So as it was International Women’s Day yesterday, I thought I’d school you guys on some pretty dope women. These women are biblical but few Christians know who they are or why they’re great. You may have seen some in passing, you may have even read about some but forgot about their existence, or this may be your first introduction. Without further ado, the great yet underrated:
1. Jael (Judges 4:17-22): This is definitely one of my favourite biblical heroines. Jael was a cunning woman, she knew what she needed to do & did it. The Israelites have been fighting against Sisera for a while now & just when they think they have him, he esacapes. He clocks Jael’s tent and calm as May she invites him in, even gives him a drink of milk, then when he gets comfy she hammers a peg through his temple. This is the kind of warrior you need on your side, someone who is smart, quick on their feet, can do the dirty work when it needs to be done. She single handedly captured & killed the leader of the opposing army and was able to partly because she was kind. Had she been aggressive or made a fuss, Sisera may have escaped again.
2. Moses’ mum (Exodus 2:1-10): We know so much about the life and death of Moses. Hebrew boy, Egyptian prince, deliverer of the Israelites, etc. but how often do we think of how he got to where he was? Apart from God’s guidance, who else helped him to be all that he was? Yes, that’s right his mum! I can’t imagine the trauma she had to endure after she birthed Moses. Keeping him hidden for three months (which, considering the noise newborns make and the constant attention they need, would’ve been very, very difficult), giving him away, then nursing him as another woman’s son (knowing all the while that he was hers – ouch!), only to give him back again. That must’ve been such emotioinal agony, but you know what she did? She firmed it! She did what she had to do so that his life would be preserved, she that it wasn’t about her, it was about what was best for her son. That real, selfless love.
3. Dorcas (Acts 9:36-43): This is for all those that don’t know about the female disciples, meet Dorcas a.k.a Tabitha. The bible says that she “was full of good works and charitable deeds” so much so that when she died Peter traveled from a next town to raise her back up. How charitable your deeds and how good do your works need to be for a man of God to tell death “no”? Even as the mourners were weeping, they had with them the things that Dorcas had made for them. This woman’s kindness was so great that those around her were blessed to the extent that her life was more conducive to their lives than her death.
4. Abigail (1Sam 25): This woman is wisdom personified. Makes you wonder how Nabal and her got along in their marriage. I admire Abigail because I imagine it takes a lot of strength to be the wife of a fool, constantly on your knees cleaning up the trail of mess he leaves in his wake must be hard but she does what she needs to do. Nabal’s folly had landed him in some real problems now as he’d landed on the wrong side of David a.k.a giant killer a.k.a friend of God. Abi knew that David is not a man to ramp with & so she did what she needed to do. She got on her knees and begged for Nabal’s forgiveness, even gave him gifts. This is what a loyal wife looks like. Abigail took her marriage seriously. Should Nabal have taken care of the David situation? Yes, but he didn’t so Abigail knew it was up to her to not only preserve her and her husband’s lives but also the lives of all of her household. Had Nabal & David entered into battle that day, the story would’ve ended with a lot more than the loss of Nabal’s life.
5. Anna (Luke 2:36-38): A few people were aware of Jesus coming before He was born and we often hear about the dudes, and maybe we may hear about Elisabeth (Jesus’ aunty) but what about Anna? A widow for 84years, temple dweller, prayer warrior, petitioner, rejoicer; she knew that Jesus was coming and she spread His gospel before He was even born. She understood that there were people around that needed salvation and redemption and she made sure they knew about Christ.
6 & 7. Priscilla (Acts18:24-28): One half of the first missionaries, this woman was something. How do I know? Well, she was teaching with Paul who was basically a genius which means she had to also be smart but also scripture says she (& her husband) was able to give understanding to Apollos who was an “eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures”, not only that but he had “been instructed in the way of the Lord and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord”, yet she was still able to break somethings down to him about Jesus and the Gospel.
8. Rahab (Joshua 2): Probably the most well known on this list, another favourite of mine, Rahab. Every time I read her story, I’m astounded. I remember the first time I really read her story, I thought “how could she betray her people like that?” “How selfish” but then I realised how deep her faith was. In order to do what she did, she must’ve KNOWN that the God of the Israelites was the one true God, & she could’ve only known that through faith. I mean, she was raised as a idolater, her people were idolaters, but she had heard the rumours of God’s work for the Israelites but instead of fearing in the same way that others feared, she feared in that she respected God. So much so that when the spies came she hid them, her faith was so strong that she knew she’d be delivered before she was delivered. The work God had done for the Israelites was enough for her to be confident in Him.
9. Hagar (Genesis 16): When we hear about the Abram, Sarai, Sarai’s maid situation we usually focus on the faithlessness of Abram & Sarai, we don’t pay attention to the maid, Hagar. I wasn’t sure if I was going to include Hagar in this list because I thought “did she really do anything?” but reading her story showed me that she needed to be on this list. You see Hagar was an Egyptian, so it’s likely that she was also an idolater or had at least been raised as one, yet Hagar she was more obedient to God than the two Hebrews in this tale. She had more faith than the both of them, when God told her to go back & submit to the woman who was making her life hell, she did it & not only that but she did it while praising God for His goodness. God told her that her son would go on to be the father of his own nations (also keeping His promise to Abram) and she instantly believed. I’ve never heard anybody preach on the faith and obedience of Hagar but in this tale of the Egyptian maid and her Hebrew masters, I think it’s important to notice who’s faith was correct.
10. The Poor Widow (Luke 21:1-4): When I was younger I heard the poor widow’s tale, it serves well as a children’s tale, but as I got older I kind of forgot about her. I became more acquainted with the woman with the issue of blood, or the determined cripple woman in the temple. But the poor widow should not be forgotten, her four verses in Luke share a very important message in the Christian walk. This woman gave all that she had to God, Jesus says she put in her “livelihood” in the offering bowl. I mean, what more is there to say? She trusted God enough to know that by giving Him her all He would take care of her, by giving her all to Him she became fully dependent on Him, she no longer had control over her life, it was all in God’s hands. Most importantly it was her decision, she didn’t need to be forced & God didn’t beg her for it or take it from her. She gave.
There is so much to learn from these women’s faith, wisdom, kindness and enthusiasm, and the other women of the bible. When people say that women were not meant to teach in church, show them Pricilla. When they question our wisdom, ask them about Abigail. When they declare that there were no female disciples, tell them about Dorcas. God has used women all up and in history to spread His love and message and He will not stop.