On this day where we celebrate International Women’s Day, I’d like to remember the wonderful women of the Old Testament who have accompanied me over the past few years as I worked on our book ‘Unveiled’. Seeing them listed in this way reminds me that God has been working through wonderful women for centuries, and continues to do so.
These women remind us:
Eve, that we all stuff up, but God has a plan;
Hagar, that outsiders are seen and heard by God;
Sarah, that dreams can come true even when we feel past it.
Lot’s Wife, that women are fleeing from their homes because of war right now.
Rebekah, that parenting is difficult and it’s OK if we get it wrong;
Rachel, that even being loved by a man is sometimes not enough;
Leah, that it’s really tough when we feel marginalised and unnoticed.
Dinah, that women aren’t defined by the worst thing a man did to them.
Potiphar’s Wife, that God can work through sexy women;
Tamar, that sometimes it’s best to push forward and demand to be noticed;
Shiprah and Puah, that civil disobedience can sometimes save lives;
Jochebed, that we should never give up hope;
Miriam, that there is always time to dance and sing with joy.
Mahlan, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah (the daughters of Zelophehad), that sometimes when you speak up against injustice, change happens.
Rahab, that the genealogy of Jesus names a prostitute and so no one is ‘not good enough’;
Ruth, that at times friendship is the most precious thing in life;
Naomi, that even the most bitter and bereaved can be restored to wholeness.
Deborah, that at times we need to listen to the wise women in our community;
Jael, that some women have to take up arms and fight for freedom;
The First Mrs Samson, that marriage really isn’t the best option for some women;
Delilah, that power isn’t always about being strong.
Jephthah’s Daughter, that sometimes the people we love the most can hurt and harm us;
Bathsheba, that women are too often shamed and blamed for men’s actions;
Hannah, that our prayers from the heart are heard.
Michal, that love isn’t static and can change over time;
Abigail, that many women today are keeping the peace between feuding men;
Rizpah, that warfare leads to too many grieving mothers;
The Medium of Endor, that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should;
Queen Vashti, that saying ‘no’ to powerful men is costly;
Esther, that sometimes we’re in just the right place at the right time.
Abishag, that even the most lowly of jobs can be important;
Jezebel, that our reputations don’t define us;
Huldah, that at times telling the truth means giving ‘bad news’;
Suzannah, that some women aren’t believed when they tell the truth;
Queen of Sheba, that seeking knowledge is a good thing.
The widow of Zarephath, that being generous with little can lead to abundant blessing;
Naaman’s maidservant, that the courage of the smallest can have profound consequences;
Athalia, that not all women have redeeming qualities, and that’s OK;
The Shunamite Woman, that at times we have to be feisty to fight for those we love;
And finally, Shallum’s daughters, that women are always part of the story, even if they’re not named or remembered by our history books.
Happy International Women’s Day!