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Posts Tagged ‘Great Women of the Bible’

Abigail is a Hebrew name meaning “father’s joy”.

In 1 Samuel 25, we read the story of Abigail, the wife of Nabal, whose name translated means “fool”.

She was a very beautiful, intelligent and wise woman. Unfortunately, her husband, Nabal, was a hostile and stingy man, despite his immense wealth.

During the festive season, David, who was in the desert, heard that Nabal was shearing sheep. He sent some of his men to Nabal with greetings, and a request, saying in verse 8 “Please give your servants and your son David whatever you can find for them”.

When Nabal heard David’s message, he said “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days. Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?”

David’s men went back and reported Nabal’s comments. David got very angry and ordered his men to proceed to attack Nabal.

Fortunately for Abigail, and indeed for Nabal, one of her servants went and told her “David sent messengers from the desert to give our master his greetings, but he hurled insults at them. Yet these men were very good to us. They did not mistreat us, and the whole time we were out in the fields near them nothing was missing. Night and day they were a wall around us all the time we were herding our sheep near them. Now think it over and see what you can do, because disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household. He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him.

Immediately, Abigail took some gifts, including “two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs”, and loaded them on donkeys. She instructed her servants to go ahead of her, while she followed behind.

Being a smart woman, she did not tell her husband Nabal, as he might have prevented her from going.

As David and his men journeyed towards Nabal’s home in Carmel, David continued to rave about how good he had been to Nabal’s men and how instead, Nabal was paying his good deed back with evil. He swore to wipe out all the men in Nabal’s household in revenge.

As soon as Abigail saw David, she got off her donkey and bowed down before him with her face to the ground, saying My lord, let the blame be on me alone”. Despite her husband’s folly, Abigail stood in the gap for him, taking all responsibility for the blunder he had commited…

Please let your servant speak to you; hear what your servant has to say. May my lord pay no attention to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name—his name is Fool, and folly goes with him. But as for me, your servant, I did not see the men my master sent”. By saying this, Abigail shifted David’s focus from Nabal to herself…

Now since the LORD has kept you, my master, from bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hands, as surely as the LORD lives and as you live, may your enemies and all who intend to harm my master be like Nabal.

“And let this gift, which your servant has brought to my master, be given to the men who follow you”. Abigail understood the power of venison (as in the case of Isaac and Jacob, when Isaac said “Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s venison, that my soul may bless thee”). So at this stage, she presents the gifts to David, thus warming her way into his heart

Please forgive your servant’s offense, for the LORD will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my master, because he fights the LORD’s battles. Let no wrongdoing be found in you as long as you live. 29 Even though someone is pursuing you to take your life, the life of my master will be bound securely in the bundle of the living by the LORD your God. But the lives of your enemies he will hurl away as from the pocket of a sling”. She then proceeds to pray for David, admonishing him to continue to do good, and cursing his enemies…

When the LORD has done for my master every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him leader over Israel, 31 my master will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself. And when the LORD has brought my master success, remember your servant.” Abigail here speaks great things about David’s future, and positions herself for favor, by asking David to remember her when that time came…

Abigail’s wise words calmed David’s angry heart, and he accepted the gifts that she had brought for him and his men, saying “Go home in peace. I have heard your words and granted your request.”

When Abigail got back home, she found Nabal hosting a banquet fit for a king. He was drunk, and in high spirits. So she held her peace until the next day (wise woman).

In the morning, when Nabal was sober, Abigail told him all that had transpired the previous day. Nabal was shocked, and suffered a heart failure. He died ten days later.

Although Abigail’s wisdom saved her, her husband, and their entire household, from David’s wrath, unfortunately, she wasn’t able to save him from God’s judgement.

When David heard that Nabal was dead, he sent a message to Abigail, asking her to become his wife. (Remember that Abigail had rightly positioned herself when she asked David to remember her? Besides, what man wouldn’t want such a wise woman for a wife?)

On receiving David’s message, Abigail got on a donkey immediately, and went with David’s men, and she became Mrs David.

What have you learnt from the life of Abigail? Please feel free to share it in the comments section…

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Thank God for how far we’ve come in our Great Women of the Bible Series…this post is the 5th in the series, and today, we’ll be taking our lessons from the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

I think it was a tremendous responsibility placed on the shoulders of that young maiden, Mary, and yet, also an awesome privilege to have been the one chosen (from millions of other young women around the world) to bring forth the Lord Jesus Christ…

“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.  And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God“. Luk 1:26-30.

  • Mary had found favour with the Lord…Remember what we discussed about finding favour with God? When you find favour with God, He’ll commit great things into your hands, and He’ll be with you to see you through the assignment…

“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end“. Luk 1:31-33.

  • In our relationship and walk with God, there is room to ask Him questions…

“Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” Luk 1:34.

but NOT to question Him! for Rom 9:20 says; “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?”

  • Also, no matter the seeming consequences, or what it looks like you may lose, you must always, as Mary did, ask God to have His way, and to do His will, in your life

“For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her”. Luk 1:37-38.

  • When you carry God’s anointing, as Mary did, His power will be manifested wherever you go…

“And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy“. Luk 1:39-44.

  • When God says a word, you best believe it, for that settles it…

“And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord”. Luk 1:45.

  • As I always say here on Anoda Phase, when God lifts you, remember to return ALL the praise and glory to Him…

And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever”. Luk 1:46-55.

  • After Jesus was born, Mary understood and respected the anointing that He carried, and she was confident in God’s power upon His life…

“And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it“. John 2:3-5.

…lesson learnt from John 2:5; do not overlook or under-rate the anointing that your children, siblings, or close friends, carry…it just might do you a whole world of good.

I have attempted, in a rather small measure, to discuss the life of this truly great woman of the Bible, Mary; the mother of Jesus, and to draw out a few quick lessons that we all can take home therefrom…but I know that I have in no way done full justice to this topic…so, I ask you my dear reader, to please share your thoughts and any other lessons, on the woman; Mary, by clicking on the comments link below…

Have a beautiful week All.

Justdoyin

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VirtuousWomanSmall

Ref; Prov 31: 10-end

We continue in our “Great Women of the Bible” series, with the Proverbs 31 Woman..The Wife of Noble Character…A virtuous woman…

“A worthy woman who can find? For her price is far above rubies”..Pro 31:10

Unlike Deborah, Ruth, and Queen Esther, the Proverbs 31 woman does not refer to just one woman…Every christian woman has the Proverbs 31 woman inherent in her…you just have to draw her out…Let’s take a walk through the 31st chapter of the book of proverbs, to get to know her better…

Pro 31:11-12 The heart of her husband trusteth in her, and he shall have no lack of gain…She doeth him good and not evil all the days of her life…Because you are a virtuous woman, your husband should trust in you, should prosper at whatever business he does, and should experience goodness, all his days.

Pro 31:13 She seeketh wool and flax, and worketh willingly with her handsthe proverbs 31 woman is hardworking and skillful…you should be too.

Pro 31:14  She is like the merchant-ships; She bringeth her bread from afar…who says a woman cannot do business internationally?

Pro 31:15  She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth food to her household, and their task to her maidens…as a christian woman, you should increase so much, that you’d need staff to do some work with and for you.

Pro 31:16  She considereth a field, and buyeth it; With the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard…you don’t need/have to depend on anybody, or to borrow…from your own income, you should be able to aquire property and build businesses, etc.

Pro 31:17  She girdeth her loins with strength, And maketh strong her arms…she is strong, and always in good health.

Pro 31:18  She perceiveth that her merchandise is profitable: Her lamp goeth not out by night.
Pro 31:19  She layeth her hands to the distaff, And her hands hold the spindle.

Pro 31:20  She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; Yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy…every christian woman should be a giver…be known for your benevolence.

Pro 31:21  She is not afraid of the snow for her household; For all her household are clothed with scarlet…Scarlet here refers to warm clothing…the virtuous woman is not afraid of changing weather conditions, for she has provided adequate clothing for her family…

Pro 31:22  She maketh for herself carpets of tapestry; Her clothing is fine linen and purple…for all her hardwork and success, doesn’t she deserve the nice things in life? She’s royalty in her own rights!

Pro 31:23  Her husband is known in the gates, When he sitteth among the elders of the land…my hubby sometimes jokes that her husband is lazy, leaving her to do all the hardwork and make all the money, while he sits at the gates doing nothing…he however tells me, that he would looooove to sit at the gate…lol…anyway, we both know that here, sitting at the gates, among the elders of the land, represents a position of great responsibility, wisdom, and trust…Her husband IS a great man!

Pro 31:24  She maketh linen garments and selleth them, And delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

Pro 31:25  Strength and dignity are her clothing; And she laugheth at the time to come…as a proverbs 31 woman, strength and dignity shall encompass you…and because you have planned and prepared for your future, you shall laugh with confidence, knowing that there shall be no sorrow, pain, or regret…

Pro 31:26  She openeth her mouth with wisdom; And the law of kindness is on her tongue…a virtuous woman is wise, and full of wise counsel…when she speaks, she takes other people into consideration, and is kind with her words.

Pro 31:27  She looketh well to the ways of her household, And eateth not the bread of idleness…the wife of noble character is NOT lazy!

Pro 31:28-29  Her children rise up, and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praiseth her, saying: Many daughters have done worthily, But thou excellest them all...your husband and children should bless and praise you, constantly thanking God for making you a part of their lives.

“Grace is deceitful, and beauty is vain; But a woman that feareth Jehovah, she shall be praised”..Pro 31:30

Pro 31:31  Give her of the fruit of her hands; And let her works praise her in the gates…as proverbs 31 women, our gifts shall make room for us, our works shall speak for us, and we shall be recognised at home, and abroad…Amen!

AND, we shall remember to ALWAYS give ALL the glory, praise, and thanks, to God Almighty, who has started this good work in our lives, and who IS able to complete it…

I know I’m not there yet, but I certainly do aspire (and I’m taking steps) to be a complete Proverbs 31 woman…are you a proverbs 31 woman?

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victoria1We have got to no. 3 in our “great women of the Bible” series…and today, it is Esther’s turn…If you didn’t start the series with us, please take time out to read the first two posts on Deborah and Ruth…I would love to read your comments afterwards…

Reference; the book of Esther…

In the opening chapter of the book of Esther, we see how Vashti, the then reigning queen, was deposed from her throne, after rudely declining to honour her husband, the King’s call…

There are a few quick lessons to be learnt from Vashti’s behaviour…

  • Pride goes before a fall; obey constituted authority…the husband is God’s representative in the home; respect and honour him…if Vashti had honoured her husband, she would not have lost her possession…
  • Anointing flows from the head to the followers; be careful what example you set for those who look up to you, to follow (Est 1: 17,18)…
  • If you don’t perform your role well, God will give it to another person who will do so, faithfully (Est 1: 19)…

Now, let’s get back to Esther, the main reason for this post…

In chapter 2, a group of maidens were brought to the Palace, for the King to select Vashti’s replacement from…Esther, was one of those maidens…

Lessons to be learnt from Esther’s story…

  • When God is with you, even people you don’t know, will run around to favour you; in Est 2:9, “Hegai liked Esther, and she won his favor. He lost no time in beginning her beauty treatment of massage and special diet. He gave her the best place in the harem and assigned seven young women specially chosen from the royal palace to serve her”.
  • God will grant you favour before kings; Est 2:16-18 says, “So in Xerxes’ seventh year as king, in the tenth month, the month of Tebeth, Esther was brought to King Xerxes in the royal palace. The king liked her more than any of the other women, and more than any of the others she won his favor and affection. He placed the royal crown on her head and made her queen in place of Vashti. Then the king gave a great banquet in Esther’s honor and invited all his officials and administrators. He proclaimed a holiday for the whole empire and distributed gifts worthy of a king”…and in Est 5:2,3; When the king saw Queen Esther standing outside, she won his favor, and he held out to her the gold scepter. She then came up and touched the tip of it. “What is it, Queen Esther?” the king asked. “Tell me what you want, and you shall have it—even if it is half my empire”.”
  • When God exults you to a position, it is not meant for you alone, but to benefit every one around you; in Est 4: 13, Mordecai sent Esther the following message “Don’t imagine that you are safer than any other Jew just because you are in the royal palace. If you keep quiet at a time like this, help will come from heaven to the Jews, and they will be saved, but you will die and your father’s family will come to an end. Yet who knows—maybe it was for a time like this that you were made queen!”
  • When you trust God for the fulfilment of a task, go forth in His strength, believing that He’ll see you through, but be determined that even if He doesn’t, His will, would still be done; in Est 4:16, Esther says to Mordecai “Go and get all the Jews in Susa together; hold a fast and pray for me. Don’t eat or drink anything for three days and nights. My servant women and I will be doing the same. After that, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. If I must die for doing it, I will die.”

Have you got any other thing to say about Esther? Are there any other lessons you have learnt from this great woman? Please share with us…

Cheers,

Justdoyin

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Reference: Ruth 1 – 4

This is the 2nd in our Great-Women-of-the-Bible series…

ruthlargeRuth was a young Moabite woman, the daughter-in-law of Naomi, and great-grandmother of King David…obviously; a woman with the last two “qualifications” would indeed be great…Plus, she was the ONLY woman in the Bible to be referred to as a virtuous woman.

In Ruth 1: 7-14, having lost all, including her husband and sons, Naomi decided to go back to her home land…she asked her 2 daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, to return to their own home lands to start life afresh, claiming that she had nothing to offer them any more. After initially objecting, Orpah accepted to leave, while Ruth clung on to Naomi, insisting on going with her…

Like Orpah, often times, the enemy paints negative or difficult situations for us to see. If we allow ourselves to get caught up in that web, there may be no escape route and we end up forfeiting our inheritance in God.

Ruth could have decided to leave when Orpah did the same, but she didn’t…the lesson to be learnt from that is not to do something simply because others are doing it…stand your ground and insist on doing whatever God has asked you to do…Ruth had learnt and practiced loyalty…we should do same.

Your good works will always precede you, such that you’ll find favour wherever you go…in chapter 2, because of the good things Boaz (Naomi’s rich relative) had heard about Ruth, he granted her favour by allowing her to harvest from his plantation, and also gave her food (more than she could finish)…

Every woman needs a mentor and guardian, preferably, an older, more experienced woman…Ruth learnt from Naomi, and prospered as a result…she found a wonderful, wealthy, Christian man, to marry her.

Lessons to be drawn;

  • God is very good to those who trust absolutely in Him, and often surprises them with blessings unsought. It may seem like happenstance or an accidental occurrence, coincidence people call it…but for every child of God, your every step is divinely planned. So, be humble, honourable, faithful, loyal, and christianly in all your ways and God will always be there to guide you through.

  • Little did Ruth know that she would find love and happiness among the sheaves of barley she was harvesting…you never can tell, the seemingly trivial events of today, may hold in stock future rewards of great importance…

May God guide us as He did this great woman; Ruth…Amen!

Related Posts;

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Reference…Judges 4 and 5…

Today’s post is about one of the great women of the Bible…Deborah….the first in (hopefully) a series…

deborahDeborah was;

  • A Prophetess
  • A Wife (of Lapidoth)
  • A Judge/Leader (in Israel)

Before I continue in my discuss of this great woman, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that her husband’s name was also mentioned in the scriptures…have you noticed that when a person isn’t of any real significance, his/her name isn’t specifically mentioned in the Bible (e.g. Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman…Exo 6:15…who was the Canaanite woman? why was her name not mentioned specifically?)…I stand to be corrected…anyway, back to Deborah’s husband, Lapidoth…

I think that for Lapidoth to have been specifically mentioned as the husband of such a great woman, it means that he was also a renowned personality…I leave that to the Bible gurus to break down…back to the main subject…Deborah…

I beleive that Deborah is one woman that every good woman should aspire to be like…Like Deborah, every good woman should;

1. Be able to effectively combine her service to God, to her home (i.e. her husband and children), and to her community (Church, office, neighbours…).

2. Be success personified…people should come to rely on your sound judgement and trust that they would succeed with you on their team.

3. Be confident…once the Lord has spoken, be confident that He’ll perform it.

4. Fulfill her promises…woman, don’t be a “promise-breaker”…once you give your word, stand by it!

5. Recognise the power and importance of thanksgiving…when you record a victory, remember that it was God who fought the battle, and always return to give Him thanks and praise…

Inspite of “prejudice” (real or perceived) against women leaders, God has no such prejudice…He can call and equip a woman to high service…A woman can exercise both prophetic and administrative work…Deborah was a Judge, ministering to the affairs and difficulties of the people…God can raise a woman to lead, to guide, to inspire, etc…

Note: the power of a woman lies in prayer, praise, worship, and thanksgiving to God

I am a Deborah-inspired woman…Are you?

Other Great Women;

Ruth, Esther, Mary, Proverbs 31 Woman…


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