By Kate Edwards, Crosswalk.com
The pages of the Bible are richly adorned with the stories of remarkable individuals who shaped the course of history and have become pillars of the faith - their narratives echoing through millennia as testaments to the strength of character and unwavering devotion. Immediately we can think of women in the Bible like Mary, Eve, Sarah, Miriam, Esther, Ruth, Naomi, Deborah, and Mary Magdalene. But there are other women in the Bible that have only a small appearance in the Old or New Testament, some as few as one verse.
While plenty of women in the Bible were strong, capable women, these ladies didn’t sit around waiting for someone else to get the job done. They feared God and lived faithfully. They did what they needed to do. What unites these women, whether they occupy entire chapters or just a solitary line of text, is their unyielding faith, their unwavering commitment to living in accordance with their beliefs, and their willingness to take action when called upon. These women were not passive bystanders in the unfolding drama of the Bible; they were active participants who, when faced with adversity, fearlessly stepped forward to play their part in God's divine plan.
Let's look first at 10 women of the Bible who broke stereotypes and exceeded expectations. We will then a look at other examples of women in the Bible who saved the day, took big risks, and experienced miracles.
10 Women in the Bible Who Broke Stereotypes
Here are 10 examples of ordinary women in the Bible who showed incredible strength and faith.
1. Shiphrah & 2. Puah
The King of Egypt commanded the two Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, to kill all the Hebrew boys when they were born. In Exodus 1 we read that the midwives feared God and did not do what the King commanded them to do. Instead they lied and said the babies were born before they arrived. This early act of civil disobedience saved many children’s lives. These women are great examples of how we can resist an evil regime.
Exodus 1:17-20 - "But Shiphrah and Puah had respect for God. They didn't do what the king of Egypt had told them to do. They let the boys live. Then the king of Egypt sent for the women. He asked them, "Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?" The women answered Pharaoh, "Hebrew women are not like the women of Egypt. They are strong. They have their babies before we get there." So God was kind to Shiphrah and Puah. And the people of Israel increased their numbers more and more. Shiphrah and Puah had respect for God. So he gave them families of their own."
How they exceeded expectations: These women feared God more than the unnamed Pharaoh in Exodus who could have easily had them killed. They understood sanctity of life, and they knew what they did in God’s eyes mattered most. These women were up against a hard choice, follow this new Pharaoh or reap the consequences. They would have been expected to cave in to Pharaoh’s command to secure their own safety, but they held strong to what they believed and refused to kill the Hebrew children.
Tamar was left childless and dependent on the hospitality of her father-in-law, Judah, but he abandoned his responsibility to provide her a son to continue the family line. He agreed to have his youngest son marry her, but he never kept his promise. So Tamar dressed as a prostitute, slept with her father-in-law (he did not recognize her), and conceived a son by him.
It sounds strange to us today, but in that culture Tamar had more honor than Judah, because she did what needed to continue the family line—the line that lead to Jesus. Her story is found in the middle of Joseph’s story in Genesis 38.
Genesis 38:1-30 - "It happened at that time that Judah went down from his brothers and turned aside to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. There Judah saw the daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua. He took her and went in to her, and she conceived and bore a son, and he called his name Er. She conceived again and bore a son, and she called his name Onan. Yet again she bore a son, and she called his name Shelah. Judah was in Chezib when she bore him..."
How she exceeded expectations: People would have expected Tamar to accept defeat, but instead she stood up for herself. Though it may seem like an odd way to do it, she earned the respect of her father-in-law and continued the family line. Upon realizing what had happened, Judah acknowledged his guilt in keeping his youngest son from Tamar. His acknowledgement not only justified Tamar’s unconventional conduct, but it also marked a turning point in his own life. Tamar’s son, Perez, is the ancestor of the royal line of David mentioned in Ruth 4:18-22.
Rahab was a prostitute in Jericho. When two spies for the Israelites came to her house she kept them safe and let them stay overnight. When the King of Jericho ordered her to hand them over, she lied to him and said they had already left, but in reality she had hidden them on her roof.
Rahab feared the God of another people, lied to her earthly king, and helped an invading army. She is referenced in Joshua 2, 6:22-25; Heb. 11:31; James 2:25; and in Matt. 1:5 alongside Ruth and Mary in the genealogy of Christ.
Joshua 2 - So the king of Jericho sent this message to Rahab: "Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they have come to spy out the whole land." But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them...Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof and said to them, "I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you....When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone's courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below. "Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them-and that you will save us from death." "Our lives for your lives!" the men assured her. "If you don't tell what we are doing, we will treat you kindly and faithfully when the Lord gives us the land."
How she exceeded expectations: The king of Jericho would not have expected a prostitute to outwit him and protect Israelite spies. Though Rahab did not have the most flattering profession, she was wise enough to recognize that the God of the Israelites was the only God! She rightly feared God and became an unlikely friend to the men taking over her city. Whatever you might think of prostitutes, this lady of the night saved the day!
When the Queen Mother, Athaliah, discovered her son, King Ahaziah dead, she executed the entire royal family to secure her position as the Queen of Judah. But, the King’s sister, Jehosheba, took her infant nephew, the prince Joash, to safety and he became the only survivor of the massacre. Seven years later her husband, Jehoiada, who was a priest, reinstated little Joashon the throne.
It was through Jehosheba’s bravery in defying her aunt, that the royal line of David was preserved. Jehosheba is mentioned in 2 Kings 11:2-3 and 2 Chronicles 22, where her name is recorded as Jehoshabeath.
2 Kings 11:2-3 - "But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram and sister of Ahaziah, took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the royal princes, who were about to be murdered. She put him and his nurse in a bedroom to hide him from Athaliah; so he was not killed. He remained hidden with his nurse at the temple of the LORD for six years while Athaliah ruled the land."
How she exceeded expectations: Athaliah was a woman on a mission, and she definitely didn’t see this coming! Jehosheba risked her life to save prince Joash and his nurse. If caught she would have been killed for her good deed. Jehosheba shows us that bravery is not limited to one sex. Who would have thought a seemingly ordinary woman would save the royal line of David from extinction through an act of love.
*The sad part of this story is that later after the death of Jehoiada (and likely Jehosheba), King Joash remembered not their kindness and put their son, the prophet Zechariah, to death.
After the priest Hilkiah discovered a book of the Law during renovations at Solomon's Temple, Huldah declared prophetically that the book they found was the authentic word of the Lord. She also prophesied destruction, as the people had not been following the instructions in the book. Yet, she ends with reassurance for King Josiah that he would not see the destruction because of his repentance.
Huldah was married yet also was a prophetess in her own right. She was used by God to declare that the writings found were authentic Scripture. You can find her mentioned in 2 Kings 22 and again in 2 Chronicles 34:22-28.
2 Kings 22:14 - 'Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Akbor, Shaphan and Asaiah went to speak to the prophet Huldah, who was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem, in the New Quarter."
How she exceeded expectations: Huldah is the only female prophet in the book of Kings. When King Josiah had questions about the book of the Law that was found, his priest, secretary, and attendant went to see Huldah to clarify God’s Word. They trusted that Huldah would prophesy the truth; it didn’t matter that she was a prophetess.
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. 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.
Acts 16:14-15 - “A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.” And she prevailed upon us.”
How she exceeded expectations: 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 offering hospitality to others. Luke mentions Lydia by name, noting her importance in this record of history.
Priscilla, also known as Prisca, was a Jewish woman from Rome who converted to Christianity. Some may point out that she is always mentioned with her husband and never on her own. However, they are always shown as equals in Christ, and the two of them together are remembered as leaders of the early church.
Romans 16:3-4 - "Greet Prisca and Aquila, who work with me in Christ Jesus, and who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles." Pricilla and Aquila were tentmakers like Paul (Acts 18:3).
Luke also tells us in Acts 18 that when Apollos began to speak in Ephesus it was Priscilla and Aquila together who pulled him aside and explained the Way of God more accurately.
How she exceeded expectations: Priscilla is an example of how a husband and wife can have an equal partnership in their work for the Lord. She was noted of having equal importance to her husband, both to God and the early church. Here we see the early church respecting husbands and wives working together as useful teachers for the gospel.
Phoebe was a deacon who served with the overseers/elders of the church. She supported Paul and many others in the work of the Lord. No mention is made of her husband, if she had one.
Romans 16:1-2 - "I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church at Cenchreae, so that you may welcome her in the Lord as is fitting for the saints, and help her in whatever she may require from you, for she has been a benefactor of many and of myself as well."
How she exceeded expectations: Women were not readily given leadership roles during this time, as women were not trusted the same as men in the culture. Her appointment as a servant/deacon shows the trust that was attributed to her by the early church leaders.
10. The Women Who Witnessed the Resurrection of Christ
During the time of Christ, women were not allowed to be witnesses in the legal sense. Their testimony was not considered credible. Yet, it is women who are recorded in the gospels as the first to see the risen Christ and proclaim him to the rest of the disciples.
The accounts vary across the gospels, and while Mary Magdalene is the first to witness the risen Jesus in all four, the Gospels of Luke and Matthew include other women as witnesses too. Matthew 28:1 includes, “the other Mary,” while Luke 24:10 includes Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women.
How they exceeded expectations: These women were recorded in history as credible witnesses, in a time when men alone were considered trustworthy. This record has stumped many over the years who assumed the disciples of Jesus made up the resurrection account.
4 Women in the Bible Who Saved the Day
When I hear the term “heroes of the faith,” names like Mother Theresa, Corrie Ten Boom, and Joan of Arc come to mind. Add “women of the Bible” to that title, and people like Sarah, Hannah, and Deborah top my list. Their stories all remind me that long before Captain Marvel or Wonder Woman became household names, brave females were stepping up and saving the day.
Yet intertwined within the stories of these real life superwomen, a few young ladies stepped out of unseen roles and briefly took center-stage. Their willingness to risk it all combined with reliance on their faith made them unlikely heroes who still inspire us today. Let’s take a look at 3 young women in the Bible who saved the day.
Rhoda, a Woman of Pure Faith
It was a treacherous time for believers. King Herod Agrippa ordered James to be killed, then he put Peter in prison. While things looked bleak for Peter, a group of believers met at Mary’s house to intercede in prayer. Through a series of miraculous steps, God freed Peter from prison. Peter went straight to the house where he’d find his friends. But would they believe what had just happened?
When Peter knocked on the door, an unassuming girl named Rhoda, Mary’s housemaid, knew his voice right away.
“When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, ‘Peter is standing at the door!’” (Acts 12:14)
Rhoda didn’t doubt herself or question whether or not it might be someone else. She believed. It was Peter, and God had answered their prayers.
Even when many in the house called her names and accused her of being “out of her mind,” Rhoda didn’t let anything steal her joy. She intended to exclaim God’s goodness, regardless of what others said. Why is it that we pray and pray, but when God answers our prayers we struggle to believe it? Lord, help our unbelief. Let’s take a lesson from Rhoda about tuning out the nay-sayers in our own lives. Let our faith be pure and our hearts filled with joy as we believe and not doubt God’s power!
Jael, a Woman of Risky Faith
The Israelites once again had done evil in the eyes of the Lord (Judges 4:1-2). Because of this, they suffered under the hand of a ruthless army leader named Sisera. When the prophet Deborah announced to Barak God’s plan to give the Israelites victory over Sisera’s army, Barak insisted Deborah come with him into battle.
We shouldn’t be surprised by Deborah’s quick agreement. She is, after all, someone talked about often and taught about in Sunday school classes. Deborah - the brave, the wise, the leader. But taking a closer look at Deborah’s story shows us another woman not to be overlooked. Jael the risk-taker.
When Barak took ten thousand men to battle against the Canaanite troops, their leader escaped. He was the only survivor, but nowhere to be found. Sisera came upon the tent of Haber and his wife Jael. Jael knew who Sisera was and quickly devised a sinister plan. She offered hospitality and a smile, allowing him to rest in her tent. Then, she took his life with a hammer and a tent peg.
Jael no doubt understood the magnitude of the situation at hand. The man responsible for her people’s suffering slept in her home. With just the two of them alone, she had a choice. Would she run away in fear? Or would she display the dangerous faith necessary to save the day? Jael chose to take a risk, and that risk made history.
“Most blessed among women is Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite. May she be blessed above all women who live in tents,” (Judges 5:24).
Israel experienced peace for the next 40 years. All because a young wife was willing to risk her own life for the safety of her people. She made a decision that made her a hero in Israel.
Esther, a Woman of Patient Faith
Sometimes in our faith journey, God calls us to jump into action. Like in Jael’s story, we may feel that instant tugging and know we need to respond immediately. Then there are other times when our faith requires patience. Times when God asks us to wait for just the right moment. Times when He prepares us “for such a time as this,” (Esther 4:14).
Esther is well-known for her courage in entering the king’s presence during the days when doing so resulted in death. Unless of course, the king extended his golden scepter. Esther loved her people. No doubt she would do whatever her uncle Mordecai and her God asked of her. But how could a woman so young have the wisdom to know the right time to act?
When I see injustice happening in the world, I want to do something. I fear if I wait, it’ll be too late. I wring my hands, worry, and fret as I try to figure out how to fix it. Yet in all that agonizing I sometimes overstep. I get in God’s way and exchange His plan for my own. But not our Esther! She displayed a patient faith when she found out Haman planned to destroy her people.
First, she told Mordecai to instruct everyone to join her in prayer and fasting for three days. Three days? My go-getter nature would’ve kicked in and caused me to get ahead of God. Esther chose to seek God and allow Him to lead the way. Even after the three-day preparation when Esther entered the king’s presence, she didn’t blurt out her request. She instead invited the king and the vile Haman to a banquet later that day. Then, when the time came for them to dine together, Esther once again waited. She asked them to attend another banquet the next day, where she would share her need.
What patience and wisdom our girl displayed! God shows us through Esther’s story the value of self-restraint. Her obedience paid off. When the time came to tell the king about the plan against her people, he was more than receptive. Esther saved the day by rescuing her people from genocide.
Naaman’s Wife’s Maid, a Woman of Steadfast Faith
Sometimes being a hero means charging into battle with weapons drawn. Sometimes it means listening and obeying God’s voice. Other times, it means simply walking in His ways every day, no matter how mundane it may seem. That kind of steadfast faith can be the most heroic faith of all.
At a time when Israel was at war, the Aramean army had a commander named Naaman. Naaman was respected by his king, but he also had leprosy (2 Kings 5:1). In one of the raids on Israel, Naaman acquired a young slave girl. She served as Naaman’s wife’s maid in a foreign land after being forced from her home and her own family.
We don’t even know her name. But from her story we can learn one of the most powerful lessons of all about following God. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven,” (Matthew 5:16).
She must have earned the trust of her mistress because she felt free to speak when Naaman’s wife expressed sorrow over her husband’s illness. “One day the girl said to her mistress, “I wish my master would go to see the prophet in Samaria. He would heal him of his leprosy,” (2 Kings 5:3). In spite of being taken away from all she knew, she still believed in God as Healer. She walked in the ways of the Lord she’d known and revered. Rather than hiding her beliefs, she shined a light in the darkness and proclaimed with gentle assurance. My God can heal him. I believe.
The slave girl from Naaman’s house saved the day by sharing her faith with others, and isn’t that what we’re called to do? Her story inspires me today and reminds me of the power of sharing my faith.
(Excerpted from article by Kristine Brown)
Women in the Bible Who Took Big Risks
Risk-takers. They’re willing to kick fear aside and take on challenges, regardless of the outcome. They say yes without hesitation. And when a situation seems hopeless, they trust God’s guidance even more. I’ve always wanted to be a risk-taker. Still, even though I long to be brave for God, fear holds me back every time I get an opportunity to take a risk.
Maybe you’ve been there too. You feel compelled to move forward, but fear surfaces and persuades you to stay put. It presents the same old argument. It’s not safe. As if that weren’t enough, it convinces you it wouldn’t make a difference anyway. And if you’re like me, you give in.
Thankfully, the Bible teaches us about ordinary women who took big risks for God. At that critical moment when a decision had to be made, they chose to take the risk. And the results made history.
Here are three women in the Bible who can teach us a thing or two about taking risks. Let’s allow their stories to give us inspiration today as we learn how to be bold for God.
Desperate situations call for extreme measures. Abigail knew this well. When her husband Nabal hurled an insult at David, the future king, “Abigail acted quickly.” (1 Sam. 25:18). This was not your average insult either. David came to Nabal requesting food for his army. Nabal not only rejected the request, but he also lowered David’s name to a place of dishonor. “Who is this David?” The words left a sting so poisonous David felt his only recourse was retaliation. He set out to kill Nabal and all his men.
In spite of her husband’s bad choice, Abigail jumped into action. Nabal would never have consented to Abigail’s decision. Because of this, she moved forward in secret, “...under cover of the mountain,” (1 Sam. 25:20).
Abigail’s name means “the joy of her father.” No doubt she brought joy to her Heavenly Father that day when she offered the best gifts to David. Abigail knew the wisdom of Proverbs 21:14, “A gift given in secret soothes anger…” She presented her gifts to David in the most submissive, respectful way. She bowed down in his presence to ask forgiveness on behalf of Nabal. (1 Sam. 25:23)
David was so moved by Abigail’s eloquent speech, he thanked God for sending her. God honored her courage by bringing justice upon Nabal while keeping David free from the burden of “needless bloodshed.” (1 Sam. 25:31). Abigail risked her relationship with her husband to defuse a deadly situation.
Joanna’s name is only mentioned briefly in Scripture. But the words used to describe her show her willingness to go where her Savior led and help in whatever way she could. Joanna was among the devoted women who traveled with Jesus during his time on earth. She either had a terrible disease or was overcome by evil spirits. Jesus healed her, restored her, and accepted her.
Most amazing of all, Joanna supported Jesus and the apostles “out of her own means,” (Luke 8:3). Why was this such an integral detail in Joanna’s story? Joanna had connections with Herod the Tetrarch. Her husband Chuza held an important job at the palace. He was Herod’s household manager - his right hand man.
We remember Herod the Tetrarch as the one responsible for having John the Baptist beheaded. Luke 23:11 reveals how he treated Jesus. “Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him.” Yet the wife of the man appointed to oversee his entire estate faithfully followed Jesus. She also supported Jesus’ ministry with her family’s finances. Joanna’s role in Jesus’ ministry was a risk, but her connections to the palace didn’t deter her from her calling. She gladly risked it all for her Lord.
God rewarded Joanna for her dedication. She was among the first to see the empty tomb and learn that Jesus Christ - her Healer and Deliverer - had risen, just as he promised.
(Excerpted from article by Kristine Brown)
9 Women in the Bible Who Experienced Miracles
In difficult times when our faith begins to fade and we pray to God for help, we can turn to the stories of women in Scripture who experienced mighty miracles from God. These wonders recorded in God’s Word open our eyes to the miracles surrounding us every day. They remind us, “… the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below,” (Deuteronomy 4:39 NIV). Let’s look at these 10 women in the Bible who experienced a miracle. May their stories inspire our hearts and strengthen our belief that God still works miracles today.
“When Elkanah slept with Hannah, the Lord remembered her plea, and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, ‘I asked the Lord for him’” (1 Samuel 1:19-20).
She wanted nothing more than to be a mom. For years she suffered with infertility, and her desire to have a child of her own affected her countenance. Her husband Elkanah tried everything to make Hannah happy. But the agony she felt only grew every time his other wife Peninnah cast a cruel glance her way.
Hannah didn’t give up though. Even under the heaviness of harsh words, she held onto her faith. Hannah prayed a bold prayer asking God for her miracle, and God responded through the prophet Eli. “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him,” (1 Samuel 1:17). Hannah experienced the miracle of the birth of her son Samuel, and she dedicated him to a life of service to the Lord.
God’s miracles go beyond the limits of human nature and challenge our understanding. Maybe that’s why Zechariah questioned God when he heard the promise that his wife Elizabeth would become a mother in her old age. Elizabeth wasn’t able to conceive. But that little detail didn’t stop God from fulfilling His plan through her.
An angel appeared to Zechariah the priest and told him Elizabeth would have a son and instructed him to call the boy John. Elizabeth experienced the miracle of conception. She shared her joy with these humble words, “How kind the Lord is!” she exclaimed. “He has taken away my disgrace of having no children.” (Luke 1:25).
Mary, Mother of Jesus
Five months after Elizabeth became pregnant, the world forever changed through the greatest miracle conception in history. The angel Gabriel came to visit a young bride-to-be named Mary. His mission? To bring her unfathomable news. “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will call him Jesus,” (Luke 1:31).
Mary didn’t ask for this miracle, yet she graciously accepted the difficult path God placed before her. How hard it must have been for Mary, with all the doubt-filled stares and questioning comments. But through it all, she and her husband Joseph held fast to their faith and did what God told them to do. From their story we can learn an important truth. Sometimes the greatest miracles are the ones we didn’t pray for.
Sarah, Wife of Abraham
“The Lord kept his word and did for Sarah exactly what he had promised. She became pregnant, and she gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age” (Genesis 21:1-2).
God had big plans for Sarah and her husband Abraham. Abraham’s descendants would be as numerous as the stars he saw in the sky (Genesis 15:5). Yet Sarah didn’t trust the truth of that promise because of her age. She decided to intervene and give God a little help. So she gave her servant Hagar to Abraham and instructed him to have children through her. In time, Hagar gave birth to Abraham’s first born son, Ishmael.
So many times we doubt God’s ability to follow through on a promise, when all we need to do is trust. Why is trust so hard? Why does our faith fizzle out in the waiting? If you are waiting on an answer from God right now, find encouragement in Sarah’s story. Because even in her doubt – even though she laughed when the angel told Abraham she would have a child – God still performed a miracle. Sarah experienced the miracle birth of her son Isaac.
“Then God opened Hagar’s eyes, and she saw a well full of water. She quickly filled her water container and gave the boy a drink” (Genesis 21:19).
Hagar often gets overlooked because of her role as a simple servant to Sarah. But when we see Hagar as a mom wanting the best for her child, we can relate to her plea when she didn’t want to see her son suffering.
In the middle of the desert, Hagar cried out to God. They were alone, out of water, and void of any hope for their situation to change. But God saw Hagar and heard Ishmael’s cries (Genesis 21:17). Hagar’s story reminds us that in our loneliest times, God still sees us and provides what we need to survive. Hagar experienced the miracle of God’s provision.
“The angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah’s wife and said, ‘Even though you have been unable to have children, you will soon become pregnant and give birth to a son’” (Judges 13:3).
Miracles defy our understanding. They can’t be explained. The angel in this story even said, “Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding,” (Judges 13:18 NIV). In Scripture, we can read about many miraculous births, but this story is different. She experienced a miracle, but we don’t even know her name.
The angel visited Manoah’s wife to deliver the news. She received specific instruction about handling her pregnancy and raising the child. God trusted her to follow His directions in taking care of her son, who would one day help deliver Israel from the Philistines. Even though she is known to us as “Sampson’s mom,” God knew her for her willingness to be obedient to His call.
Widow with the Jar of Oil
“And Elisha said, ‘Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors. Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting each one aside when it is filled.’ So she did as she was told. Her sons kept bringing jars to her, and she filled one after another. Soon every container was full to the brim!” (2 Kings 4:3-6).
A single mother of two boys, she faced a financial crisis like nothing she’d ever known. Her husband had been a faithful helper to Elisha, but now he was gone. Not only that, but because of her crisis, she also feared losing her sons. In the midst of her impossible situation, she didn’t lose hope. She didn’t have the answer to her problems, but she knew who to ask.
God worked a miracle in her life that day, providing a way to pay off her debts and give her financial security for the rest of her life. He filled jars with oil until no empty jars remained. She experienced the miracle of God’s abundance.
Woman with the Issue of Blood
“A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding, and she could find no cure. Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped” (Luke 8:43-44).
Twelve long years. Constant pain and bleeding. The physical agony she endured only magnified by the loneliness she surely felt in her seclusion from others. She’d had enough, and when she heard Jesus was passing by, she seized her opportunity.
Jesus knew someone had touched the hem of his garment, even though the crowd pressed in, surrounding him. She didn’t back down. Her desperation brought her to this place, and she was determined to see it through. She bowed down and told Him everything. “Then he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace,’” (Luke 8:48). The instant she touched him, she experienced the miracle of healing.
“Turning to the body he said, ‘Get up, Tabitha.’ And she opened her eyes! When she saw Peter, she sat up! He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then he called in the widows and all the believers, and he presented her to them alive” (Acts 9:40-41).
Tabitha dedicated her life to caring for others. She made clothes for widows and helped the poor. When she became sick and died, those she served gathered around her, mourning her death. But some of her fellow believers heard that Peter was nearby, and they went to find him. When Peter prayed for her, God breathed life into Tabitha. This devoted follower and friend experienced the miracle of new life. Her story became a testimony to everyone of God’s power and mercy.
(Excerpted from article by Kristine Brown)
Scripture Quotes about Women
"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled." ~ Titus 2:3-5
"The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down." ~ Proverbs 14:1
"Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control." ~ 1 Timothy 2:11-15
"She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue." ~ Proverbs 31:26
"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." ~ Proverbs 31:30
God empowered all women to be strong and follow his call, and he used the actions of these women to inspire and teach us years later through the biblical text.
There are many strong women in the Bible who depended on God more than themselves. Some had to lie to save others, and others broke tradition to do the right thing. Their deeds, as guided by God, are recorded in the Bible for all to read and be inspired by.
Kate Edwards is a School Chaplain, Kid’s Ministry Leader and aspiring Bible Scholar. Her special skills include playing Monopoly very quickly and attempting to make jokes about pineapples. You can find more information on her website: www.thenurturedword.com.
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