My favorite person to hear from in the Bible is Jesus, of course. He never acted out of God’s will… He was kind, He was caring, He was wise. If one person from the Bible could come and have dinner with me- I’d pick Jesus in a heartbeat. But sometimes… it’s nice to hear from the ladies. God used every type of person in the Bible: in power, no power, poor, rich, murderous, giving, rebellious, wise. It’s almost like He made sure that each and every person to ever live would find at least one person to identify with in their time of need. Since yesterday was the International Day of the Girl, I wanted to fill you with some girl power this weekend. It’s girl’s night, y’all.
Queen Esther, The Courageous.
Queen Esther is one of two women in the Bible to have a book named after her- which means we should probably listen. Two nights ago I started reading the book of Esther again. I immediately remembered the immense bravery and compassion she held. As a queen, she could be easily disposed of by the king with the snap of his fingers. The queen before Esther was removed simply because she did not wish to show up at a party. So how frightened would Esther have been when she had an opportunity to save the Jewish people in her kingdom, but not without the king’s help?
Esther was Jewish but she didn’t have to stand up for the other Jews in her kingdom. She risked her life and queendom to save thousands of lives. The king listened to her and prevented the mass slaughtering from happening. Not only was Esther brave to stand up for her people but she was brave to ask for help from the king. Women often don’t want to ask for help because we want to seem as though we have it all together or maybe we don’t want other people knowing our secrets. Queen Esther took two gigantic leaps of bravery and that is something we all should aspire to do.
Lydia, The Worshiper.
If you have a mother who is strong in her faith and guides you in yours, you may know what it’s like to have a Lydia in your life. Maybe it’s not your mom… maybe it’s your aunt, your friend’s mom, your grandma, a leader at church, or all of the above. Lydia was a matriarch in the truest sense. Just like you can learn a little something from the older, wiser women in your life, so can you learn from Lydia. Lydia is featured in Acts 16:14-15:
14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.
Lydia was one of the first to welcome Jesus into her heart. Within those verses, she was described as many things: a businesswoman, a worshiper of God, and a family woman. I don’t know about you all, but those are all of the things I aspire to be. Through her, God was able to save her entire household. Lydia was open, willing, and simply, a worshiper of God. If we remain open to Him, God can work miracles through our families and our town.
Leah, The Revived.
Oh, Leah. She is often the joke in a sermon or referenced to as “the ugly one.” We skim past her character to get to Rachel… to get to the real romance. Maybe we skip Leah because we don’t want to realize that we have been exactly where she was or are currently where she was. Leah, Leah, Leah. Broken and rejected and seeking the approval of a man. Sound familiar?
Leah married Jacob out of a trick her dad pulls. Jacob, not wanting to marry Leah, is ticked. Jacob doesn’t love Leah and literally works to marry her sister for seven years while they are still married!! God hurt so bad for Leah. In Genesis 29:31 it says, “God saw that Leah was not loved, so He enabled her to conceive.” Leah became pregnant and named her baby Reuben. She said she named him that because “the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now,” (Genesis 29:32). Time and time again she had babies. She named her third baby saying, “now, at last, my husband will become attached to me,” (Genesis 29:34). Then… she stopped. When she gave birth to her last son, she said, “This time I will praise the Lord,” (Genesis 29:35).
Leah just wanted love and affection like we all do. She was a human and craved to be wanted by someone. It was not until she chose God over Jacob that she found her peace. We are wanted and loved and adored by someone… God. It may not be the romance you envisioned or the company you thought you would have, but God is there in your loneliest hours. He already gives you all the attention and love that you need. Use Leah as an example and fast forward through all of pain. First decide, “this time I will praise the Lord.”