Do you think an ordinary woman can change the world for future generations?
I am writing a study about women in the Bible and upon researching these remarkable ladies I can unequivocally answer yes to this question.
These women were considered chattel and had few rights. Despite their second-class status, many of them showed strength of character, courage, and conviction. They took control of their lives, attained success, and were used by God to accomplish His will.
To name a few:
Jochebed: Defied the orders of the powerful Pharaoh and saved her son, Moses, from death. (Exodus 1: 8-12 & 22 and 2: 1-10)
Daughters of Zelophehad: These sisters insisted on their rights to an inheritance, and changed the law forever! (Numbers 27: 1-11)
Rahab: A prostitute who understood that Israel’s God was The God. She defied her country’s laws and helped Israel’s spies. Due to her actions, she saved herself and her family from death and became an ancestor of Jesus! (Joshua Chapter 2)
Deborah: She was the only woman judge of Israel. Under her leadership (and with the aid of another strong woman – Jael) their oppressor was defeated. (Judges Chapter 4)
Jehosheba: Brought down an evil queen by saving her nephew (Joash) from Athaliah’s massacre of all rightful heirs to the throne. (2 Chronicles 22: 10-12 and 23: 12-15)
Lydia: She ran her own business and was the head of her household. She spent her free time in spiritual endeavors. Think it is difficult for a woman in business today! I can’t imagine what Lydia overcame to find success. (Acts 16: 11-15)
Priscilla: A woman evangelist. She worked alongside her husband to support Paul and led many to Christ. (Acts 18: 18-28)
These are just a few examples of strong women who made the most of their God-given abilities despite the deck being stacked against their success. These women were strong because of their faith. They turned to God and not man.
Then there are the women whose decisions affect our lives today. Don’t think so? Let’s take a look at the Biblical record of a few more women.
Eve lived in Paradise and talked to God, but she still wanted more. That is the reason we live in a fallen world. (Genesis Chapter 3)
Miriam kept watch over Moses. This slave child approached Pharaoh’s daughter. Her confidence and quick thinking set in motion the freeing of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery forty + years later. (Exodus 2: 1-10)
Ruth’s decision to follow her mother-in-law’s God resulted in her becoming part of Jesus’ ancestry. She is one of only four women mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1. (Ruth 1: 6-18)
Esther saved the Jews from annihilation. Purim acknowledges her courage and heroism – a holiday Jews still celebrate today. (Esther 3:13 and 4: 14-17)
Mary accepted scorn from the community to give birth to our Messiah. (Matthew 1: 18-24)
Dorcas used her talents as a seamstress to clothe the poor, especially widows. Do you know her ministry is still alive today? There are Dorcas’ societies all over the world ministering to the poor. (Acts 9:36-42)
These examples prove that we don’t have to be a powerful political figure, born into royalty, or an international business mogul to make a difference. In fact, most of these women were quite ordinary. Miriam was a slave, Ruth was a foreigner married into a poor Jewish family, Mary came from a typical Jewish home, and as far as we know there was nothing special about Dorcas – other than she was very charitable and a talented seamstress. Sure Esther was a Queen, but her beginnings were far from the royal palace. She was a poor Jewish orphan living in exile.
Studying these women, I am amazed how similar our lives today are to the struggles and victories of these women who lived thousands of years ago. God used these women to provide emotional healing and spiritual growth during a difficult time in my life. I believe they can also be examples and mentors for each one of us as we explore their triumphs, mistakes, and every day lives.
There is much to learn from many Biblical women and I would love to come to your church, study group, retreat, or women’s banquet and explore the lives of these women together.
- identify these women’s weaknesses and strengths by examining their character through their lives and selected verses from Proverbs.
- explore a woman’s nature and learn to exert influence by empowering rather than diminishing others or ourselves. We are good at that diminishing thing – ourselves, our husbands, boyfriends, etc.
- recognize how decisions and wrong motivations (even by us today) cause a ripple effect for generations to come.
- learn how to take action, grow spiritually, and lead others to do the same.
So if you know of a church or women’s group that needs a speaker please click contact and send me a note. I would love to share a unique perspective on women of the Bible at your next women’s event.
In the meantime, don’t forget the devotions. The Word of the Week is change and the children are studying Esther.