obey God and fear him over other forces that call for our fear and that call for our obedience. So Anne, as you think about that, you know, she's encouraged us to examine those places in our life, in our heart, where we might experience fear and lean into that and intentionally be obedient to God. Can you think of some specific areas, maybe in your life or areas that you've seen in other women's lives, where they've leaned into fear and then been obedient instead of succumbed to that fear?

The first thing that comes to my mind personally is just speaking. We were speaking at the first weekend Remember Marriage Getaway, and I was 29 years old. I felt like God wanted me to do this, but I felt like, who am I? Do they know what I've lived through? Do they know my abuse?

Do they know how broken I am? And so I remember right before that morning to get up to speak, I was on my face before God saying, I don't have anything in me that has the capacity or the gifting to be able to communicate who you are, God. I remember, Lord, how broken I am. Remember my abuse. Remember my feelings and my sin.

Like, remember all that? And I just had this sense of, I'm asking you to do it, and I will be with you. And I still didn't feel like, oh, yeah, I can do it.

I still had this sense of, I can only do it with you, Jesus. And that's small in terms of being courageous. I don't think I've been in situations where my life has been at risk or I could be jailed for something, but there are so many women that are putting their lives at risk that I respect them so much. Yeah. Dave, is there anything that you can think of that you've seen examples of that, of women specifically leaning into fear? Well, I mean, I know Anne's struggle with that.

I mean, it was 30-plus years ago. And, you know, I'm always looking at her like, you are so gifted. You are so beautiful.

You're the best I've ever. And she didn't believe that, you know, and I would often like shame her like, you know this. And then it hit me, it was years into our marriage, like, oh, my goodness, she really doesn't see herself like I see her. And even like I think God sees her. So that moment for her was a real deal. So I've watched my own wife do it. I know that men have the same thing.

We get scared to death. Every year when I was with the Detroit Lions as a chaplain, before the season, we would have a big luncheon down in Detroit where they introduced the team to the city of Detroit. It was the Detroit Economic Club. And it was Detroit Lions Day. And I, every year, they would ask me to open the lunch with a prayer as the chaplain.

So they would introduce me the whole day. I mean, there's two or three thousand people there. They're all excited. The Lions are going to have a great season this year, which never happened.

You know, it was like the big deal that we're going to get on a bus and go to a road game because it's preseason. But I remember every year I'm like, this is a totally secular environment. Do I pray in Jesus name?

Because they don't want me to. They want me to just pray and say, amen. And I remember every year, I mean, there was a little bit of fear, like I could lose my job just by saying in Jesus name at the end of this prayer because it's a public secular business thing. And every year I prayed in Jesus name very boldly. But there was a tinch of fear there. Like, okay, this could be the end of me being the chaplain just because I used Jesus name.

Now, that's a little thing. But I think every day, every person, man or woman, faces fears like that. Dave, I'm thinking of my friend who lives in Bethlehem. So she is being persecuted every day for her faith.

Most of the population is Muslim. And she is a believer. She'll text me or she'll message me, like, pray for us.

It is so, so hard and the persecution is so, so great. And I know that she felt often that her life is at risk. And man, I look at her and her walk with God, her submission to Him, her surrender. Sometimes she'll say to me, like, I was up all night praying. And I'm thinking, all night? Really?

Yeah, all night. And often I spend all night praying because I'm praying that God will save us. Oh, I respect these women.

Deep respect. Yeah, they're living it. We see examples of that in the Scriptures. And there are modern-day examples of just extreme faith that's out there.

Life or death on the line. If Shiphrah and Puah point us to a God who helps us overcome the fears and anxieties of life, Nana Dose pulls from another unlikely woman in the Old Testament who sometimes gets a bad rap. She does.

But she actually points us to the shame-killing love of Jesus. What's her name? Bathsheba.

Listen to this. Bathsheba was this woman who lived next to the palace. And I love digging into her story because sometimes we don't know enough about Bathsheba. Yeah, tell us more.

Yeah, so she was actually politically connected. David had these 30 warriors. The mighty men.

Yes, yes. So Uriah was one of them. But Bathsheba's father was also one of the 30 men. And her grandfather was Ahiphathal, who was David's counselor. So they all knew each other. They all knew each other. And that's probably why she lived so close to the palace.

Because she was from a politically connected family. But there's, you know, it's springtime and the kings are at war. But David is not at war. He's chilling in his palace.

And he's on the roof. And it says he looks down and sees a woman bathing. Now that bath was actually a ceremonial bath.

It says that she had just finished her period. And the Mosaic law said after the menstrual cycle, a woman was supposed to cleanse herself by bathing. So she's performing this really ceremonial bath. It wasn't just a bath of luxury. Like, oh, let me take a bath. And she wasn't trying to entice him.

Exactly. And it was, she was cleansing herself. It was a ceremonial bath in obedience to God's law. The king of Israel should not have been looking. But he looks and says, hey, who is this? Brings her to him and sleeps with her. Do you think when she came to the palace, he knew instantly, oh, this is Bathsheba, and made the connection?

Yeah. Well, she says, she asked who she was. And they said, this is Bathsheba. They named her father. They named her husband. They did name her father and husband.

Yeah, wife of Uriah. So he knew who it was. I mean, in some ways, you know, I think of that moment as First Corinthians 10, 13, God always gives you a way out of temptation. Here it is. Here it is, David.

We are reminding you what you already know, but we're just putting a pause on it. And he goes forward. He does.

He does. Bathsheba doesn't say anything in this narrative. The only thing we get from her are three words.

I am pregnant. And that's the note she sends to him. And so he starts to try to clean it up by bringing Uriah, making him drink, but he never goes home to sleep with his wife. And he sends Uriah back to the battlefield with a letter that literally signs his death because they'll put him in a place where he'll die.

The picture that I get of Bathsheba is what Nathan says to David when he comes. He says, this rich man who has all the sheep. But he doesn't take one of his own sheep to feed his visitors. He takes the pet lamb of his neighbor. And David's enraged. Yeah, he's enraged. And he says, death will come to this man. And he says, you are that man. So he uses Bathsheba in that way.

We never hear her say anything. But when Nathan comes and says, you are the man, he tells David, God has taken away your sin and you will not die. But the baby that you have with Bathsheba will die. But then we read Psalm 51, where you see David crying out in repentance. And that Psalm is so interesting to me in light of what he did.

He watched this woman and desired this woman who was being cleansed in the ceremonial bath. And in Psalm 51, he's asking God to cleanse him and to wash him with hyssop. There will be a greater son that will die, ultimately is Jesus. The sin that David commits. God doesn't sweep away anything punishing your sins and then pretending that he hasn't seen mine.

Right? He is a good judge. And every sin I have committed and every sin you have committed will be accounted for. Either you will reject his offer and you will suffer for it yourself, or he will place it on his son and Jesus will suffer for every single one of those sins. And so David's sin against Bathsheba will ultimately fall on the head of a much greater son who will suffer for it. And God in his amazing mercy, Bathsheba's son Solomon will go on to bring the Lord Jesus. And Bathsheba is named right there in that lineage that you mentioned at the beginning.

She becomes the long, long ago mother of the Lord Jesus. So even in this story that's full of so much sin, we see God's grace and God's grace to Bathsheba. There's nothing that you have done that is too filthy for God to cleanse. There's nothing that you have done that Jesus says, I will not take on and suffer for it.

And there's nothing that has been done to you. Sure. That God cannot cleanse and remove.

Absolutely. And we will see that not only with Bathsheba, but even David's daughter, Tamar, who's raped because of this sin that's introduced to David's household because of this sin. But God can take horrible things, ashes and bring beauty from them. Again, he has suffered in a way that he relates to what you're going through, can sympathize with what you're going through. You can sit across from a God who knows because he's been through it.

Man, this is just vital for people to hear. Just vital that the horrible things that have happened in their life or the horrible things that have happened to them, as you mentioned, Ann, God can bring beauty out of ashes. Bathsheba's story is a story of sexual assault. And to help her see the beauty out of these horrific ashes, beauty that can only come through the redemptive power of Jesus, we're able to see the gospel in that. And that's what we're doing all the time at Family Life Today, right? Yeah, I mean, as I was listening to Nana again so eloquently, remind us of the blood of Jesus.

I mean, this story of Bathsheba and David actually ends up at the cross. That's where forgiveness comes. I mean, Shelby, I was just sitting there thinking, we get to do this every day. We get to come into people's lives through digital podcasts or radio broadcasts or whatever way they listen. And it's really the same thing every time. We get to say, guess what?

Your sin, my sin, is washed away by the blood of Jesus. You talk about good news. And there's hope.

Yeah, there's hope. Yeah, I mean, wow. And so what a privilege we get to do this every day.

I can't believe we're sitting here doing it. Nana helped us do that with a biblical story. But let me say to you who listen to Family Life and who donate financially, thank you. This is a joy to be able to serve you and your neighbors.

And those of you who have never given to Family Life, you may not know this is how we work. We are a donor, listener supported ministry that happens because people like you say, I love this program. This has helped me, and it's helped my neighbors, and I want to give back. So you can give back right now. It's December.

I know we're all spending money on Christmas, but I would say take some money and say, I want to help God bring his love and forgiveness into my home and my neighbors' home, even my kids' home. And you can do that. And your gift will be doubled, which is pretty remarkable.

Yeah, that doesn't happen anywhere else. So you can go online and make a donation at, or you can give us a call with your donation at 800-358-6329. Again, that's 800, F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. And like Dave said, we're grateful for that. So Nana hinted at this earlier when she was talking about the repercussions of David's sin. Now, David may have repented of his sin, as we read in Psalm 51, as being, quote, against God and God alone, but his sin had consequences. It did have consequences. Always does. Ultimately harming his own son and his daughter.

Let's listen to this. So Tamar is David's daughter. So, you know, David is king of Israel at this point. And I think her story reminds us that, oh, some of these stories in the Bible, especially those pertaining to women, can be dark. Because, you know, the Bible isn't a fairy tale, where everything is just like, you know, a Disney princess movie. This is east of Eden.

This is Thorns and Thistles. This is the wilderness before home. And painful things happen, and sometimes they happen to women. And so the Bible is not prescriptive in that sense, but descriptive, describing the wilderness experience, and sometimes the violence that women face as a result.

And we know that even in our world today. So Tamar is David's daughter, who's actually raped by her own brother. Her brother, the crown prince, the one that was supposed to succeed David, desires this half-sister. And it says that he loved her so much that it made him sick. And he just desired this woman that he could not have. And so there's a cousin that comes to him, and the scriptures describe him as crafty. And I almost imagine the serpent.

And so he comes probing in the same way the serpent was probing. Why are you sick? You're the king's son.

You shouldn't be sick. He says, I love my sister Tamar. And he says, here's the plan. Pretend you're sick, and David will come see you and send Tamar to you to make you some cakes. And when she's here, you can do with her what you want. And he didn't say, ask for Tamar.

Yes. So she comes into his home, and she will never leave the same. When I was in seminary, I worked at a domestic violence shelter in Philadelphia. And this was a home for women and children. I was an intake counselor.

And I remember days, I worked the night shift. Women would come in with bruises, blue and purple faces, telling the stories of the abuse they had encountered in their homes by people who should have protected them. When I read Tamar's story and that description, I think of those women. And in the story, David does not punish his son. And it's interesting too, Nana, because it says that son, after it occurred, hated her. Hated Tamar.

Yes, absolutely. Yeah, so the Mosaic law said that if you raped a woman, you actually had to care for her, because she had no hope of marriage after that. So you had to take responsibility for her care. And he takes her and literally pushes her out of his home. And she says, this latter thing of pushing me away is worse than the first.

Yeah. And she rips her clothes and throws ashes and lives desolate in her brother Absalom's house. And when David heard about it, he did not do anything. Not only was he a father, but he was also the king.

The king should bring justice. And we don't see David doing any of that. I wonder if the shame of his own sin made him think, well, if I did that, how can I punish my son?

With Bathsheba, you mean. Exactly. But I love that the gospel is for mothers and for their children. It's for fathers and it's for their children. I can say something to my children, even if I have struggled with that, because my hope is their hope. I need Jesus as much as they need Jesus, which encourages me to speak to my kids about their sins, because I'm not hiding my sins.

We're all before the Lord. But David is quiet. What do you wish David would have come and done? Oh, he should have brought justice for Tamar.

Amnon should have been punished according to the law of God, and Tamar should have been cared for in a way that we don't see that happening. Man, Nana is just so good. I love how she turns everything back to Jesus, how we're able to see the gospel that way. I wish I could look at that the same way that she does, to see all of life through the lens of the gospel. Isn't she a good Bible teacher? Yes, very good. I want her just to tell me the Bible stories all day long. There's so much detail in there that we read over, but I don't remember all of that stuff, and the significance of it. You can tell she's studied a lot. Yes.

That's why we're having Nana Dulce Day. There's so much. We're only giving you snippets of that interview, but yeah, everything comes back to Jesus.

Everything comes back through the gospel. Yeah, and it hit me too in that clip in particular, because she mentioned the domestic violence shelter in Philadelphia, and that's where I'm from. That's where I live. And I just learned recently, my wife told me this, when she was going for a run, that she doesn't like to put her hair up in a ponytail, because for fear, and this is something that's just kind of common knowledge on college campuses and stuff like that, if you have a ponytail and you're running in an environment that somebody could grab your ponytail very easily and pull you into whatever area they want you to. And I was like horrified by that. I was just terrified by that. I was like, I can't believe that this is a constant thing that's going on in the minds of women as they go about everyday life. They have to be extra cautious. How do you respond to that, Dave?

Because that's not something we have to think about at all. When I hear that, I think I get angry. I mean, right away, I'm like, and maybe I'm wrong, but I feel like that's our job, Shelby and me, as men, protect our women. And again, it isn't beat off predators, but in a sense, it's like, I want to stand up for my wife and if I had daughters, now I have granddaughters.

It's like, I want to be the man. Not that women can't stand up for themselves, but I want to protect our women. We are called to protect and provide for our women.

Treat our women well, be cautious for them so they don't have to only be cautious on their own and feel like they're isolated, and treat our women like sisters in Christ. Here's a thought out of nowhere, and I thought of it when we listened to Nana talk about David and now Tamar. Dennis Rainey said years ago, former president here of Family Life, do not let your life be the door through which sin enters your family. I've never forgotten that thought. And that's another way as men and women, we protect our family. It's like, I'm not going to play with some kind of sin like David did. I'm not going to take a stroll at night when I should be at war. I'm going to be where I should be when I should be there because my sin is not just my sin.

It's a legacy. I could be opening a door to a heritage that my boys will struggle with if I'm not careful as a man protecting my family with my own sin. And it's interesting that you mention that because Nana shared all these stories about women whose lives point us to Jesus, and at the end of our time with her, we asked her what she hoped her own legacy would be.

So when we asked that question, this is how she responded. I hope that I'm a woman whose story is pointing to Jesus. We have 30 women here, but the story doesn't end with Mary. It continues into the New Testament, and all those women Jesus interacted with, it goes into the first century church. And all those amazing women, even when you read church history, perpetual, they're all of these amazing women, right, all the way down to church history. We mentioned Rosa Parks.

We mentioned Harriet Tubman. All of these are women of faith. When it comes down to Nana Dulce in 2023, I hope that I'm living my life in a way that is pointing others to Jesus, that I am a woman who believes that God is faithful, keeps His Word, so I can live today trusting that His promises come true and that it reflects, my everyday life reflects that truth. And can you maybe, as we hear that testimony from her about what she wants her life to be, can you maybe encourage the listener who's feeling overlooked, maybe unsafe or without hope right now?

Like, how does her life matter? Yeah, let me speak directly to you and remind you, Jesus sees you. He loves you. When you are weeping, He is weeping with you. He knows your name. He knows your circumstances. Call out to Him.

As I read through the Bible every year, I'm astounded how every time it says, And they sought the Lord, and then it says, And He answered them. So seek Him. Seek people that will protect you, that will hear you, Godly people want to be beside you.

We do here at Family Life. Reach out to us so we can pray for you, and get in a good church where people will see you, they'll pray for you, they'll notice you, they'll help you, because your life matters. It matters to the body of believers, and it matters to God. And we want to be His hands and feet in the church and here in any way we can. Don't give up hope because He, Jesus, is our hope. Yeah, there's always hope in Jesus.

There always is. You know, we believe in that so much here at Family Life Today, and we're so grateful to you, our donors, who make it possible for us to do programs like this. So again, we've mentioned this earlier, but every donation made this month is going to be matched dollar for dollar. And you can go online to with your donation, make your donation there, or you can give us a call.

You can call at 800-358-6329. That's 800, F as in Family, L as in Life, and then the word Today. Okay, Dave and Anne, we've got a special little treat for you.

I've actually got someone really important on the line. Good afternoon, Dave and Anne. It's Nana! It's Nana Dulce. Yay! Really? So, Nana, did you hear that we had your day today?

I have heard. What an honor! My goodness! That's how much we love you and how good you are.

Honestly, you were spectacular. Aww. Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. Thank you.

Thank you, friends at Family Life. So encouraged. I heard so many good things from the women in my local church who tuned in. Yay!

Yes! Amazing. Well, hello to everyone that's listening. I hope you're deeply encouraged and that God reminds you that He is faithful to every promise He makes.

So I hope that you're encouraged. Thanks, Nana. We'll see you back here soon. Love you all so much. Thank you. Bye. Well, again, Merry Christmas.

It's that season. We're really excited. We hope you have a great weekend. We hope you're able to worship in your local church. Next week coming up, it's one of our favorites, Brant Hansen, to talk about not going wobbly on Jesus. Look forward to hearing that. On behalf of Dave and Anne Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a donor-supported production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-15 06:42:41 / 2023-12-15 06:56:17 / 14

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