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11 Godly Women in the Bible
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11 Godly Women in the Bible

Throughout the Bible, we find stories of many incredible women who loved and served God in remarkable ways. Their faith, courage, and wisdom inspire us to walk more closely with the Lord today. In this post, we will explore the lives of 12 godly women from Scripture and what we can learn from them.

Introduction

Women play a vital role in God’s redemptive plan revealed throughout the Bible. From Eve to Mary, we see how God entrusted and empowered women for His purposes. Though each woman’s story is unique, a common thread runs through them all – their deep, steadfast faith and trust in God, even in the most difficult circumstances.

As we study the lives of these women, we discover timeless virtues like courage, obedience, righteousness, prayerfulness, faithfulness, and more that marked their lives. Their examples both challenge and encourage us to grow in our own walks with God. We can find much wisdom for living by studying their stories.

Here are some key takeaways we will explore:

  • God uses both men and women in powerful ways for His Kingdom purposes.
  • Walking in faith and obedience to God should be our highest priority, no matter what challenges we face.
  • A deep prayer life and trust in God’s promises sustains us through every season of life.
  • God calls us to honor and serve others with humility and courage.
  • Our eternal reward comes from fearing the Lord and walking in righteousness by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Now, let’s dive into the lives of these incredible women of faith!

11 godly women in the bible

Eve

The first woman mentioned in the Bible is Eve, created by God to be a companion and helper for Adam (Genesis 2:18-24). Her name Eve comes from the Hebrew word Chavah, meaning “life” or “living”, as she would become the mother of all the living (Genesis 3:20).

Though Eve and Adam lived in paradise, the serpent tempted Eve and she disobeyed God’s command not to eat the forbidden fruit. When Adam also ate, sin entered the world. Yet even though Eve was deceived, God still pursued her and Adam, clothing them with garments of skin after the Fall (Genesis 3:21). God also promised that one of Eve’s offspring would crush the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15), foreshadowing Jesus’ future victory over Satan.

Key Takeaways:

  • God created both men and women in His image as equal before Him.
  • Temptation leads to sin and disrupting our relationship with God. We must be on guard.
  • Even when we sin, God seeks to restore us to relationship with Him.

Sarah

Sarah was the wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac. God promised that through Abraham all nations would be blessed, and this covenant promise would pass through Isaac.

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Though Abraham and Sarah initially didn’t believe they could conceive because of their old age, God miraculously gave them a son in fulfillment of His promise. Sarah’s faith faltered at times, even laughing in disbelief when overhearing the promise that she would bear a child (Genesis 18:12). But God was gracious, and she bore Isaac when she was 90 years old.

Sarah ultimately trusted God to be faithful to His word. The New Testament commends her faith, “By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age…She judged Him faithful who had promised.” (Hebrews 11:11).

Key Takeaways:

  • God fulfills His promises in His perfect timing, even when it seems impossible.
  • When our faith wavers, God remains faithful.
  • Keep trusting in God’s promises despite the circumstances.

Rachel and Leah

Rachel and Leah were the wives of Jacob and became the mothers of the 12 tribes of Israel. Jacob loved Rachel and worked seven years as a dowry to marry her, but on the wedding night Laban tricked Jacob into marrying Leah instead. So Jacob worked another seven years before marrying Rachel as well.

Though Rachel was unable to conceive at first, God answered her prayers and she gave birth to Joseph and later Benjamin. As sisters and co-wives, Rachel and Leah’s relationship was marked by rivalry and jealousy. Yet God was at work through them both to build the house of Israel.

The Scripture says “When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, he opened her womb” and she bore six sons for Jacob (Genesis 29:31). God saw Leah’s affliction and remembered her. Though overshadowed by Rachel, Leah found her worth in the Lord and His calling on her life to mother the tribes of Israel.

Key Takeaways:

  • God cares for the marginalized and hears their prayers.
  • He remains sovereign even through human conflict and rivalry to accomplish His great purposes.
  • Our value comes from what God says about us, not comparisons with others.

Miriam

Miriam was the sister of Moses and Aaron. As a young girl, she bravely watched over baby Moses in the basket along the Nile when Pharaoh’s daughter discovered him. Miriam boldly approached Pharaoh’s daughter and arranged for their mother to nurse Moses.

Years later, after God delivered Israel across the Red Sea, Miriam led the women in singing praises with tambourines and dancing to celebrate the Lord’s victory over Egypt (Exodus 15:20-21). God also spoke through Miriam as a prophetess during Israel’s wilderness wanderings (Exodus 15:20).

However, Miriam sinned by criticizing Moses and was struck with leprosy for seven days. After Moses interceded for her, she repented and was healed (Numbers 12). Though Miriam stumbled, she is still remembered for her courage, leadership, and worship.

Key Takeaways:

  • God gifts and calls both men and women to serve His purposes.
  • We must guard against pride and envy of others’ positions.
  • Praise God continually for His goodness and miraculous works.

Deborah

Deborah was an esteemed judge, prophetess, and military leader in Israel during a time of oppression under the Canaanites. The Israelites came to Deborah for judgment, and God spoke through her to call Barak to lead an army against Sisera, the Canaanite commander.

Barak agreed to go if Deborah went with him. Though hesitant at first, Deborah courageously accompanied him, saying “I will surely go with you…the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman” (Judges 4:9). God fought for Israel that day and Sisera fled, only to die at the hand of the woman Jael. Consequently, Israel enjoyed peace for 40 years.

Deborah was a strong, godly woman of faith. She heeded God’s call to lead and exercise her gifts to deliver God’s people. Her wisdom and devotion to the Lord gained her esteemed status in Israel.

Key Takeaways:

  • God anoints both men and women as leaders for His work.
  • Embrace the opportunities God gives you to serve Him, even when it seems beyond your abilities.
  • Trust the Lord will fight for you when you follow His leading.

Ruth

Ruth was a Moabite woman who married an Israelite who had settled in Moab to escape a famine with his family. After he died along with his brother and father, Ruth courageously chose to follow her mother-in-law Naomi back to Israel rather than stay with her own family. She pledged allegiance to Naomi and committed to worshipping Naomi’s God, leaving behind her native land and false idols.

As a poor, foreign widow in Israel, Ruth took initiative gleaning in the fields to provide for herself and Naomi. There she met Boaz, a kind, godly man who showed her much favor. Eventually Ruth and Boaz married and bore a son named Obed, who became the grandfather of King David.

Though Ruth came from a pagan land, she chose to believe in the one true God. Her devotion to her mother-in-law, moral integrity, and humility distinguish her. “She who has shown more kindness than a brother to me” Naomi says of Ruth (Ruth 3:10). Her remarkable story appears in Jesus’ genealogy as an ancestor of Christ (Matthew 1:5).

Key Takeaways:

  • Turning to God and forsaking other gods requires courage and commitment.
  • Treat others, especially family, with sacrificial love and loyalty.
  • Work hard with integrity and God will provide through His people.

Hannah

Hannah was one of two wives of Elkanah, but was unable to conceive a child. Penninah, the other wife, provoked Hannah severely over being barren. Despite this, Hannah still worshipped the Lord with Elkanah yearly, praying for a child at the Tabernacle in Shiloh.

Once when Hannah was praying earnestly, the priest Eli rebuked her, thinking she was drunk. After she explained herself, Eli blessed her, saying “the God of Israel grant your petition.” (1 Samuel 1:17). Hannah conceived and bore a son she named Samuel, meaning “heard of God.”

As soon as Samuel was weaned, Hannah dedicated him back to the Lord’s service just as she had asked. God used Samuel mightily as a prophet to anoint Israel’s kings. Hannah’s beautiful prayer of praise in 1 Samuel 2 expresses her humility and devotion to God.

Key Takeaways:

  • Keep praying and waiting on God’s timing, despite pressures or critics.
  • God remembers and answers the prayers of the humble and downtrodden.
  • Faithfully give back to God what He has graciously given you.

Abigail

Abigail was married to a foolish, harsh man named Nabal who scorned David and his men. Unknown to Nabal, Abigail quickly prepared abundant provisions and went to meet David to plead for her household’s life.

She bowed low in humble reverence, taking the blame on herself, and seeking David’s forgiveness for her husband’s offense. Abigail’s wisdom and discretion in turning away David’s anger with gracious words impressed him greatly (1 Samuel 25:32-35). Consequently, David blessed her for her godly counsel and integrity that preserved her household from bloodshed.

After Nabal died, David married Abigail. Their short marriage before David became king suggests she gave him wise, godly counsel on ruling Israel. Abigail is an example of a woman of beauty, wisdom, discretion, humility and integrity.

Key Takeaways:

  • Actions motivated by godly wisdom can turn away wrath and preserve life.
  • Carry yourself with humility, integrity and gracious words.
  • Your wisdom and discernment can influence others for good.

Esther

Esther demonstrated enormous courage when she risked her life to save her people from genocide. King Xerxes had promoted Esther from anonymity to become queen after deposing Queen Vashti.

Haman, one of King Xerxes’ officials, plotted to destroy all the Jews throughout the kingdom and deceived the king into approving this order. Esther’s cousin Mordecai appealed to Esther to speak to the king on behalf of the Jews, saying, “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14).

Though approaching the king unsummoned meant possible death, Esther fasting and prayed for three days before saying “if I perish, I perish.” She risked her life by appealing to the king for her people, declaring herself as one of the Jews Haman targeted. God used Esther to save her people from destruction.

Key Takeaways:

  • We may face defining moments where God wants to use us for His redemptive plans.
  • Be bold in the face of injustice; appeal to authority wisely and at the right time.
  • Fasting and prayer pave the way for God to change hearts and circumstances.

Mary

No woman in the Bible is more well-known than Mary, the mother of Jesus. Betrothed to Joseph, she received the most incredible calling and favor from God to conceive Immanuel, which means “God with us”, by the Holy Spirit while still a virgin (Luke 1:26-35).

Initially, Mary questioned how she could become pregnant. But she responded in humility and faith, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38). Mary treasured and pondered these things in her heart (Luke 2:19). She supported Jesus’ ministry even when she didn’t fully understand. At the wedding in Cana when they had no more wine, she trusted Him saying “Whatever He says to you, do it” (John 2:5).

At the cross when Jesus was dying, Mary’s soul was pierced too, fulfilling Simeon’s prophecy years earlier (Luke 2:35). Hers is a journey of perseverance, obedience, and surrender to God’s mysterious plan. To her we can look as an example of willing, faithful servanthood.

Key Takeaways:

  • God does the impossible through those who yield to Him.
  • Walk in obedience even when you don’t understand God’s plan.
  • Say ‘yes’ to the Holy Spirit within you.

Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene was a woman delivered by Jesus from seven demons (Luke 8:2). She then became one of Jesus’ faithful followers even to the cross. She was present at His crucifixion and burial then went to anoint Jesus’ body on resurrection morning.

To her first Jesus tenderly revealed Himself after rising again. She clung to Him but was told not to hold onto Him before His ascension. Instead, she was commissioned to go tell the disciples the good news, making her “apostle to the apostles” (John 20:11-18).

Mary Magdalene models a woman set free and making it her life’s purpose to serve Jesus. Her devotion outlasted almost everyone else’s. In her weeping and seeking Jesus at the tomb, Christ met her in her deepest anguish and called her by name. Redeemed, she was given the high privilege of proclaiming the greatest news ever told – He is risen!

Key Takeaways:

  • Jesus sets the captives free to serve in His Kingdom.
  • Persevere in devotion, believing God will meet you.
  • Go share the good news of salvation and new life in Jesus.

Conclusion

Throughout history we find remarkable stories of women who were pillars of faith and courage, playing pivotal roles in God’s redemptive plan. Their lives compel us to wholeheartedly follow the Lord and believe Him for great things just as they did.

The examples of these godly women both inspire and challenge us. Their perseverance through trials, steadfast devotion in serving God’s purposes, and commitment to prayer and righteousness motivate us to walk boldly in our faith too.

These women were groundbreakers, overcomers, justice-bringers, devoted disciples, courageous leaders and more. Let us follow their examples of saying “yes” to the Father’s plans, even when it requires great sacrifice or seems impossible. As we yield to Him, God will strengthen and use us mightily for His glory just as He did these faithful women of old.

Pastor duke taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.