Women of the Bible 9: Who am I?

I became a believer just beyond the city walls. There were regular services with Jewish God-fearing people, meeting beside the river on the Sabbath day. Women sat on one side, and men on the other. On this particular Sabbath, a teacher approached our women’s group, sat down, and clearly shared the good news of Jesus with us. I don’t exactly know how to explain it, but God opened my understanding. I felt so dirty and unworthy because of my sins. The way the teacher explained what Jesus did for me, I could only cry out to Him for my soul’s salvation.

My heart was unburdened in that moment. Joy and peace filled me, and I began to praise God. It wasn’t long before my whole household believed in Jesus as Messiah. I was baptized, and so were they.

I am fortunate to be a woman of means. Knowing Jesus makes me want to serve Him. One way I do this is by opening my spacious home to God’s servants. I began showing hospitality to the teacher who led me to Christ, along with those traveling with him.

When I opened my home and my heart, believe me, I received more from my visitors than I could ever have given. The talk around my table—teaching, laughter, sharing blessings and experiences—I learned so much from my new brothers and sisters in Jesus.

Not long after my decision to follow Christ, two of the teachers were jailed in my city. They were flogged and locked in a cell, their feet clamped in irons. They actually sang and praised God after experiencing that. Instead of bitterness, they demonstrated their joy in Jesus. That’s not all. These two men used the opportunity to preach to the other prisoners. Hurting and bleeding and not able to move, they cared for other peoples’ souls.

God honored their faithfulness and sent an earthquake. I felt it in my home. Water sloshed in the fountain, and a large oil jar tipped over and broke. Thankfully, there wasn’t a lot of oil in that pot, and that was the extent of it. Apparently, the earthquake inside the city was strong enough to free all the prisoners. The prison keeper saw that the gates were open and was about to kill himself, surmising that all had run away.

But the prisoners hadn’t left. They called out to the jailor. He was later saved when he listened to the gospel. When he invited the teacher to come to his home, the prison keeper’s family and household were saved—just as mine had been. The jailor washed the teachers’ stripes and cared for them.

Unfortunately, the governors expelled the teachers from our city. They lodged at my house outside the wall, where one of my servants tended to their physical needs until they were well enough to travel again. All the while, the teachers invited our church members into my home and comforted them. These men were suffering, yet they comforted others.

What a blessing it has been to host these men of faith!

Who am I?

Outside which city do I live?

I’m a working woman. What do I do for a living?

Who were the two teachers that went to jail?

What spiritual lesson can we learn from my story?

And, for added credit, do you think this biblical woman was married, a widow, or single–and why?

Women of the Bible 8: Who are we?

S was shopping with Helena, who also went to her church and was in her clique of friends. “If E wouldn’t be so stubborn, she might be a nice person. Except, did you know … she has a special ‘friendship’ with that butcher man? Her husband hasn’t found out yet, but I thought I’d let you in on it, so you can pray for her.”

S continued on her way, picking up pomegranates to examine them for ripeness, pushing the tips of melons and choosing a large one, collecting rice, wheat kernels, and dried beans in cloth bags, and chatting it up with Helena all the while, lots of gossip in her wake.

Suddenly, she spotted E, the woman she was gossiping about, and ducked behind a fruit stand, finally silent. No way did she want to meet that person.

But E had seen her. She and S went to the same church, but they were archenemies. E couldn’t believe how S acted. Why did she always have to take the other side of every issue? Why did S have to seek the limelight, even publicly putting her down? Oh well, E would do the Christian thing and greet her, even though she’d rather stab her in the back—which she often did with her words.

E embraced and kissed S as if they were friends. It was good no one could see her facial expression. Oh, how she hated pretense—but in order to look good, she’d stoop to anything.

Apparently, word got out that E and S made trouble in their local church. The traveling leader called them out by name in his letter. I beseech E, and beseech S, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. How embarrassing!

Seriously, what right had he to name them?

Who were E and S? These are their real initials.

Who was the traveling leader?

For extra credit, where was the missionary when he wrote the letter naming these women? And, what authority did he have to call out two contentious people in the church?

Can you think of another Bible verse about divisive people in the church? Please share.

Why is it so serious when Christians don’t get along in a local church?

Do you think E and S changed their ways and made peace?

What’s the lesson for us today?

Bible women 7: Who am I?

The judge profesied to the captain of Israel: The journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall deliver your enemy into the hand of a woman.

The enemy gathered his troops with nine hundred chariots of iron and readied them for battle.

Israel went to meet them, descending from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men.

The Lord confused the enemy with all their chariots and warriors, and their captain ran away on foot.

I was outside tending to our camels when I noticed him running towards our tent home. As soon as his face was recognizable, I knew who he was: our enemy, the captain of Jabin’s army, running away like the coward he was, wearing the cloak of a poor man. I circled to the front and called out to him, “Stranger, please come in and find shelter.” When he entered, I rolled out a cushioned mat on the floor.

“I’m thirsty. Bring me water,” he commanded. I knew by his tone I had guessed correctly. This was indeed the captain.

Instead of water, I opened a bottle and gave him milk, encouraging him to take a nap. I would stand watch at the door. He ordered me to lie and say no, should anyone ask if I had seen him.

Oh yes, I would stand watch. I would make sure no one came in, but I wouldn’t lie. I’d guarantee he wouldn’t be seen—and there would be no witness to what I was about to do.

Within minutes, he was asleep on the couch on the floor. Snoring. What a racket! My husband never snored so loud. I knew my chance had come. I tiptoed outside to the wooden chest where we kept tools, chose a sharp tent stake and hammer, and silently slinked back into my tent. It wouldn’t have mattered if I’d made a noise. That man wouldn’t even have heard a camel bawling. He was sound asleep and still making too much noise of his own.

I steadied myself, took a deep breath and held it. I would save many lives by killing him. Still, it wasn’t easy. I had to muster all my strength. I held the tent stake at his temple and hit it hard. With two terrible blows, it went all the way through, pinning him in place.

He would never snore again.

While I pounded and blood splattered all over my dress and the corner of our tent, Israel’s soldiers followed the confused enemy and defeated them. Many enemy troops fell on their swords rather than being killed or captured. They suffered utter defeat.

Soon, Israel’s captain and soldiers passed by my home. Still decorated with blood spray, I invited the captain to come inside to view his enemy. The tent peg pinned his head to our floor.

God had delivered the kingdom of Jabin into the hands of the Israelites. Our people were free.

Later, they would sing praises to God for the victory. Part of that song described my little part. Blessed above women shall (she) be, blessed shall she be above women in the tent. She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workmen’s hammer; and with the hammer she smote (the captain), she smote off his head, when she had pierced and stricken through his temples. At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down: at her feet he bowed, he fell: where he bowed, there he fell down dead.

Who am I?

And, who was the enemy captain I killed?

What was the name of the captain of Israel’s army?

And, for extra credit, who was the judge?

And, if you enjoy deep topics, what is the difference between killing in war and murder? Is there a difference? Bible references?

Women of the Bible 6: Who Am I?

Who is this biblical woman? Please read and see if you know her. And, don’t forget to comment.

I’m a working woman.

My husband and I traveled with one of the greatest church planters of all time, and he worked with us—literally. His trade was our own, and we were thankful for the opportunity to be co-workers, both spiritually and in our jobs. As we put the pieces of fabric together, we talked with him and learned from him.

One day, we heard a preacher of the gospel, and my husband felt he should invite him into our home. He needed teaching. He needed to have sound doctrine as well as boldness and charisma. Just as we would teach a son, we lovingly brought him along in the doctrines of God’s Word.

We are helpers in the ministry. The great church planter greets us by name in the Bible. In the Holy Scriptures, we also greet the people in Corinth on behalf of the church that meets in our house.

My husband and I function as a team—serving the Lord and also in the practical work that we do. In fact, when you read about me in the Bible, my name is always associated with my husband’s.

What is my name?

My husband’s?

For added credit, how do we make a living?

And, who’s the church planter we followed from place to place?

What can you learn about marriage and Christian service from my husband and me?

Women of the Bible 5: Who Am I?

Who is this woman from the Bible? Please comment your answer.

I twirled, and as I twirled, they laughed. My garments shimmered in the torchlight. I placed my veil across my face and got close to some of them, flirting. Then, I moved back several steps and began to dance again. I made sure they followed my movements. Mesmerized, they didn’t even talk but watched—and lusted.

Even my mother’s husband couldn’t take his eyes off of me. Neither did I want him to. I would demand a payment–a bauble or garment perhaps. He would pay for the entertainment I gave his guests.

When the music slowed, so did I. My veil floated in a circle around me, and I made my way around the room, showing my shoulders and my silhouette to every man. They were drunk with wine and with the sight of me—a beautiful young woman, dancing.

I got my beauty from my mother. Even though she is somewhat over thirty, she is still stunning. That’s why every king wants her.

The last man I danced for was the king, who’s my stepfather and uncle. He was smiling as he beckoned me close to him. A cloud of liquor breath hung around him. He grabbed my arm and said with a loud voice so that everyone in the room could hear, “You please me. What do you desire? You may ask whatever you want, and I will give it to you.”

I answered, “Give me a few minutes, please.”

He nodded assent, and I minced out of the room, being careful to seduce as I moved. I hurried to my mother and asked her what I should ask for. I had no idea what she would say, or I never would have asked. She said, “Ask for John’s head on a platter.”

So, I did.

A few minutes later, I got what I asked for.

And, I will never be the same.