Faith of Women Series: the Sinful Woman

Just as this series began with a story of redemption, I thought it appropriate to end with one, since that is what the entire story of the Christian faith is about. Our series started with Rahab, a woman with a less than good reputation. But she proved to be instrumental in the story God was unfolding through the people of Israel. The woman of faith we are focusing on today was an outcast of Jewish society. Much like Rahab, she would not be the top choice in many churches. But she is nonetheless, an example for followers of Jesus to aspire to. Here’s the story out of Luke.

“One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.” Luke‬ ‭7:36-38‬ ‭ESV‬‬

In Luke 7 a broken, sobbing, unnamed woman enters the home where Jesus is dining. She anoints his feet with oil and tears, wiping them with her hair. The men present talk about her like she isn’t even there. They are offended by the “sinner” in their presence.

Much debate exists over who the woman in this story is. I would caution anyone to rush into claiming to know her identity. The safest thing to do is to remain silent when the Bible is silent. The question of who she was must be left unanswered. Two answers have, however, been suggested by various sources. They are only theories though. One suggests she was Mary of Magdalene. The belief adopted by some interpreters, and more or less generally received in the Church of Rome, is that the woman was none other than Mary the sister of Lazarus. Both of these assumptions are quite a stretch with no basis of supporting information from the gospel texts. If the name had been important, the Lord would have impressed it on Doctor Luke to include it. The point of this story is not her name, it’s her heart.

“Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.”” Luke‬ ‭7:39‬ ‭ESV

We know only one thing about who this woman was: she was a sinner, That label, in this context, denotes that she was a woman well known for her lewd behavior. More than likely she was a prostitute due to the way the phrase is used elsewhere in the Bible. But no matter how much others wanted to label her that way, she wouldn’t allow it to define her destiny. In this concise passage from Luke’s gospel, we see the entirety of God’s mission in play.

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans‬ ‭5:6-8‬ ‭ESV‬‬

This woman saw something special in Jesus. She saw a necessity that couldn’t be filled in any other way. Jesus was her freedom. Her past would not deter her. Quite possibly she had been involved in her sinful lifestyle the day of this life-altering encounter. But sin requires a savior. The holiness of Jesus did not deter her, it attracted her. Faith overcame her failures.

“Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”” Luke‬ ‭7:44-50‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Who among us would go to such great lengths to show Jesus our love for Him? First, she had to recognize her sin and then she had to seek out the cure. Some sources suggest she was a gentile woman. Whether she was or wasn’t she still followed Jesus into the home of a Pharisee. That’s a huge no-no for a “sinful” woman. She could have very well been sealing her own death sentence. Instead of finding death, she found new life. And that’s exactly what faith does. It recognizes our need for Jesus and follows Him into any unknown danger. Her love for Him steered her course, not because she was worthy of Him, but because she knew she wasn’t and He chose her anyways. The same is true for all of us. No one in history ever deserved to kiss His feet or shower them in their tears. Which is precisely why her faith and His love are so amazing.

*I have enjoyed so much going through this series. We’ve looked at some pretty amazing women from the past, who’s faith exceeded our own. I just want to give a huge thank you to all the women in my life who have loved Jesus and followed Him into the unknown and spend their lives trying to make Him known. I’m a blessed man. Take the time to thank the women of faith in your own life. They are so important and are far too often overlooked. Thank you also to all the women of faith who have been reading this series. You’re changing the world around you!

Peace in Christ brothers and sisters


Faith of Women Series: Lydia

One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.” Acts‬ ‭16:14-15‬ ESV

Scripture does not supply us with any information regarding Lydia’s background apart from the fact that she lived in Thyatira which was one of the Macedonian colonies. Thyatira was conspicuous for its many guilds which were united by common pursuits and religious rites. One of these guilds was that of dyers. The water of the area was so well-adapted for dyeing, and the unique purple dye of Thyatira brought the city universal renown. This is the atmosphere that Lydia found her self in. According to Acts 16:14, Lydia was a well-known seller of this product making her an example of a successful business woman in a prosperous city.

I believe there are several observations about Lydia that make her a great example of faith. First, she is labeled as a worshipper of God. No one knows for sure if she was of Jewish descent. Most speculate she wasn’t due to her name and where she lived. Most in Thyatira wanted nothing to do with the God of Israel. It was a center of Greek paganism and the worship of many other gods, mainly Apollo. The fact that she worshipped the God of Israel made her set apart from the crowd and willing to be different for her convictions.

A second observation about Lydia is that she was actively seeking out the things of God. In verse 13 Paul said that they went to a place of prayer by the riverside on the sabbath day. Lydia was there. She was a woman of prayer, not afraid to be seen among other believers, outside the gates of the city wall. She risked a lot for her faith…to be active in her faith. This is where she met Jesus. As a worshipper of God, Lydia only knew him in part. In Jesus, we get a much fuller picture of who God is, since Jesus is the full embodiment of God’s holiness and character and love.

Thirdly, Lydia responded to the gospel without hesitation. As Paul preached, she soaked it all in. The Holy Spirit moved in her and when it did, she took the call to be baptized, making her public confession of her faith in Jesus.

Lastly, Lydia showed her love for others. She most likely contributed to her family’s salvation and baptism and immediately requested that those carrying the gospel come to her home to be taken care of. Her faith becomes action in the form of her generous hospitality. She maintained that hospitality by continuing to take care of Christians after this original encounter. After Paul and Silas got out of prison (for preaching the gospel) they went to see her where many brothers and sisters in Christ were. It is very likely that Lydia had started a home church there.

“Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.” Philippians‬ ‭4:3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

In Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi, he asked for the prayers and support for the women who had labored beside him in the furthering of the gospel. Lydia was undoubtedly one of them. Her presence and example would continue to carry on. Her life was spent for the gospel of Jesus. Today, she is regarded as one of the greatest women of faith among the Orthodox Christian church, which has its roots in region Lydia called home.

Faith of Women Series: Priscilla

“He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” Acts‬ ‭18:26‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Our topic of discussion in this post is quite opposite from that of our last post, but also quite the same and other ways. The person of Priscilla to mention a half a dozen times throughout the New Testament. Her name, along with out of her husband Aquila, is of Roman origin. It is believed that they both had strong connections with Roman families of good standing. They were tent makers, and as merchants they were able to assist those who were spreading the gospel in the first century, namely Paul the apostle. They were from a Roman culture, but most definitely not of that culture as was displayed by their life. Biblegateway comments on the unique couple as follows:

As Priscilla is always paired with her husband, Aquila, it is difficult to separate her and place her on a pedestal of her own. Their two hearts beat as one. Harmoniously, they labored together in the service of the church. They walked as one for they had mutually agreed to put Christ first. In the six references where both are mentioned, the name of Priscilla comes first in three instances, and Aquila first in the other three. They are never mentioned apart.

Priscilla was a model of the Christian woman. She served alongside her husband, unified in cause and purpose. She would have played a significant role, not only in helping Paul, but even discipling Paul. Her and her husband were on the front lines. While Paul new doctrine, Priscilla and Aquila knew servanthood. From what we know is scripture, Priscilla was along the missionary journey with revolutionized the world. Along with her husband and the Apostle Paul, she went to Ephesus and to Rome assisting in every way. As a missionary she scattered the good seed of the Gospel wherever she went. You can read about her exploits in passages like Acts 18:18, Romans 16:3, and 2 Timothy 4:19.

Priscilla’s faith demonstrates a mind set on the greater purposes of life. I don’t know her story leading up to her rendezvous with Paul, but it had to be one of divine encounter. Priscilla and her husband were fully walking in the things of Christ by the time Paul reached them. Their lives were wholly devoted to taken care of others and spreading the good news of Jesus. While her background makes her different from Mary, her life of service and surrender makes her similar. In a “man’s world” of the first century, Priscilla succeeded in both business and, most importantly, ministry. She is one of the greatest examples we see that took the call of Jesus to go to the ends of the earth and make disciples.

In many ways, Priscilla reminds me of the faith in my own wife. God has blessed me with an incredible woman of faith. Her heart is for missions and the spread of the gospel. She loves greatly and serves with her life. She loves Jesus and makes Him known.

The world needs more Priscillas and Aquilas. Men and women who live only unto the Lord. Couples who are one in purpose. Couples who are doing all they can to further the good news of salvation in Jesus.

Faith of Women Series: Mary

Few women from the Bible need introduction, least of all the one we’re looking at today. Mary is unique for many reasons. Unfortunately, that has led some people to hold her in such high regard that she’s even worshipped, prayed to, and relied upon (at least in part) as a means for salvation. She is indeed extraordinary. But only one person is worthy of worship. Nonetheless, she is worth honoring as a woman of incredible faith.

“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.” Luke‬ ‭1:26-31‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Mary, as the mother of Jesus, is the most well known female character in the Bible, and has been the best-known woman in the world since those days of the manger in Bethlehem. However, not a lot is known about her. We know that she was a virgin living in an insignificant town, and of no high standing. This made her a prime candidate to be used by God.

Many early scholars believe that Mary was between 12-14 at the time the angel came to visit her. It was custom for women to get betrothed and married at that age. In our current era and culture, getting married before you’re 20 is extremely uncommon and often met with a lot of speculation and criticism. So it’s hard for us to wrap our minds around Mary being so young. But youth, in God’s eyes, does not equal ineffectiveness. Can you imagine being 12 years old and being given news that you were going to be carrying and raising. the Messiah? That would be a huge task for anyone at any age!

Of course Mary was hesitant right? Well, nothing in the text leads us to believe that. In fact, Mary has but one question, “how will this be for I am a virgin?” I don’t think it would be correct to assume that Mary was questioning the LORD’s abilities. It’s a completely valid question. In addition, Mary accepts the angel’s response without another question or sign of doubt.

“And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.” Luke‬ ‭1:38‬ ‭ESV‬‬

When we compare Mary to some other highly acclaimed figures of the Bible, her willingness to serve the LORD shines. Think about Moses and how he argued with God to avoid going to Pharaoh. Or Gideon and all the signs he needed. Abraham and reassuring he needed so much. Mary truly was special in her trust of the LORD. That’s not just awesome for someone her age, but for any age. However, it goes to show that age and gender are no boundary to faithful obedience to Yahweh.

It would be easy to imagine someone becoming extremely prideful when placed in such a position. But what we know from the text is that Mary never forsook her role as mother and servant. She raised the greatest person in human history and was there till the very end, at the foot of His cross. She gave birth in a stable, took her young family to Egypt not long after Jesus was born, and raised Jesus and His siblings on her own for part of her life. She undoubtedly had to endure ridicule and speculation surrounding Jesus’ birth and ministry. Her life had to be a hard one. Just as any life of faith is. But faith ushers us into a grander story. Just as it did for Mary.

Her faith motivates young and old to say, “here I am Lord. I will do your will, whatever it is.” Her faith inspires us to not make excuses or come up with reasons for our apathy. At any time, in any place, the LORD could come calling on us. Will we be like Mary and say, “I am yours LORD”? Her story should encourage us all to not shy away from the big callings on our lives but to be an open book who’s pages the LORD may write upon as He wills.

“And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”” Luke‬ ‭1:46-55‬ ‭ESV‬‬

When God calls us, let’s sing songs of praise just as Mary did. For those of you who think of yourself as insignificant, whether because of age, location, or station in life, God’s eyes are on you and you’re exactly who He loves to use for great things.

Faith of Women Series: Hannah


Back in April, I did a post on Hannah. It mostly highlighted her prayer in a dark time in her life. This post will be more on what motivated her to pray like she did. Hannah must have been an incredible woman.

Many things show Hannah’s faith. To begin, Hannah is that she was married to a man who broke biblical law and married two wives. What made it worse is that the other wife had children and she did not. She would have been subject to an open shame. Not only was her husband, Elkanah, living contrary to the Bible, she also had to endure infertility. As if polygamy wasn’t enough to endure. All along she maintained her faith in who God was despite the lack in her husband or that of her circumstances.

Hannah was the fourth woman mentioned in biblical history to suffer through infertility. Before Hannah, three other women endured the despair of not being able to conceive. Sarah was the first, followed by Rebekah and then Rachel. What makes Hannah stand apart, however, is that she accepted God’s promise with unwavering faith. The other three did not. Sarah laughed at the angel’s proclamation that God would give her a child. (Genesis 18:12 NIV) Rebekah questioned, “If all is well, why am I like this?” as her twins struggled in the womb. (Genesis 25:22 NKJV) Rachel gave the responsibility to her husband. (Genesis 30:1 NIV) But Hannah trusted God without any doubt. Her reverent fear of the Lord was just one of many of her godly qualities.

You can read her story in 1 Samuel chapter one. To summarize, her husband and her go up to Shiloh year after year to make sacrifices to the Lord. Each time she falls before the Lord in earnest heart-felt prayer. She longs for a child. At the annual sacrifice at the major shrine of Shiloh, Hannah’s predicament is intensified by her husband’s allocation of sacrificial portions, one to each of his wives and children: the value of the women is demonstrably enhanced by their child-bearing capacities. Though he gives a generous portion to Hannah, this gesture still emphasizes the fact that she has born no children and thus does not comfort her. When she weeps and does not eat, Elkanah tries to assuage her misery with a series of “Why” questions, concluding with “Am I not more to you than ten sons?” (1:8). If I were her my response would be, “I’m obviously not enough for you so how could you ask me that?” Obviously, she is of far greater restraint and faith than myself.

During this unfolding of events, Eli the priest comes to Hannah and blesses her (twice actually) and God answers her prayers and grants her a child. That child is none other than Samuel the prophet. In my opinion, the greatest of the Old Testament prophets. But this isn’t about him. It’s about his mom. Many people would stop here. But Hannah’s faith drove her to fulfill her side of the prayer. She had promised to dedicate her child to the Lord for His service. And that’s exactly what she did. This mama took her baby boy and left him in the service of God, only to see him year after year when she would travel to Shiloh. That would take immeasurable amounts of faith. Out of her faithfulness, God ends up granting her five more children. FIVE! What a story. What a woman of God. Here is her prayer:

Then Hannah prayed and said:

“My heart rejoices in the Lord;
    in the Lord my horn[a] is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
    for I delight in your deliverance.

“There is no one holy like the Lord;
    there is no one besides you;
    there is no Rock like our God.

“Do not keep talking so proudly
    or let your mouth speak such arrogance,
for the Lord is a God who knows,
    and by him deeds are weighed.

“The bows of the warriors are broken,
    but those who stumbled are armed with strength.
Those who were full hire themselves out for food,
    but those who were hungry are hungry no more.
She who was barren has borne seven children,
    but she who has had many sons pines away.

“The Lord brings death and makes alive;
    he brings down to the grave and raises up.
The Lord sends poverty and wealth;
    he humbles and he exalts.
He raises the poor from the dust
    and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
    and has them inherit a throne of honor.

“For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;
    on them he has set the world.
He will guard the feet of his faithful servants,
    but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness.

“It is not by strength that one prevails;
those who oppose the Lord will be broken.
The Most High will thunder from heaven;
    the Lord will judge the ends of the earth.

“He will give strength to his king
    and exalt the horn of his anointed.”

1 Samuel 2:1-10 NIV

Faith of Women Series: The Servant Girl


This is the fifth post in a series where I’ve been highlighting incredible women from the Bible who have been an inspiration to me and countless others. Today’s focus is unique because no one knows her name. Which goes to show us that our name is not important, but our faith is. While no one may remember you in a hundred years, your faith can carry on to affect generations to come.



Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy. Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said.

2 Kings 5:1-4 NIV

This is basically all we know about the young girl, that she was taken captive in Syria and that she was a servant girl. Our last post looked at a young girl who became a Queen and used her position and influence to shape the future of Israel. Here is a young girl here also uses her position, not one of power but still one of influence.

I love what this girl does because what slave girl would care one bit about her owner? One who loves God, that’s who. Jesus tells us to love those who persecute us (Matthew 5) and this young girl demonstrates that in a real way. She actually sought the well-being of the ones who took her from her home and family. This is divine love, one that can only be inspired by true faith in the God of Israel.

Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.

Colossians 3:22 NIV

As believers in the Lord, we are NOT meant to be situational servants but frequently faithful. Everything we do is meant to glorify God in heaven regardless of where we are in life and no matter what is done to us. That is the lesson of faith that this young girl puts on display. People of faith don’t operate on the idea of reciprocity. We can be people who love even if we aren’t loved.

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

Colossians 3:17 NLT

Because of this young girl, Naaman was able to be healed from his leprosy by the Prophet Elisha and God was glorified. One act did so much. That was true for her, and that is also true for us.

Faith of Women Series: Esther


For those familiar with Veggie Tales movies, the story of Esther is well known from an early age. She has forever been immortalized as a woman of courage and of grace. Every year many Christians and Jews get together to celebrate a feast known as Purim. This usually takes place in February or March depending on the year because the Lunar calendar and the Gregorian calendars don’t line up. One thing that is often done during this celebration is the reading of the book of Esther. God’s story of rescue and preservation of His persecuted followers. And one central figure to the entire story is none other than the woman that the book is named for. Esther is one of only two women in the entire Bible to have a book named after them. Generally, the titles are reserved for the authors or initial recipients of the letters. Not so here.

Esther is by far my daughters’ favorite heroine of the Bible. When they get to choose the bedtime Bible stories they almost always pick this one. My five year old could probably recite the entire thing for you. Her’s is the real-life princess story. No not Disney’s version, even though I love Disney movies. Her’s is a story with good overcoming evil at both a personal and national level. There were very real dangers that could have cost her, and millions, their lives. Esther’s story has importance for the entire Jewish and Christian faiths. Which is why we celebrate her, and God’s faithfulness in her story, today.

Esther had a lot of disadvantages from the very beginning. She had no parents. As an orphan child, she was adopted by her cousin Mordecai, who raised her as his own. Her original name was Hadassah. She was a Jewish girl living during captivity in a hostile empire called Babylon. No one would suspect her for the one who would be used by God to save an entire people. But that’s exactly what happens.

One day the King issues a decree to have all young virgin women of the empire rounded up for a selection process to be his new bride. Hadassah is one of them. That could not have been an exciting prospect for her. It must have been terrifying. But God is using this situation to bring about His future redemption. This is but one of many moments for Esther where she had to display tremendous courage and faith. She left the only family she knew and became the Queen of the most powerful empire in the world. But her challenges do not end when she becomes Queen. When a plot to destroy the Jewish people is uncovered by Mordecai, Esther has to decide whether or not she will go before the King, uninvited, and reveal her true identity along with the evil plot.

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”

Esther 4:14-16 NIV

Once again, Esther chooses to put her own life on the line in order to serve God’s will. Trusting in the Lord, she steps out in faith, uncertain of what lies ahead. As the story went on, Esther bravely went before the king, foiled the plot, and saved her people. Her entire story is one of courage and faith. Choosing not herself, but her calling. Even as a Queen, she was still a servant. Her faith never changed no matter her station in life. At so many points in her life, she could have lost focus and lost hope. But she endured, undoubtedly because she was a woman of incredible faith.

Faith of Women Series: Deborah


This is the third post in a series we began last week, devoted to great women of faith from the Bible. Not only is it devoted to those incredible women, but also to the amazing women in my life and yours, who have helped pave the way for a life of faith.

My daughters love Wonder Woman. I have to admit, she’s a pretty cool superhero. But characters who are a figment of our imagination can only do so much. What we need are real-life examples who demonstrate the same qualities. That way, our inspiration can be rooted in reality. When it comes to a real-life Wonder Woman, I think of Deborah. Now there are no stories of her using a magical lasso or leaping over a building, but Deborah was a warrior. According to the Book of Judges, Deborah was a prophetess of God, the fourth Judge of pre-monarchic Israel and the only female judge mentioned in the Bible. She was awesome! Let’s jump into the story.

Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided. She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor. I will lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.’” Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”

Judges 4:4-8 NIV

Deborah led a nation, commanded armies, and was the source of men’s courage. She rallied God’s people to victory. She instituted justice. Deborah was the mouthpiece for God to a nation floundering to find their way. She was the voice for faith among a people battling with faithlessness. She was so beloved that the entire next chapter is devoted to a song about her. She is one of few in all the Bible who were extended this honor. In one of Israel’s dark moments, her astounding faith brought the people together to overcome a formidable foe.

Jesus said that faith can move mountains. Deborah proved that it can certainly move nations to accomplish great feats. Her faith captivated a people because she believed God was Who He said He was. She showed Israel, and us today, that faith can be fierce and powerful. Thank you, Deborah, for standing in faith, even when others wouldn’t. Thank you for inspiring women warriors of the faith who came after you.

Faith of Women Series: Ruth


Faith is not gendered specific. Nowhere in the Bible does it state that men can exclusively serve the Lord, pray, fast, or exude tremendous courage and trust in the Lord. In fact, women make many appearances throughout the story of the Bible in key roles. This series is devoted to the great women of faith, past, present, and future.

The last post began this series by looking at Rahab who makes her arrival in Joshua chapter two. Today, we look at Rahab’s daughter-in-law. Ruth is one of my favorite women of the Bible for several reasons which I’ll talk about in this post. Let’s talk about her story.

Ruth was a woman of Moab. This was land on the southeast border of Israel. It was a people often opposed to the people of Israel. Here again, we see God about to use a woman from a pagan people to fulfill His promises. Just like Rahab, she will be plucked out of a people for greater things.

Ruth was also a daughter of hardship. In the book of Ruth, we read that she left her family to be married and not long after, she lost her husband. She also lost her father in law and saw the death of her sister’s husband. Times were not favorable. Out of these conditions, Ruth will endure and go on to see greater days. She was not weak and did not succumb to hardship.

Ruth was extremely devoted. This is one of the character traits that I have been inspired by the most when it comes to her. In the wake of so much loss, Ruth’s mother in law Naomi decides to head back to Israel. Ruth can choose to either stay and start again with someone else in a land that she knew. Or she could follow Naomi. Option one is far easier. But anyone familiar with the story knows that she didn’t take the easy route.

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”

Ruth 1:16-17 NIV

In my opinion, this is one of the great expressions and statements of love in the Old Testament. If more of us were like Ruth, divorce would be demolished, businesses would not fracture, politics would not be plagued with scandals, and everything else rooted in self-interest would dissipate. This is a person emptying herself to care for another. Apart from Ruth, Naomi could have been destined to be destitute. Her love was the driving force of her life and it took tremendous faith to leave everything behind for what she knew mattered the most.

Ruth’s faith-driven obedience didn’t end here. As the story progresses, Ruth does all she can to uphold her promise to Naomi. That obedience eventually leads her to Boaz…the son of Rahab. The story made short, they fall in love and they marry. Naomi’s life is preserved, she is taken care of, her family’s land in Israel is redeemed by Boaz, and the happy couple eventually becomes the proud great grandparents of a king…King David. Her life is proof that our personal faith will have expanding influence and impact. A Moabite woman’s faith preserved the kingly lineage. A Moabite woman’s faith saved a life. A Moabite woman’s faith demonstrated love on a level that many of us only aspire to. Praise God for this Moabite woman’s faith.




Faith of Women Series: Rahab


I’ve heard several who argue that the Bible is a misogynistic story with little regard for women. That assertion couldn’t be further from the truth. The pages of the Bible are filled with extraordinary examples of women who have played integral roles in the story-line of the Christian faith and the unfolding of God’s redemptive plan in the world. This series is meant to highlight those incredible women who serve as an inspiration to both men and women across all generations.

It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.

Hebrews 11:31 NLT

It may seem like an interesting way to start this series out by highlighting a prostitute from the Bible. I assure you, Rahab’s story is a powerful one. So what do we know about her? She was a Canaanite woman living in the city of Jericho. As mentioned before, Rahab was a prostitute who was also a biblical heroine. According to the narrative in Joshua chapter two, before the conquest of Canaan, Joshua sent two men as spies to see the land. They end up coming to Rahab’s house for lodging and information. That’s when Rahab’s story begins to mesh with God’s plan for her life, which happens to be intertwined with the future of an entire nation…Israel.

Let’s break down a few things. Her home was in a city that stood in the way of a God’s plan to fulfill a promise given to a man named Abraham back in the book of Genesis. That promise was to give certain land to his family, which became known as the nation of Israel as they grew in numbers. The problem was that the land was filled with a lot of people. People who were absent from morality. Think the most wicked of humanity and you’ll get the picture. Hitler had nothing on them. The land needed cleansing and Rahab was going to play a big part in that. Just the fact that God is going to use someone who is part of such a disastrous and evil people to work redemption is incredible. Rahab proves that faith can still exist among a broken society and within broken people.

Rahab finds herself at a crossroads in this story. She can out the spies and alert the city of the impending nation on their doorstep. She can side with those whom she lives among, or she can step out in faith and risk it all. By helping the spies she is ultimately putting her own life, and the lives of her family, at risk. It reminds me of those who chose to hide and help Jews in 1930’s Germany rather than side with the prevalent evil of the nation. That too took tremendous faith.

Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof and said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.

Joshua 2:8-11 NIV

This is her statement of faith. She says that she knows the Lord has given Israel the land and that God is God in heaven above and on the earth below. This post opened with a verse from Hebrews 11, commonly referred to as the “Faith Chapter” of the Bible. Rahab is listed there. She is in the so-called Hall of Fame of faith. Her trust in the God of Israel to see His promise through was her motivating factor. Her faith was worth her life if necessary. Her faith drove her to step out of the corruption of the Canaanite people and join herself with God’s people. But this isn’t where her story ends. Rahab was saved amidst the destruction of Jericho and would go on to give birth to a man by the name of Boaz. He goes on to marry the woman of our next post, Ruth. Their line goes through King David and all the way to Jesus of Nazareth. Rahab…redeemed, rescued, and righteous by faith. A woman of the ages.