The Crucified Life Ministries Blog

Tabitha: also known as Dorcas

A woman who lived her life giving to others in need, was coined a disciple, was very generous at heart.

Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber. (Acts 9:36-37 KJV)

This woman, best known as Tabitha, led a consecrated and separated life unto God, away from the stain of darkness and evil of this world.  Tabitha was a women who portrayed a wholesome picture of God’s grace and mercy in her life always bent towards the needs of others.  She was always busy about serving God through helping others. The Bible says she was a disciple, charitable person, a woman who gave clothing and garments she made away to others in need.

Tabitha led the kind of life which begs all of us to ask ourselves what will other people have to say about our life after our death.  Will our life point to our own good deeds, or point to God through our deeds and service to Him?  Will they remember us for our goodness and service to God?  Or will they remember our flashy sports car, big bank account, or our corporate presence in the business world on this earth?  Maybe they will quickly call to mind foolish things we did which were unholy and unrighteous, choices we made according to the traditions and precepts of this world, rather than choices made which line up to the righteousness of God.

Only a few flies spoil the whole bowl of fruit and often the lifestyle and surroundings of a person speak a loud and pointed message.  a person will be scrutinized and characterized according to the company they keep. A vibrant or showy individual is noticed more quickly as stand out for the things of this world rather than a quite mannered individual choosing to stand out in humble and meek fashion peculiar and separated unto God.  Tabitha’s whole essence pointed to Christ as godly traits she took great care to instill in her life were observed and cherished by many around her.  She had made a difference in the lives around her .  Those who esteem the manner of God of utmost importance practice putting these traits to work in their own life with an unconditional love for others, selfless service, and works pointing to a living God, are often few and far between in this world.  What “spiritual footprint” will your life leave behind?  Tabitha’s footprints were enormous ones not easy to replace.

The Bible tells us that Tabitha lived in Joppa also known as the more modern name of Jaffa.  This city is located along the shores of Jerusalem and was a busy port city in ancient times.  This port town may sound familiar to those who read and study God’s Word as it is the place Jonah came to flee from the will of God upon his life.  This is also a city that Peter was summoned from a small town nearby for an emergency situation.

Peter’s call for an urgent visit wrought a miracle before the eyes of many people and lead many witness to come to know the Lord through the miraculous events which unfolded right in front of them!

Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive. And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord. (Acts 9:39-42 KJV)

It is one thing for mankind to read in the Bible of a person being resurrected, as in reading the account of Lazarus, in this case it was Tabitha.  It is quite another thing to be a first-hand witness to such a miraculous rising feat.  Today in this world we live by faith and have a complete Word of God which we can hold in our hands and read from cover to cover over and over again to instill these miracles that took place in ancient biblical history into the folds of our hearts.  However, in the days in which Tabitha lived the Bible was not complete, as it had not yet all been inspired by God and recorded by scribes.  Living in this ancient lifetime included opportunities to experience miracles among many witnesses.  People sought after signs and wonders in these early days of the early church as the disciples spread out preaching and performing miracles upon this earth.

The Bible does not give many details of Tabitha’s emerging sickness and death but it seemed to happen suddenly and unexpectedly one day.  Those around her were distraught and deeply saddened.  Many were even clothed in articles that she had lovingly sewed for them and they clung to their garments in disbelief at her sudden physical expiration. Many times it does not seem possible that death could come upon ourselves or the one we love and admire so suddenly and unexpectedly but the moment of death is only one breath away for mankind according to the timing and will of God.

And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber. And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them. (Acts 9:37-38 KJV)

Tabitha’s body was moved to an upper room to prepare her lifeless body for burial by some of the ladies whose lives she had greatly touched living her selfless charitable life.  These ladies wasted no time cleaning and preparing her for an honorable and respectable death all the while grieving deeply for their loss of such a good woman of God who had personally cared for many in a great way which pointed to the work of God in her life.  God was using both her life and her sudden death to speak by example to many her generous life had affected.  

It was no accident that Peter was close by at the time death suddenly came upon her.  It was known by disciples that Peter was in a nearby city called Lydda and those that knew Peter could be found there went after him immediately upon her death. Peter was located and quickly ushered into Joppa heading to the upper room where her lifeless body lay.  Peter wasted no time in bringing Tabitha back to life raising her from phsical death unto new spiritual life.  This spiritual miracle served as a wonderful picture of the power of God working through Peter bringing new life, giving hope and new spiritual thirst to many who had witnessed this take place in the upper room.  Tabitha was raised unto new life because God was not finished with the spiritual potential of her life, using this miracle brought about through heart-felt prayers working through the power of God at work in Peter pointing directly unto God bringing others unto a knowledge of the Lord.

This miraculous event is one of the a pivotal moments in the beginning of God’s church through the life and preaching of Peter, and most notably in the new life of Tabitha who resumed a life of selflessness catering to the needs of others, sowing seeds, discipling, and modeling Christ-likeness to all who were near affecting many lives who then could personally grow and mature in the things of God.

What features of your life do others admire and see Christ living in you and about you as you sojourn upon this earth?

 

Lessons for ladies from the life of (Dorcas) Tabitha:

The overwhelming evidence of a godly life was evident for many to see in the life of Tabitha.  Many of the ladies had been in need and given garments Tabitha sewed for them lovingly by hand.  This was a gift that could be passed onto others and useful in changing many lives.  What things are you busy about for God as you sojourn in this world?  Are you graciously stewarding precious time making a difference for God in the lives of those around you?

Tabitha did not just talk about living a godly life she lived it having an obedient leaning heart condition each day.  She is a picture of a woman of grace living after God’s own heart putting her faith and love into action in the lives of others.  Do you waste valuable time God has given you upon things to bring you satisfaction and comfort, talking about many future accomplishments and plans you hope to accomplish for God, or do you get busy serving Him so He can work through you and in you bringing good deeds to fruition in the lives of those around you?

Lastly, all mankind face an unknown time in advance when physical death will creep up upon them.  Death will come either through a long and debilitating physical sickness or perhaps suddenly without warning death makes its appearance as all mankind are sentenced to physical death with none having the choice of the time or fashion of their own godly death.  The Bile is clear that all mankind will face physical death and equally as clear that all mankind can be raised up unto newness of life living forever in the eternal realm.  Tabitha’s death is a picture of being resurrected unto new spiritual life.

All mankind can experience new spiritual life today through faith placed in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross being resurrected unto new spiritual life while sojourning on this earth and at the return of Christ to earth ushered into the eternal realm with God forevermore.

 

Is your life a model of Christ-likeness and new spiritual life blossoming for others to see and spiritually desire; or is your life a picture of spoiling fruit, spiritual decomposition, drawing flies and death? 

Choose God, choose eternal life, and choose to blossom through faith placed in God through Jesus Christ now and for all eternity.

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