Notable Women in the Bible
Two weeks ago I encouraged you to have a Bible reading plan for the new year—and I felt a bit guilty for saying it. This wasn’t because I gave bad advice, but because I hadn’t yet figured out my own plan. I try to never tell someone to do something that I won’t or don’t do myself; yet I ran the risk of doing just that.
Each day I had asked God what my Bible reading should entail for next year and each day he was silent—or more likely I wasn’t listening close enough. Despite hearing nothing, I was confident I’d have my plan prior to January 1. Yet when I picked up my Bible on the first day of the new year, I still didn’t know what I was supposed to read.
So, I asked God, “New Testament or Old?”
He said “Old.”
Then I started listing the different sections: The Law of Moses, the historic books, the poetic books, the prophets. For each group, he said, “No.”
Then two specific books came to mind; I think it was God’s prompting. I asked, “Ruth or Esther?”
I heard, “Yes.”
Again I asked, “Ruth or Esther?”
Then the Holy Spirit began to clarify. My reading is to focus on the notable women in the Bible—and I’m delighted to do so. “Thank you, Jesus!”
So, I’ve already read Ruth and am on my second pass through Esther. Other names that come to mind are Deborah (the judge), Hannah (Samuel’s mom), Sarah (Abraham’s wife), Naomi (Ruth’s mother-in-law), Rebekah (Isaac’s wife), Rachel (one of Jacob’s wives), and Abigail (one of David’s wives). Then are the four women in the Bible honored by name in the family tree of Jesus: Tamar, Rahab, and Bathsheba, along with Ruth. There are also some not mentioned by name, such as Naaman’s servant girl and Jephthah’s daughter.
In the New Testament there is Mary (mother of Jesus), Mary Magdalene (from whom Jesus cast out demons), Anna (the woman in the temple who awaited Jesus’ birth), and Priscilla (wife of Aquila and friend of Paul).
This is just a start. Who else should I add to my list of women in the Bible?
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.