Today is International Women’s Day and I wanted to talk about 10 women in the Bible. Women played a vital role in the Bible. They were warriors, comforters, judges, influencers, and breakers of stereotypes. The Bible gave importance to women and they were special in god’s eye.
When God created Eve, He did not create her to be Adam’s servant, pet, or inferior. Genesis 1:27 says God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female, he created them.
He created her as a companion with whom Adam could find his equal, just as the animals each had an equal female counterpart. God even gave Eve a job the same job He gave to Adam tending the garden and having dominion over the animals and every living thing that God had created. Every woman’s value is the same as every man’s because both were created in the image of God Just as God had a plan and purpose for Adam, so He also had a plan for Eve, even after the Fall, and used her for His glory.
Rahab was one of those unexpected characters in the Bible. Even though she made her living as a sex worker, she was selected for high honour in the Faith Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11. The Jews finally entered the Promised Land of Canaan after wandering for 40 years in the desert. Joshua sent two spies to check on Jericho and to see if they could capture the city. Rahab ran an inn built on the Jericho city wall where she hid the spies on her rooftop. When the king of Jericho learned, the men had been to Rahab’s house, he sent orders for her to turn them over. She lied to the king’s soldiers concerning the whereabouts of the spies and sent them off in the opposite direction.
Then Rahab went up to the spies and pleaded for her life and for the lives of her family members. She made an oath with them. Rahab would keep silent about their mission, and the Israelites would spare everyone in her household when they invaded the city. She was to hang a scarlet cord from her window as a sign, so the Jews could find and protect her. In the miraculous battle of Jericho, the city fell, and Joshua gave orders to rescue Rahab and all in her house. Though she was a sex worker, her help was not forgotten. The whole story of Rahab can be read in the chapter of Joshua 2-6
The story of Abigail is written in 1 Samuel 25, She was the wife of a wealthy but harsh man named Nabal. She and Nabal lived in the region where David, Israel’s future king, was hiding as a fugitive. While David and his men were there, they protected Nabal’s flocks of sheep from robbers. But when messengers from David asked Nabal for some food, Nabal refused, and David was incensed! So he and his men went out to kill Nabal and all the men of his household. Abigail acted quickly when she heard what her husband had done. She gave her servants a supply of food to take to David and his men, and she followed to beg David for mercy. When David saw her gift, observed her humility, and heard her wise advice, he recognized God had used her to prevent a tragedy. She handled a tense situation calmly with tact, courage, and resourcefulness. She acted with discretion.
Judges chapters 4 and 5 talk about the prophetess Deborah. She was a prophetess and the only female judge whom Israel’s God, Jehovah, used to reveal his will on matters affecting his people. God also used her to help settle problems among the Israelites. Deborah delivered God’s message to Barak to take 10,000 men to battle against Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army. When Barak asked Deborah to go with him, she did not give in to fear but willingly complied with his request. God showed up in miraculous ways to help Barak’s army destroy Jabin’s army. And in a turn of events, when Sisera flees for his life, he takes refuge in the tent of a woman named Jael, who ends up driving a tent spike through his temple while he slept. Women as a warrior were seen in Deborah and Jael.
Esther was a Jew who was chosen by Persian King Ahasuerus to become his queen. When the king’s right-hand man, Haman, devised a plan to kill the Jews, Esther’s uncle Mordecai found her and pleaded with her to spare her tribe. Even though she was his wife, she knew she could not approach him without an invitation, and if she did, it could end in death. But she believed she was chosen by God to save her own people and agreed to go in front of the king anyway and won his favour and her people were saved. Esther is recognized mostly for her strength, bravery and dignity. There is a whole chapter on Esther in the Bible and you can read about these events.
Ruth was a Moabitess, and she showed extraordinary love to her mother-in-law, Naomi. Naomi, along with her husband and their two sons, had gone to Moab to escape a famine in Israel. The sons eventually married Moabite women, Ruth and Orpah. In time, though, Naomi’s husband and two sons died, leaving three widows. Naomi returned to Israel, where the drought was now over. Ruth and Orpah went with her. But Naomi asked them to return to their relatives. Orpah did, but Ruth, however, loyally stuck with her mother-in-law and wanted to worship Naomi’s God. A wealthy landowner named Boaz in Bethlehem was deeply impressed by Ruth and generously provided food for her and Naomi. Ruth later married Boaz and became an ancestress of both King David and Jesus Christ. We can learn Royalty from Ruth, and there’s a dedicated chapter for Ruth in the Bible.
7. LOIS AND EUNICE
Lois and Eunice are the grandmother and mother to Timothy, the leader of the church in Ephesus. Eunice was a Jewish believer married to a Greek man mentioned in Acts 16:1. Lois ensured Timothy knew the Scriptures. Paul credits Lois’s and Eunice’s godly influence in teaching the Scriptures to Timothy as the groundwork that enabled Timothy to have a sincere faith of his own. Lois’s and Eunice’s example of exercising a sincere faith of their own and then sharing their faith and teaching Scripture to Timothy should be an encouragement to every mother and grandmother. Their commitment to raising Timothy to know God’s Word gave him the foundation he needed to become a godly influence in Ephesus. Read 2 Timothy chapter 1 to know more about Lois and Eunice.
Huldah was a female prophet, and She was the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvath the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe. When a priest found a book of Law during renovations at Solomon’s temple, Huldah used her prophetic knowledge to declare that the book was the authentic Word of God. She further prophesied destruction because the people had not been following God’s Word. Yet, she assured King Josiah that he would not be destroyed because of his humble heart. Huldah was an ordinary woman, she was just a needleworker, but she obeyed the lord and she did her work without fear. The fear of God made her command the king and prophesied it boldly. You can read about Huldah in 2 Kings 22 and 2 Chronicles 34:22-28.
9. SHIPHRAH AND PUAH
Shiphrah and Puah have a short appearance in the Bible. We read their story in Exodus 1:15-21 before Moses was born. When the King of Egypt commanded two midwives Shiphrah and Puah to kill all Hebrew boys at birth, they used their wit and saved them. They replied these babies were born before the decree and therefore were not subject to be killed. God took notice of their bravery amid danger and was pleased with what they did. He provided households for them. These women had guts, as they were obedient and feared God and not Pharoah.
Lydia was one of the first converts to Christianity. In Acts 16:14-15, she is described as a worshiper of God and a businesswoman with a family. Lydia was part of a group that met for prayer by the river; they did not have a synagogue, as synagogues required at least 10 Jewish men. Being a seller of purple cloth, she would have been wealthy; yet, she humbled herself and the Lord opened her heart, and she and her entire household were baptized. She then opened her house to Paul and his companions, offering hospitality to the missionaries.
The Bible is riddled with other examples of women who stepped up and led in God’s name, empowered by Him. God created all women to be strong and radiant. May these examples instruct and guide us in our own Christian journey!
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