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Celebrating women today and yesterday

Women's History Month: Notable women of the Bible

March is Women’s History Month. Since the beginning of time, women have contributed in a variety of ways to the world and society we live in today. Many of those women paved a road we can now look to for inspiration, wisdom and guidance.
There are many women throughout the Bible who were truly set apart by God and left a mark on the world they lived in and the world today. While there are thousands of women we could celebrate for Women’s History Month, below are four notable women from the Bible we are celebrating this month.

Ruth: Loving. Kind. Patient. Diligent.

Read Ruth’s powerful story in Ruth 1-4.
RuthThe story of Ruth showcases God’s provision and faithfulness. Her character demonstrates how to cling to God when circumstances are uncertain.
Ruth’s story is a beautiful reminder of how to remain strong in character and true to God – even when everything around you may be collapsing. Her journey occurs during a time of disobedience, idolatry and violence.
Recently widowed, Ruth chose to stay with her mother-in-law Naomi and leave her homeland. Arriving in Bethlehem, Ruth went to work in the harvest fields to provide grain for them both. She found herself in a field belonging to Boaz: a relative of her father-in-law, Elimelech.
Boaz continued to protect and provide for Ruth, and in turn Naomi, and later wed Ruth. Throughout this story, we can see God’s clear plan and protection for these three and can rest in the truth that God does the same for each of us.
“So now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you say, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence.” – Ruth 3:11
Through Ruth, a Moabite widow, and Boaz, a descendant of Rahab, a former prostitute, their offspring continued the family line to bring Jesus into our world.

Esther: Wise. Passionate. Brave. Loyal.

Read Esther’s journey to courage in Esther 1-10.
EstherThe story of Esther showcases God’s protection and his perfect plan. Her character shows us how to lead with boldness and humility, and how to live as an advocate for others.
Esther is one of only two books named after women in the Bible (Ruth is the other). Her story is set in the Persian Empire. The book begins with a search for a new queen following the disobedience from the prior Queen Vashti. The king calls for all the beautiful young women to be brought to the royal harem and Esther is one of the chosen women.

King Xerxes chose Esther to be his queen. During her reign, there was a threat to condemn all the Jews to death. Esther was in the right place and position to impact this potential threat.
While God prepared this opportunity for Esther, she had to make the choice to be bold and act.
“’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?’” – Esther 4:14
Because of her courage, a whole nation was saved.

Hannah: Generous. Bold. Hopeful. Authentic.

Read Hannah’s impactful story in 1 Samuel 1-2.
HannahThe story of Hannah demonstrates God’s provision and his ability to accomplish what seems impossible. Hannah’s actions show us how to live authentically and trust God when we do not yet understand his plan.
1 Samuel begins in the days of judges and follows the transition of being led by God to being led by a king. Hannah was married to Elkanah. Elkanah’s other wife Peninnah had children, but Hannah didn’t. Year after year when they would travel to the Tabernacle to worship the Lord, there were stark reminders she was childless.
One year, she prayed desperately to the Lord for a son (1 Samuel 1:11) and promised to give him back to the Lord if her prayer was answered. A few years later, the Lord blessed her with a son, Samuel.
“Then Hannah prayed and said: ‘My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn 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.’” – 1 Samuel 2:1-2
Hannah followed through on her promise and dedicated Samuel to God’s service: Samuel stayed in Shiloh to serve alongside Eli the priest. While it must have been challenging for Hannah to let go of her son, she knew she was entrusting him back into the hands he always belonged to: God’s.

Mary: Humble. Joyful. Surrendered. Purposeful.

MaryThe story of Mary showcases God’s love for his children and his perfect plan to redeem humanity. Mary’s character shows us how to surrender to God’s design for our lives and praise him in every circumstance.
Many of us think of Mary as the virgin who gave birth to Jesus. Or maybe the mother of our Savior. Do you ever think of the strength she must have encompassed from the Lord to walk through pregnancy, newly married and a virgin? And then to walk alongside our Messiah from childhood to the cross?
She saw him arrive on this Earth and his firstborn son, but also had to watch as he was crucified as her Savior.
“And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed.’” – Luke 1:46-48
Mary shows us what it means to be available to God in all circumstances.
We are so grateful for these women who have gone before us. And we are thankful for the women who walk beside us today. Do you know a woman who reminds you of Ruth, Esther Hannah or Mary? Don’t be afraid to tell them and encourage them today.

What are some of your favorite stories of women in history?


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