Women of the Bible: Our Role Models

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The Scripture is filled with women who are leaders and role models, women who have qualities we should emulate, women who have stories to tell. The following vignettes describe only a few of them.

May you have the wisdom and courage of Deborah!

Deborah, a judge of Israel, was a speaker of wisdom. Deborah was a prophetess, but when war came she led the out-numbered and badly-equipped Israelite troops to a great victory. It was a David and Goliath situation. She chose the most able military general and told him what he must do. (Judges 4:1-11, 5:1-18).

May you have the strong faith and the close relationship with Jesus that sisters Mary and Martha had!

Mary and Martha entertained Jesus in their home. They were friends who had many conversations with Jeses. Later on, Their brother Lazarus was dangerously ill, and in desperation, Martha and Mary sent for Jesus. He delayed coming, and in the meantime Lazarus died. When Jesus arrived, both Martha and Mary reproached him for not coming sooner. But Martha also made an extraordinary statement of her faith in Jesus, that Jesus could raise her brother from death. Jesus went to the tomb, prayed, and called to Lazarus. Lazarus came out, alive, from the tomb. (John 11:1-44)

May you be courageous enough to save a life like Miriam did When she saved her baby brother, Moses, and also be spontaneous enough to sing and dance during hard times!

Miriam became the leader of the Hebrew women when they and their families escaped from Egypt. On one occasion she and the women sang the Song of Miriam; it is one of the few poems that survived from the ancient world. (Exodus 15:20-21)

May you have the resilience of Tamar who endured being raped by her brother and yet went on to live a full life!

Her father could not say ‘no’ to his children, especially the sons, and they grew up unruly and lawless. When they hurt other people or did great damage, he let them get away with it. There were tragic results when their lawlessness got out of hand – as it did when the girl-child Tamar was raped by her half-brother Amnon. Tamar went on to live a full life, and her brother, David, named his daughter after her. So her niece was Princess Tamar. (2 Samuel 13)

May you live your life like the aging prophetess, Anna, who recognized Jesus as an infant in the temple, proclaimed him the Messiah, and began to praise him!

Anna was constantly at the Temple, day and night. Prayer in the Temple was the focus of her whole life. She was a holy woman concentrating all her remaining energy on communion with God. At one moment described in Luke’s gospel, Anna stepped forward and, overcome with sublime joy, began praising God for what she knows has happened. She ‘saw’ what others could not see. Her reaction was immediate and dramatic: she spoke in as loud voice, telling anyone near her about this extraordinary child. Here, in front of their eyes, was the Messiah who would bring redemption. (Luke 2:38-39)

May you believe, as the Samaritan Women did, and then share your beliefs with others who also come to believe!

Jesus and his disciples stopped at a roadside well. He met a Samaritan woman. She questioned him boldly and became convinced that he was the Messiah. She then went back to her town and told everyone about Jesus. Many believe. (John 4:1-26)

May you be faithful to the end as was Mary Magdalene, who was the first to tell her world that Jesus had risen from the dead!

Mary Magdalene was present in each of the four accounts of the crucifixion and death of Jesus. All four gospels mention her, faithful to the end. Mary watched as Jesus’ body was sealed inside the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. She confirmed that he was really dead. She and the other women prepared the spices needed for proper burial of Mary Magdalene was at the empty tomb on Easter morning. She witnessed the resurrection. On Easter morning Mary found that Jesus’ body was no longer in the tomb. She was the first person to witness the resurrection, a world-changing event. She is called “Apostle to the Apostles,” since the risen Jesus told her to “go and tell.” (Mark 15:40-41, Luke 23:49, Matthew 27:55-56, John 19:25)

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