My friend, Katy W., has written a series of short devotional thoughts called "Twelve Women on the Bible." She has granted me kind permission to share. In this post are the first three short stories in her series.
Women aren't mentioned much in the Bible, but their legacies live on and are noticed if you look hard and study their character and responses to what was done to them.
1. "My prayers were answered!" This happy new mother must have thought this, as she cuddled her newborn son in her arms.
The first woman chosen is Hannah; Hannah in the Bible never gave up even when she thought God would never answer her.
The prayers uttered for so long seemed to be unheard, yet God had a plan. I Sam 1-2 tells the story of Hannah’s persistence, and in the end her prayers were answered. She had a baby boy; we know him as Samuel. Hannah’s character is to be admired for her constant praying; helping us learn to never give up on what we truly wish for in our heart of hearts! Ask and ye shall receive, right? Sometimes, yes, others not so much but God answered Hannah in the way that she yearned.
2. "I felt worthless, yet He forgave me!" This was what may have been this woman’s recollections when telling others what the Lord had done for her. This grateful woman, who is our second woman, has no name. You know the woman who poured priceless perfume on Jesus’ feet? Well, it was her. I know there are two others but this one is chosen here because she showed courage and faith. Luke 7:37-50 tells of her coming to humble herself and ask for forgiveness for the sin she’d committed. You wonder what went through her mind when Jesus said, ”Go in peace, your faith has saved you. Your sins are forgiven you.” This woman must have leapt out the room in thankfulness. She had been forgiven! She had not only been forgiven but she had been given a second chance. Her character is to be admired for her grateful, humble heart and the ability to be forgiven.
Also read John 8:1-11 about the woman caught in adultery. This woman likely felt the same when Jesus gave her another chance to set it right as well. This woman may have had a bit worse in our thinking, but the way Jesus replied after he put the Pharisees in their place and it was just her and the Lord - what did he say? He said, “Go and sin no more." Jesus judges and punishes sin, but He also gives the sinner the chance to change what he has done; time after time. She too must have gone away a brand new woman. Just like when Jesus spoke to us and we were changed from then on (read Romans 12:1), this woman was also changed. This woman is to be admired also for her humility and is a true example from a woman's point of view of how Jesus forgave us and gave us a new way to live.
3. "Your God, will be my God." These were Ruth’s loyal words when she begged to stay with Naomi. We see this unique woman as our third example. Submissive, yet persistent, Ruth persevered with her quest to follow Naomi, making Naomi’s God her own God too. Talk about a change of heart and life! Ruth was a Moabitess. The Moabites worshiped false gods. Now, not only did she embrace Naomi, but Naomi’s God as well. Today we find Ruth in the very lineage of Christ Himself. Talk about leaving a legacy behind! The book of Ruth tells of one woman who chose to follow a brand new path to help her mother in law and was blessed with a husband and a godly heritage. Ruth’s character is to be admired for her loyalty.