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Friday, May 24, 2013

The Top Ten Most Powerful Women


Forbes Magazine recently released its list of the 100 World’s Most Powerful Women. Included were CEOs, political figures, and successful women in different fields. It’s always interesting to see who’s at the top. (This year, the top ten are mostly politicians.)

I would like to propose my list.* Let’s call it:

The Top Ten Most Powerful Biblical Women.

1. The Virtuous Woman—Described in Proverbs 31:10-31, this lady is industrious, a homemaker, seamstress, weaver, cook, businesswoman, farmer, and she helps the poor. She’s a wife, mother, and boss. Sometimes we get so impressed by all she does that we don’t see what she is. The Virtuous Woman is a lady whose husband completely trusts her. She speaks with wisdom and kindness. Her husband, children, and all who know her praise her. She respects the Lord. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all (verse 29). If God says she excels them all, so do I. Number one: the Virtuous Woman.

2. Mary, the mother of Jesus—This very young lady was humble, willing, and strong. She understood the incarnation of Jesus more clearly than anyone else, ever. She met the angel Gabriel. She said “yes” to God’s using her to be the human mother of her own Savior. She knew she risked losing her fiancé Joseph. She also knew that no one else would understand how she could possibly be pregnant with God’s Child. (What a story!) She certainly anticipated ridicule and shaming. But, she said yes anyhow and became the mother of the only perfect Child in the history of mankind. Twice, we’re told that Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart (Luke 2:19). Can you imagine what she knew and what she saw? She was with Jesus when He performed that first miracle in Cana, and she followed Him all of her life, even after His death and resurrection. The Bible says she was with the other believers at Pentecost. When pregnant Mary goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth, she said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour (Luke 1:46-47). Mary understood that she needed a Savior. He hadn’t been born yet, but she was already praising Him. She deserves a very high spot on my list.

3. Sarah—Abraham’s wife wasn’t perfect, but God holds her up as a role model for all Christian women. In the New Testament book of Hebrews, God praises her in the “Hall of Faith” chapter: Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised (verse 11). Sarah laughed when she heard she was going to have a baby. (At 89 or 90 years old, who wouldn’t?) Then, she lied about laughing. On two occasions, she went along with her husband’s half-lie about being his sister. (She was his half sister.) Sarah got mad at Hagar and treated her badly. So, in some ways, Sarah was not what we would like to see in a Christian woman. But, when we get to the New Testament, we realize how great she was. She’s held up as the example for how women should yield to and respect their husbands. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement (1 Peter 3:5-6). Can you imagine following your husband from Ur to Haran to the Promised Land, rescuing Lot and his household, permanently camping for the rest of your life? And then, you give birth to a baby—at ninety years of age! (I hope she had help running after him in his toddler years.) Yep, Sarah’s number three.

4. Ruth—I have a hard time relating to this amazing woman. This is her story: she was a Moabite who married a Hebrew man. He, his brother, and his father died, probably in a close time frame. (How did they die? The Bible doesn’t tell us if they were sick or murdered or died in an accident.) Ruth had trusted her husband’s God. So, she left her family and her country behind and traveled with her mother-in-law Naomi back to Bethlehem, Naomi’s hometown. (I get the impression that Naomi was a cranky lady. She was a believer, but she lost her joy when her husband and sons died.) This is why I think Ruth is so amazing: she wanted to go with Naomi because of her devotion to God. Her mother-in-law’s personality wasn’t the draw. It was God. And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me (Ruth 1:16-17). God blessed Ruth, who dutifully obeyed Naomi and worked hard to provide them with food. God gave her a fine, loving husband and one son. God also made sure this lovely woman was included in the lineage of Jesus Christ—one of the non-Jewish people in Jesus’ background. What an honor!

5. Esther—This lady is a true heroine. Her obedience, bravery, and love for her people are exemplary. Her story is one of my personal favorites because of all the ironies in it. Esther was a beauty queen in the strictest of terms. She must have been stunning and very elegant. She understood that “less is more” when it comes to dressing beautifully, and she caught the king’s eye, if not his heart, and became queen. Her Jewish cousin Mordecai (who reared her after the death of her parents) advised her to keep her Jewishness a secret. Later, she was used by God to save her people in the bravest of ways—approaching her own husband without being summoned! If he refused her, she would be killed. Esther and her maidens prayed and fasted for three days, along with all the Jews, before she dared to go to the king. Mordecai told her, For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14) God answered their prayers, saved the Jews, and punished the perpetrator Haman. I love this whole story! Definitely, Esther belongs in my top five.

Stay tuned for more of my Top Ten in my next post. I hope you’re curious!


*These rankings are based on my own opinions, except for number one, which is God’s clearly stated judgment.


2 comments:

  1. Muy buena lista, me gusta mucho. Esto nos muestra que el Señor también nos tiene preparado algo para nosotras.
    Bendiciones

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. God has something for everyone! Bless you!

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