One of the major events in the Bible’s book of Exodus is the miraculous departure, or Exodus, of the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt. The memory of this single event is repeated over and over throughout the history of the Jewish nation. The Hebrew people had been slaves in Egypt for hundreds of years. That’s all the people knew – harsh slavery. The Pharaoh had deceitfully enslaved them and through hard labor, forced them to construct cities for him.
But once they began to call on God for help, He raised up Moses to be their deliverer. If you take time to notice, you will see that the early story of Moses really magnifies the character of five women. First on the scene are two midwives. Because they feared God more than they feared Pharaoh, they disobeyed his orders to throw newborn males into the river. Secondly, you see the faith of Moses’ mother to hide him for three months and then, unable to hide him any longer, put him in a little basket and place it in the river near the spot where Pharaoh’s daughter bathed. You also applaud the compassion of Pharaoh’s daughter. She rescued a baby boy from the clutches of her evil dad who wanted to kill all the Hebrew baby boys. Then you observe the boldness and quick thinking of his sister Miriam to speak to Pharaoh’s daughter and suggest the idea that a Hebrew woman should nurse the baby (which turned out to be his own mother).
Moses is often the focus of the Exodus, but don’t overlook the importance of these women. Without each of them doing their part, Moses never would have survived to hit the spotlight. Of course, Moses does survive, and is God’s man to lead the slaves out of Egypt into a life of freedom. The Jewish nation would memorialize this deliverance with an annual festival called the Passover.
Throughout the ages, women have played a significant role in the life of Israel and the Church. In addition to these already highlighted, Sarah, Ruth, Esther, Rahab, Deborah, and Jael were important characters in the history of Israel. And the Church? Remember Mary, the young maiden God chose to give birth to His incarnate Son. And Lydia, and Timothy’s mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois. And don’t forget Sapphira. Down through the centuries, there have been countless women who have propelled the Church forward.
What I’m trying to say through these examples is that God has never viewed women as second-rate followers of His. The fact that God has established a hierarchy among men and women in no way is a slight about a woman’s value or worth. The Proverbs 31 woman is clear proof that women can excel in many endeavors. But your greatest contribution to the world and the Church will be realized only as you submit your gifts and energies to Him, using them as He directs. You may never have your name in lights in this world, but in that bright and glorious day when our Savior returns, your name will bring joy to His heart as He says, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” All your sacrifices will be worth it on that day! Keep pressing on, faithful women!