Women Of The Bible
While many religions relegate women of the Bible to a lesser status than men, Old and New Testament scriptures both give evidence of the female's crucial role in God's plan for the redemption of mankind. The practice of minimizing the female in Christian denominations may stem from a misinterpretation of Biblical doctrine. Many faiths denigrate women as weaker vessels, yet fail to realize that physical weakness does not prohibit the Spirit of God from using females to perform brave exploits and supernatural acts. "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy:" (Acts 2:17-18).
Stories of women in the Bible are testaments to the inherent wisdom and abiding faith so many have exemplified. Women of the Bible are not unlike those of this present modern day: some were unmarried teens mothers who found them selves facing public scorn due to a pregnancy out of wedlock. Others were barren wives whose infertility carried a social stigma. Then there were the prostitutes, shunned and ashamed, yet grateful for a loving Savior who could overlook sin to embrace them into the Kingdom of God. Lastly, there were devout females, praying saints, who looked for the coming of the Messiah, the One who would change the world and deliver souls from a lifetime of bondage and despair.
The stories of women in the Bible, scribed over 2,000 years ago, could well have been written today. But God looked beyond all of these women's shortcomings and situations to use several as willing vessels for His glory and for His namesake. God chose Mary, a virgin of fifteen years of age, to bear the Holy Seed, Christ Jesus. She was poorly educated, a young woman of low social status; and yet, highly favored and chosen of God. But if it had not been for Mary's humble and obedient spirit, the Christ child may have never been born. Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, was an aged woman full of sorrows and grief because of an inability to bear children. And yet, God chose Elizabeth to conceive strength to bear John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ the Lord. Moving stories of women in the Bible include the conversion of Mary Magdalene, quite possibly the town whore, who met Jesus and repented from a life of sin to a life of serving the Savior. Mary was one of three female disciples who came to the tomb the morning of Jesus' resurrection to anoint His body. But Mary was also the woman who wept at Jesus' feet and dried His feet with her hair. When the disciples complained about the public display of a female of such ill repute, Jesus solidly rebuked the disciples and gave the former prostitute an eternal place of honor in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Notable women of the Bible also include the Samaritan at the well who became the first female evangelist and shared the revelation of Jesus' Messianic calling with the men of the village. Though she had seven common law husbands, the Lord Jesus Christ used this lowly female as a powerful witness to bring many souls to salvation. Even the very lineage of Christ is filled with unlikely females who were not of social or monetary means, but commoners and outcasts. The harlot Rahab won a place in Biblical history through the selfless act of hiding Hebrew spies on the rooftop of a brothel to evade the men of Jericho. In so doing, she not only saved her household, but was also grafted into the bloodline of Christ. Stories of women in the Bible mightily used of God also include Ruth, the Moabitess, who adopted not only the Hebrew traditions and customs, but also married into the lineage of Jesus to become the great grandmother of David the King. Women of the Bible were also prophetesses of renown: Deborah who judged Israel during national apostasy; Anna who waited with great anticipation for the Christ child to be born; and Miriam, the sister of Moses, who as a child, watched the ark with the baby Moses inside until it found a resting place in the arms of Pharoah's daughter. And as an adult, Miriam the prophetess danced and prophesied, as the children of Israel miraculously crossed over the Red Sea on dry land.
Those who would denounce the use of females in the church should read the account of the dawning days of Pentecost as recorded in the Book of Acts. Strange as it may seem, of the 120 souls who waited patiently for the promise of Jesus Christ in the upper room, many were devout females. And on the Day of Pentecost, as the Holy Ghost came into the upper room as a rushing mighty wind, and sat upon each of the disciples as cloven tongues of fire, God did not require the women to leave the room, or wait outside until the men were endued with power. But in His divine sovereignty and infinite wisdom, the Lord granted to women as well as the men, the awesome gift of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. And as controversial as the supernatural utterance of an unknown tongue might be to some; women of the Bible were recorded as having received this gift along with the men. For in the Last Days, God is not dividing the Body of Christ along lines of gender, race, color, creed, or even denominational beliefs. But the Lord is gathering together in one, Jew and Gentile, male and female, Hebrew and Greek;to make of many, one unified Body of Christ, equipped to do exploits that He might be glorified.