On the 8th of March we celebrated International Women’s Day, a time to acknowledge, celebrate and honour women everywhere. With this in mind, we must also remember the women of the bible who played a vital role in both the old and new testament.
From Eve to Mary and many other women, their stories have inspired and challenged us all throughout history. While the men of the bible are often remembered for their courage and bravery, women are often overlooked. Yet without women, many of the most important stories of the bible would not even exist. This article will explore the stories of great women who were in the genealogy of Jesus or encountered Jesus on earth.
3 Significant women in the Bible
Being a prostitute, Rahab’s inclusion in the genealogy of King Jesus may seem controversial and even scandalous yet despite her reputation at the time she appeared to be a woman who was brave and compassionate. In Joshua 2 we see her hide the Israelite spies who had come to seek a way to attack and defeat Jericho, and she like Tamar, has cords that represent adoption to God’s family. They tell her “This oath you made us swear will not be binding on us 18 unless, when we enter the land, you have tied this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down.” Her sexual history or societal position didn’t discount her from God’s inheritance or her inclusion in His plan.
Ruth is another significant woman who was a Gentile, and like Tamar, a widow, but in spite of her losses chose to be faithful to God and her mother-in-law. In fact, the highest words of praise are spoken by Boaz in identifying her as a virtuous woman (Ruth 3:11). Whilst not born into the faith, through marriage she became an earnest follower. Following Naomi’s sound advice, Ruth entreated Boaz to marry and provide for her and Naomi and Ruth later gave birth to Obed. And little did Naomi and Ruth know that Obed would be grandfather to King David (Ruth 4:16-22) and therefore, in the lineage of Jesus Christ.
Finally, I want to highlight the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4), in this encounter Jesus whilst knowing her whole life story indulges her in conversation and reveals Himself as the Messiah. He didn’t withhold that truth due to her ethnicity, gender, or past mistakes. In hearing this truth, scripture says “28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?”. The Samaritan woman became the first female evangelist, out of the abundance of her heart she shared the Good News she had heard.
The bible beautifully captures the story of women who said yes to God, who courageously trusted Him and by faith followed Him. Women who boldly opened up their life to the will of God (Luke 1:38); may we too be those women and leave our mark in history. Arise and Shine ladies!
10 biblical promises for women
- You are loved (John 3:16)
- You are not condemned (Romans 8:1)
- You are included (Ephesians 2:19)
- You are accepted (Romans 15:7)
- You aren’t alone (John 16:32)
- You are wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)
- You are free (John 8:36)
- You are God’s (John 1:12)
- You are chosen (Ephesians 1:4)
- You are no longer a slave to sin (Roman 6:6)