We celebrated International Women’s Day a couple of weeks back, in light of that, let’s look at some of my favourite female characters from the Bible. The misogynists like to take a swing at women and use the Bible (out of context) to justify why they treat us like second class citizens. That is a story/rant for another day.
This month, Women’s History Month, is an opportunity once again to remember women, to go to them, to consult them, and be changed by them. It is to call into question a patriarchal and sexist society and church. It is to change the world they live in. That’s the call of love.
— Danté Stewart (Stew) (@stewartdantec) March 10, 2021
Here are some of my WCWs (and some of yours) and what we can learn from them.
We got “If I die I die” from Esther essentially. She went before the king, uninvited (this was a grave offence) after three days of fasting and prayer in order to save her people. Her words? “If I perish, I perish”.
“Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
That was faith in action and it reminds me of Revelation 12:11 “…they loved not their lives unto death” (they did not cling onto their lives so much so that they were afraid to die) It is a great place to be in when nothing else matters except your devotion to God and doing what is right in His eyes.
2. The Samaritan Woman at the well (John 4)
Jews and Samaritans did not see eye to eye and Jesus made it a point to cross through Samaritan territory. At midday he found a Samaritan woman by a well and she had quite the past: five husbands and she wasn’t even married to the man she was currently staying with. Jesus reveals that He is the living water and whoever drinks the water he gives will never be thirsty again. (John 4:13)
Why do I like this woman?
Verses 28-30. She left her water jar and RAN back to the village telling everyone to go see Jesus and that He could possibly be the Messiah.
This woman inspires me to post and blog about Jesus. Why? In many respects she was “unqualified” but she still told people about Jesus, look at the speed at which she did it too: A grown woman, running. I want that zeal for the kingdom of God. Do not let the devil make you too shy to tell people about Jesus, upload that story, status, tweet that tweet, film that video, have that conversation.
3. The Woman with the issue of blood
There was a woman who had been bleeding non-stop for 12 years. In Mark, there is an extra detail included: she had spent all she had on seeing doctors to try alleviate her suffering, to no avail. Anyway, as Jesus was walking past she told herself “If only I touch the hem of His garment, I shall be healed.”
Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
Her faith made her well. How did this woman make it onto this list?
She had been suffering for a long time yet she refused to accept that her fate was sealed and she was doomed to suffer forever. Bazalwane, you may have been battling the same thing for months now, maybe years, it may even have followed your family for generations… but time does not intimidate God. Long time does not equate to the end of time. Tough time never last.
4. Mary (Martha’s sister)
In Luke 10 Jesus visits Martha and Mary.(verses 38-41) Jesus is teaching while Martha is distracted by the big dinner she is preparing, Mary is sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening. Martha complains to Jesus, “Why isn’t sis helping me?”
And His response (verses 41-42)
“My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken from her”
In the ESV (English Standard Version), Martha is described as “distracted with much serving” that was/is me, I get so caught up in serving looks on the “gram” or serving tea on my YouTube channel and I sometimes forget to sit at Jesus’ feet. I love how Mary was focused on the eternal, she was “storing treasures for herself in heaven, where moths and thieves cannot destroy”. (Matthew 6:20)
Rahab was a Caananite prostitute. Keywords: Caananite and prostitute. Two Jewish spies went to the city of Jericho and they were being sought out by the king of Jericho. Rahab hid them on the roof of her house with stalks of flax. (Joshua 2:6) Rahab recognised the great power of the God of Israel and asked for her and her family to be spared from the inevitable onslaught. In the end, an agreement was made
Then the Israelites burned up the city and everything in it. However, they put the silver and gold and articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the LORD’s house. And Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her father’s household and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent to spy out Jericho. So she has lived among the Israelites to this day.
An excerpt from the genealogy of Jesus, in Matthew 1
Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David.
She’s a favourite because she’s “Evidence that God uses whoever he wants to use, despite the opinions of others” –Nyasha B
6. Mary (The mother of Jesus) Luke 1:26-38
God speaks to us and gives us instructions, it won’t always be through an angel and He most definitely will not tell you that you are to be the mother of the Messiah. In this instance Mary was told she was to bear a son by the power of the Holy Spirit and instead questioning the angel, objecting or rationalising…
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
When God makes “big asks” of us, how do we respond? If we’re told to walk away from some things or to pursue things that take us out of our comfort zones what do we do? Sometimes God’s will does not make sense to us but we ought to trust Him even if we cannot comprehend.
So I yield to you and to your careful hand
When I trust you I don’t need to understand
New Wine, Hillsong Worship
What happened? Hannah was childless, “God had closed her womb” (1 Samuel 1:6) she turned to God for comfort. Hannah’s husband had two wives. His other wife, Peninnah, had children and she used to taunt Hannah for being childless. (Personally, if I were Hannnah, Peninnah would have “caught these hands”)
Hannah did not retaliate, instead, she prayed to God. She made a vow to God, saying that if God granted her a son, she would give the child to him by arranging for the child to serve at the tabernacle, a transportable tent used by Israel for worship.—1 Samuel 1:11.
God answered Hannah’s prayer, and she gave birth to Samuel. Hannah kept her promise and took Samuel to serve at the tabernacle when he was still a little boy.
What made Hannah stand out to me?
- Penninah was living Hannah’s dream, she had many children when Hannah had none, though Hannah did not despise her for it. How many times have we seen people rain on others’ parades just because their time to shine hasn’t arrived yet? (Penninah on the other hand might as well have been called Monalisa because she had “umona”)
- She wanted a son, not so she could spite Penninah, in fact she got her son and surrendered him to do the Lord’s work. A lot of the time we make requests that, if granted, they do not give God any glory, they serve the function of proving people wrong or something like that.
When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
Well that’s the end of my list folks…I did a survey on my Whatsapp and uploaded a question sticker on Instagram and some of other people’s favourites included Mary Magdalene, Deborah, Dorcas, Sarah and even Queen Vashti was mentioned for her tenacity!
Lest you forget
There is no Moses without the midwives. There is no leader for the people without Deborah. There is no word from the Lord without Huldah. There is no birth of redemption without Mary. Patriarchy doesn’t have the final say. God will not be bound. God’s women will witness.
— Danté Stewart (Stew) (@stewartdantec) March 10, 2021