A false misconception is that women of the Bible could not be leaders. This is not true, there are many strong women in the Bible that women of today can learn from. If these great women of the Bible are able to stand out in a time in which women were seen less than men, that should be a lesson to us women today that we can stand out as well no matter what adversity we face.
So Here are 5 Successful Women of the Bible That We Can All Learn From
Ruth from The Bible.
Ruth and Boaz is a story that most people recognize. But taking Boaz out of the equation you will still see that Ruth as a hard working woman all on her own right. All the men in Ruth’s family had died, leaving three women alone to fend for themselves. Ruth chose not to cower because she did not have a man; instead, she rose to the occasion.
First Ruth left her home town of Moab to follow her mother in law Naomi. Ruth went to Bethlehem with literally nothing but the clothes on her back. Ruth could not just sit there and starve nor could she just sit and depend on a man. She didn’t have one. And her being a foreigner meant that catching a man to take care of her was harder since she was not born Jewish.
“She asked him, ‘Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me–a foreigner?’” Ruth 2:10
But Ruth did not let her situation get the best of her. Instead, she got up when it was early and she went out and worked for the ENTIRE day. She did this because she needed food and she knew that working was the only way to get it.
“’Let me go to the fields so I can gather grain behind whoever permits me to do so.’” Ruth 2:2
Which of course Boaz did (see my blog here on how Ruth attracted Boaz).
Ruth was a hard worker.
“’Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.’ She came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter.” Ruth 2:7
She was not going to starve; she was not going to let being without a husband and being in a new land get the best of her. She knew that she had to survive and that is what she did. Through her hard work, that is when Boaz took notice of her and the rest is history.
Lesson to be learned from Ruth:
Never let your situation get the best of you, just work hard, do you, and blessings will come your way.
Esther in the Bible
I am a strong believer that the way in which Esther carried herself was the main reason why she was chosen to be queen (see my blog here on how Esther for the king). But more than anything, after she was queen Esther was the most important figure in saving the Jews from annihilation. Esther went before the king fearless, knowing that her head could be chopped off.
“Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:16
Esther calculated and planned a feast for the king and Haman; and waited for the right time to tell the King that she was a Jew. Although Esther was a queen, she had direct influence over the king and was the one behind the scene calling all of the shots. Esther got her uncle Mordecai into the king’s favor
“When Mordecai learned of the conspiracy, he informed Queen Esther, and Esther told the king in Mordecai’s behalf.” Esther 2:22
Esther was always well aware of what was going on, even when the king was not. In the end, Esther was the one who wrote the decree to the Jews declaring peace.
“So Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter about Purim.” Esther 9:29
“Esther’s command established these matters of Purim, and the matter was officially recorded.” Esther 9:32
Lesson to Be Learned from Esther
Even though you may not be the first person in charge. Just as Esther was queen and not king, you can still have influence. At the end of the day we remember Esther for saving the Jews and not the King. Most importantly, just like Esther you need to know how to play your cards right. There is a time and a place for everything. Esther always knew what was going on, and she did not always blab her mouth to the king right away. Every action that she did was strategic so that she could get the desired outcome that she wanted.
Deborah in the Bible
Deborah is one of the only woman that we see in the Bible that is a prophet and was in a leadership position in Israel. She was in charge of settling disputes among the Jews and prophesized how the war would be won.
“Now Deborah, a prophetess, wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. She would sit under the Date Palm Tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the Ephraimite hill country. The Israelites would come up to her to have their disputes settled.” Judges 4:4-5
There is only a small amount of verses about Deborah in the Bible, but her role and her leadership is very apparent. And there is very little to be said about her husband. Meaning that she was the focus and not her husband.
Lessons to Be Learned from Deborah
Never think that because you are a woman that you cannot be a leader and you cannot be powerful in your own right. If God has gifted you to do something do not think that you have to hide behind your husband or that your gifts are any less powerful. You can be as strong as any man and your role can be just as significant as anyone else’s.
Jael of the Bible
Deborah prophesized “I will indeed go with you. But you will not gain fame on the expedition you are undertaking, for the Lord will turn Sisera over to a woman.” Judges 4:9
The woman in which Deborah was speaking of was Jael. The role of Jael is only mentioned over a few verses in the Bible but it does not make her role any less significant. Jael killed Sisera by driving a peg through is head which Jael’s actions delivered Israel. The reason why Jael was so successful is because Sisera ran to her tent, and probably underestimated this woman thinking of her as being harmless.
“Jael came out to welcome Sisera. She said to him, ‘Stop and rest, my lord. Stop and rest with me. Don’t be afraid.’ So Sisera stopped to rest in her tent, and she put a blanket over him. He said to her, ‘Give me a little water to drink, because I’m thirsty.’ She opened a goatskin container of milk and gave him some milk to drink.’” Judges 4:18-19
Jael played her little womanly role and as soon as Sisera was asleep, she killed him.
“Then Jael wife of Heber took a tent peg in one hand and a hammer in the other. She crept up on him, drove the tent peg through his temple into the ground while he was asleep from exhaustion, and he died.” Judges 4: 21
God could have had a man kill Sisera but He didn’t. He chose a woman. The fact that she appeared to be a harmless gave her an advantage and she was able to change the course of the war.
What we can learn from Jael
Sometimes as women, we are underestimated and overlooked. But do not let that anger you. I do not suggest that you drive a peg through someone‘s head of course, but the fact that someone underestimates you can be used to your advantage.
The fact that someone does not see you as significant should never make you think of yourself that way. (Click to Tweet).
At the right time, Jael was able to prove herself and do something that even the men at war were not able to do. And because she was a woman, that played in her favor.
Leah from The Bible
When we read the story of Leah we cannot help but to feel sorry for her. Her father had to trick a man into marrying her and she was always in a competition for her own husband over her sister Rachel. Rachel was prettier and their husband loved Rachel more. But God took pity on Leah and opened up her womb causing her to have more children than her sister, she had 6 sons!
“Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, ‘It is because the LORD has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.’” Genesis 29:32
At first Leah was trying to have children to prove her worth to her husband, but after a while she chose to change the way she looked at things.
“She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, ‘This time I will praise the LORD.’” Genesis 29:35
Instead of getting all depressed and being in competition over her sister, Leah started to stop feeling sorry for herself and started praising the Lord. Yes she was put into this situation and felt like she was always the unloved wife, but then she decided that she was going to live for herself; thank God for her blessings, and chose not to be sad over the situation with her husband and her sister.
What we can learn From Leah
We can never control the situations around us, and we often have to face things that are unfair. We may not feel like we are the prettiest (see my blog here) and
We may start to feel like we are forgotten, but even in those forgotten moments God can choose to bless us. (Click to Tweet)
Often times we need to forget about what other people think (see my blog here), focus on our self, and chose to be happy. Once you chose to be happy and stop trying to please other people; you can live for yourself and your purpose.
Here are the 5 great women of the Bible that we can all draw from. All had adversities but they decided to be strong over being weak, and let their success lead as an example of to all women. If God can make the rocks cry out for them, he can do it for you.