Long before there were conferences and books and magazines and radio programs and all sorts of other things for Christian women, there were some pretty spectacular ladies of faith.
Women like Deborah, Jael and the millstone lady.
I’ve written before that I’m reading through the Bible again. There are some stories I’m coming across in the Old Testament that leave me with my mouth hanging open. And while I’m certainly not any kind of evangelical feminist, the fact that some of these stories involved the adventures and exploits of women makes me smile.
I knew Deborah was a Judge. But I never recalled hearing the story about how she led the Israelites into battle because Barak, the man in charge, was too scared to go by himself (Judges 4: 1-16).
And when the commander of the enemy army ran for his life, another woman named Jael took him into her tent and let him believe he had refuge there. Gave him a glass of milk and a warm bed. But while he was sleeping…well, let’s just say it involved a tent spike and a hammer and a very brave woman. And that was the end of him. After that, she was known as “blessed among housewives” (Judges 4:17-22, 5:24-27).
Then there’s the “millstone lady”. We don’t know her name, but God used her to stop the evil leader Abimelech. During a brutal assault on her city, she threw a millstone out the top of a tower and hit him in the head. Mortally wounded, he asked his armor bearer to finish the job with a spear so nobody would be able to say “a woman” killed him (Judges 9:50-53).
These women were brave and courageous. And God used them to further His kingdom.
Fortunately, most of us will never be called to lead countries into battles, or crush evil with tent spikes or millstones. But we are still called into situations that need courage and bravery and faith.
When we face those situations with confidence in God’s power and not our own, and when we bravely look difficult circumstances in the eye and resolutely decide that they won’t defeat us, we further God’s kingdom, too. He is glorified and we are blessed.
Be a woman of faith and courage today. Be brave. It seems God likes to use ladies like us.
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6
Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13
Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24