March is Women’s History Month! As I spend this time reflecting on the powerful women who have made an impact on my life, I also want to reflect on three women from the Bible that still inspire us today.
I think it is safe to say we can all recall the story of Moses, the deliverer of the Hebrew people. However, do you recall the story of Miriam?
Miriam played an integral role in saving the life of Moses. In the history of Christianity, Miriam is the first woman to be a prophetess It was her bravery and faith that changed the course of history.
We can thank Miriam for saving Moses' life. When Moses was born the current pharaoh ordered the death of all newborn Hebrew boys in order to reduce the Israelite population. In Hebrews 11:23, it says that Miriam helped her mother Jochebed hide Moses for three months. It got to the point where they could no longer hide Moses, and Jochebed placed Moses in a basket and set him afloat through the bank of reeds on the Nile river. Pharaoh's daughter found Moses in the basket and asked if there was a Hebrew woman to nurse him. Then Miriam fetched Jochebed, Moses' own mother, to nurse him until the pharaoh's daughter could take care of him.
Moses leaves a big imprint on the Old Testament and also wrote the ten commandments that were by God for the Israelites. If it wasn’t for Miriam’s bravery, our history would look a lot different.
Esther was the Jewish woman who became a queen alongside the Persian king, Ahasuerus. Esther embodied the virtues of humility, beauty, courage, and intelligence. She used her position for good.
As the book of Esther recounts, her people were on the edge of being annihilated, yet Esther selflessly risked her life to save them. Esther’s Uncle, Mordecai, refused to bow down to Haman, the king’s chief minister. As a result, Haman plotted the massacre of all Jews. At the time, Haman did not know that Esther was a Jew. Esther was very quiet about that. Haman also did not know that Mordecai was Esther’s uncle. In order to save the Jews, Esther ordered a fast for three days and three nights.
In those times, no one was allowed to approach the king in the inner courts without being summoned. If this rule was broken the result was the death penalty. Yet on the third day, the king summoned Esther and she found favor in his eyes. This time with the king allowed Esther to persuade him to not annihilate the Jews. The king loved Esther so much that he offered her half of his kingdom, but Esther requested only that her people be spared. Eventually, the Jews were spared, and Hamman was hanged. Also, his estate was gifted to Esther.
Esther did not force her power. Esther’s sacrificial love for her people shows that not only was she a good queen, but also a liberator. She used her power for good. Esther’s traits of humility, sacrifice, and wisdom are what make her one of the most influential women in history.
Lydia worked in a male-dominated Roman industry: She ran a successful business selling purple fabric. Lydia was well-connected in her trade. The Bible tells us that Lydia brought her whole household to Christianity, and hosted Paul and his friends in her house. This allowed them to spread the gospel more effectively and shows Lydia’s bravery.
In the story, Paul and his friends had just been persecuted. It would not have been good to be seen with foreign men, and Lydia took that risk by welcoming them into her home.
I think Lydia’s legacy really speaks to the modern-day woman. She is a biblical example of a successful female entrepreneur.
Though these three women in the Bible had a big influence on our history there are many more women in the Bible who have also had a great legacy. Who is a female biblical character that speaks to you?
Madison Myers is a graduate of The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, having majored in marketing, and is a young professional. She has traveled to a majority of America's national parks and is eager to see them all.