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Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Ten Most Powerful Biblical Women (continued)

Yesterday, I posted the Top Five. If you missed them, be sure to check them out. Here are my picks for 6-10:

6. Priscilla—This New Testament lady is a virtuous woman in every way. (I think it’s hilarious that her husband’s name is Aquila. I mean really, Priscilla and Aquila!! It’s just too good.) Laughing aside, she’s in my top ten because she’s the only woman in the Bible who helped to disciple one of the early preachers of the gospel. The more I learn about her, the more I like her. She is always mentioned alongside her husband. They were a team in many ways: their marriage, working together making tents, discipling Apollos, traveling with Paul and helping him in the ministry, and opening their home as a meeting place for the church. (Acts 18; Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19)

7. Deborah—This Old Testament lady was the only woman who was appointed a judge in Israel. We’re not sure if she was a widow at the time she was a judge, but we know her husband was Lapidoth. (Judges 4-5) She’s one of the few ladies in the Bible who’s called a prophetess—someone who proclaims God’s Word. We find her under the palm tree of Deborah (4:5) helping people with their problems. She calls for Barak and asks him if he got the directions from God to go to battle with the army of Sisera. His response shows a lack of faith. He says, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go. Then Deborah answers him, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh (4:8-9). Deborah actually rode into battle with General Barak. She encouraged him with these words: Up; for this is the day in which the LORD hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the LORD gone out before thee? (4:14) The battle raged, and Sisera ran away on foot. (Brave man!) Later, Sisera is killed by Jael, and Deborah gives all the credit to the Lord. She sings a duet with Barak that says, Praise ye the LORD for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves. Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel (5:2-3). I admire Deborah for honoring God always, for being wise and judging Israel, for proclaiming God’s Word, and for praising God for another woman’s success. She’s definitely a top ten!

8. Jael—Heber’s wife Jael is one of the gutsiest women of the Bible. I have no idea how she had the wisdom, nerve, and acting ability to pull off one of the most ingenious assassinations in Scripture. She sees Sisera running near her tent and goes out to meet him. Picture this: she is his enemy, yet she gains his confidence, and he trusts her enough to go to her tent to hunker down. She gives him milk. (It naturally contains tryptophan, which produces restfulness, relaxation, and sleep.) Jael tucks him into bed, and stands guard in the doorway—until he’s asleep. Then, she grabs a tent peg in one hand and a hammer in the other and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died. And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will shew thee the man whom thou seekest. And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail was in his temples (Judges 4:21-22). God delivered His enemy into the hand of a woman, just as Deborah had prophesied. Jael, the brave and lethal actress, did the dirty work. For this reason, I believe she’s one of the Bible’s “most powerful women.”

9. DorcasNow there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did (Acts 9:36). This lady was a devoted follower of Christ and someone who helped others. Dorcas got sick and died. They washed her body and laid it out in an upper room. Two men were sent to go and get Peter. Peter went right away. When he arrived in the chamber, he found this scene: all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them (9:39). Peter shooed all the people out of the room, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive. And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord (9:40-42). Dorcas makes my list because of her faith, her ministry to needy women, and because God saw fit to raise her from the dead as evidence of His resurrection power. One can only imagine the ministry she had after she came back from the other side. Such stories! Such a wonderful testimony!

10. The queen of Sheba—The only political figure in my top ten, this lady makes my list for several reasons. I admire her wit, her curiosity, her willingness to examine the facts, and her honest assessment of what she saw. Her story is in 1 Kings 10:1-13 and 2 Chronicles 9:1-12. The Bible says the queen went to see Solomon because she had heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions (1 Kings 10:1). The Bible tells us she arrived at Jerusalem with a very great company, and camels that bare spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones (2 Chronicles 9:1). (Had she lived today, she’d have had a hard time getting through customs!) She traveled quite some way to get to Jerusalem, from Saba, now Yemen. And when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart. And Solomon told her all her questions: and there was nothing hid from Solomon which he told her not. And when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built, And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel; his cupbearers also, and their apparel; and his ascent by which he went up into the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her. She was left speechless! But, then, she says, It was a true report which I heard in mine own land of thine acts, and of thy wisdom: Howbeit I believed not their words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the one half of the greatness of thy wisdom was not told me: for thou exceedest the fame that I heard. Happy are thy men, and happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and hear thy wisdom. Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on his throne, to be king for the LORD thy God: because thy God loved Israel, to establish them for ever, therefore made he thee king over them, to do judgment and justice (2 Corinthians 9:1b-8). The queen with all the questions got her questions answered—and then some. What I love here is that she gives the glory to God. She praises Solomon, yes, but she gives the glory to God. Did she become a true believer on her trip to Jerusalem? We don’t know. We do know that she went back to her country with a renewed respect for our God and His praise on her lips.

Who would you include in your “Top Ten Most Powerful Biblical Women”? Please share why, and what ranking you would give her/them. I’d love to hear your answers!


Please share your thoughts.