Discover the background and life lessons of these strong women in the Bible.
Mary of Nazareth, the mother of Jesus is a model of obedience and trust. She was just a teenager when the unimaginable happened—the angel Gabriel appeared to her and announced she was chosen by God to give birth to the Messiah.
Ruth was a widow who showed remarkable faith. She traveled a difficult journey with her widowed mother-in-law to live in Bethlehem. Despite her tremendous loss, Ruth firmly believed that God would provide for her. She is a model of bravery, faith and obedience.
Esther was a remarkable woman who put her own life at risk to save her people. She is an inspiring example of serving others under incredibly difficult circumstances. Her bravery and courage is still celebrated by Jews during Purim.
Eve was the first woman, first wife and the first mother. She was also the first to encounter Satan and was tempted by him to disobey God’s command. Evicted from the Garden of Eden and shamed, Eve remained hopeful and persevered in faith. Her life is an example of accepting personal responsibility.
Elizabeth never had a child and was well past child-bearing years, when amazingly, through the grace of God, she conceived a son. Her child became John the Baptist, the prophet who foretold the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Elizabeth is beautiful example of how faithfully waiting on the Lord can bring miraculous blessings.
Rachel was a beautiful woman who was wronged by her father who deceptively arranged for Leah, Rachel’s older sister, to marry Rachel’s love, Jacob. Rachel persevered and patiently waited seven years to become Jacob’s second wife. Unfortunately Rachel had difficulty conceiving and competed with Leah over Jacob’s love throughout her life.
Hagar experienced prejudice, injustice and despair. She was Sarah’s servant and when Sarah could not have children she gave Hagar to her husband in the hopes Hagar would conceive. When Hagar became pregnant Sarah grew jealous and threw her out of their home. An angel found her alone in the desert. He promised a blessing on her child, naming him Ishmael, which means “God hears”. In response, Hagar declared: “You are the One who sees me.”
Mary Magdalene’s life has long been the subject of controversy and mystery. While historically, many have portrayed Mary Magdalene as a repentant prostitute, recently scholars dispute this belief. What is clear from the Bible is that Mary of Magdalene was healed by Jesus and became a devoted follower.
Martha was a personal friend of Jesus. She and her siblings lived in Bethany when Jesus and Hs disciples stopped at their house. During Jesus' visit Mary stayed at His feet and listened to Jesus speak while her sister Martha was busy preparing and serving the meal. Frustrated, Martha asked Jesus to order Mary to help her. Jesus responded, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
Rebekah’s life is an example of what happens when you rely on your own strength instead of trusting the Lord. Rebekah married Isaac. After many years of marriage, they did not have any children. Isaac prayed for God's blessing and Rebekah became pregnant with the first twins mentioned in the Bible, Jacob and Esau. Unfortunately, from the very beginning Jacob and Esau did not get along. Rebekah and Isaac each took sides and chose favorites; she favored Jacob while Isaac favored Esau. Ultimately, Rebekah tricked Isaac to give blessings which were intended for the firstborn, Esau, to her favorite son, Jacob.
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