Lessons From Influential Women in the Bible
Here are a couple of lessons from influential women in the bible. August is Women’s Month in South Africa and a good time to remember that scripture is rich with fascinating women that we can all glean from in our spiritual walk. Some are known for their bravery, others for their wisdom, others for their kindness and their devotion to God. All have been studied and loved by millions for centuries.
Queens, widows, judges and mothers: Bible women are strong, diverse, and unwavering in their love for God. Their lives of hardship and struggle have much to teach us as the children of God.
Today, I’d like to tell you about 6 women who’s stories I personally find inspirational.
Esther: The Queen
Esther’s story is about courage. She stood in the gap for her people and used her influence for the good of others not just herself. Esther took up the challenge and presented it to God and God granted her favor with the King. This is what she decided:
“Go, gather all the Jews that are present in Susa, and observe a fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids also will fast in the same way. Then I will go in to [see] the king [without being summoned], which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.”Esther 4:16
Well, to back track a bit, Queen Esther’s was a Jewish child who was orphaned at a young age. She grew up in the care of her older cousin, Mordecai. They lived in Persia, under the rule of King Ahasuerus, she was able to use her new position as Queen to help her community.
You see, Jewish Persians were under threat as one of the king’s advisers called Haman was plotting to kill them all in exchange for money. Mordecai uncovered the plot and asked Esther to go to the king and beg for help to save them. She was afraid. The mere act of approaching the king to ask for anything without permission was forbidden unless the had king summoned you to come. Nonetheless, Esther prayed and fasted for three days, and then she went to the king with her request.
“And the king said to Esther on the second day also as they drank their wine, “What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted to you. And what is your request? Even to half of the kingdom, it shall be done.”Esther 7:2
When the king saw Esther she found favor in his eyes and welcomed her, the king intervened in the matter. At this point Esther could of requested anything for herself but she never forgot her cause and the plight of her people. Queen Esther’s people were saved from Haman’s evil plan, and their salvation is remembered until today through the holiday called Purim.
Deborah: The Judge
Deborah was a career woman: both a judge and prophet. Scripture tells us that:
She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided.Judges 4:5
At the time, Israel suffered oppression for years under the king Jabin of Canaan , whose military power was immense. Deborah, guided by God, decided to do something about that.
She sent a message to a man called Barak and told him the plan. Barak requested that Deborah come with him, and so she went with the army to war. Their victory was overwhelming, all thanks to Deborah’s wisdom and faith in God. They went with ten thousand men to Mount Tabor, where God had told her they will defeat Jabin’s army.
Ruth and Naomi: The Widows
The story of Ruth and Naomi is the story of two widows who find themselves alone, yet continue to support one another. The life of a widow can be challenging – particularly for women with little money. There are many South African women who find themselves in a position where they are widows. Some of ours sisters, mothers, grandmothers, aunts and friends have had to live out the experience of loosing their partner to death. Ruth was married to Naomi’s last living son but stayed even after he passed on to support her mother on-law Naomi.
But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely,if even death separates you and me.Ruth 1 :16-17
Well, lets look back at their journey. Naomi and her husband traveled to Moab, where one of Naomi’s sons married a woman named Ruth. After a while, both Naomi’s husband and Ruth’s husband died. Naomi decided that she would return to her home in Judah; she advises Ruth to remain behind and find a new husband. But Ruth said no. She wouldn’t abandon her mother-in-law, and declared:
Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my GodRuth 1:16
So the two women journeyed to Bethlehem, alone and with no money. Still, they didn’t give up. Naomi’s husband had a local relative, Boaz, who had done well for himself, and Naomi asked him to give Ruth a job. Boaz and Ruth eventually married, and the two women were finally safe.
Mary and Hannah: The Mothers
Children are a blessing from God. Giving Birth is not the only thing that makes one a Mother but it’s also the time, patience, nurturing and love you give your children. As parents God has given us an opportunity to be stewards of his blessed creation, mankind through parenting.
No mother is more famous than Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus. Indeed, very few people in all history are as renowned as a simple woman who lived in Galilee. Marry was divinely appointed to be the mother of our Savior Jesus and submitted to the calling. Motherhood is a central aspect of many women’s lives. Upon hearing that she will be with child, she believed and submitted to the will of God.
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.Luke 1:38
But not all mothers are so well-known. Moreover, there are many women who desperately want children but struggle to have them. Consider Hannah, the mother of Samuel.
Despite being deeply loved by her husband, Hannah was not happy because she had not given him a child for many years. Lets not forget Penina who kept mocking her about her situation.
She spend hours at the temple and poured out her heart to God. She prayed fervently to God to bless her with a son. Sure enough, God rewards her faith. A while later, Hannah gives birth to a boy, Samuel, who would grow up to become a prophet who we know as Samuel. Hannah’s story shows the plight of women who find it difficult to have their own children.
“Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.1 Samuel 1 15-16
Guest Author: Tara Woodlands
Edited by Admin