Tag Archives: 10 amazing women of the Bible

Esther: For Such a Time as This

Queen Esther image

Listen to this segment: “Esther: For Such a Time as This” on Anchor for the short audio version.

‘Esther’ means ‘hidden’ – her Jewish identity was hidden from the King. Esther’s Jewish name Hadassah, means ‘myrtle’, a tree whose leaves release their fragrance when crushed.

Queen Esther’s story has three parts:

  1. Vashti was banished, and Esther became Queen.
    Queen Vashti disobeyed the orders of her husband King Ahasuerus, so he divorced her. Lonely, he sought a new queen who was to be the most beautiful woman in the land. A young Jewish orphan, Esther, was chosen. She kept her Jewish identity secret. Her cousin Mordecai, a servant of the king, overheard a plot and warned his master through Esther.
  2. Esther saved Mordecai from Haman.
    Mordecai offended a high court official called Haman, who decided to kill not only Mordecai but all the Jews in the Persian empire (the first recorded slaughter against the Jews). Esther turned the tables on Mordecai. She pleaded with the king at two banquets she gave, and Haman was horribly punished. He was hanged on the very gallows he had built for Mordecai.
  3. Esther saved the Jewish people.
    Letters were sent throughout the kingdom revoking the order and the Jewish people in Persia were saved. There was great rejoicing, and an annual festival was celebrated to remember the courage of Esther and the deliverance of the Jews. This festival was called Purim.

Why did Esther’s story mean so much to Jews?

  • Esther was a symbol of Jews who lived successfully in an alien culture.
  • As a woman, she was not in a position of power, just as Diaspora Jews were not members of the power elite.
  • As an orphan, she was separated from her parents, as Diaspora Jews are separated from their mother-country.
  • With both these handicaps, she had to use every skill and advantage she had, as Diaspora Jews did. They, like Esther, had to adapt themselves to the situation.

What are the main themes in Esther’s story?

  • Let God be your ruler: Esther’s story was a political ridicule, showing the danger of giving absolute power to someone who might be a fool. Ahasuerus governed by whim rather than by wisdom, becoming the tool of anyone shrewd enough to exploit him. The lesson is clear: do not give too much power to any one person; in the long run, God alone should rule us.
  • Right Living: the Book of Esther was written for Diaspora Jews (Jews who lived outside Israel), to show them how to live in exile. If they encountered bigotry and prejudice, they must act with courage, wisdom, and integrity.
  • The origin of Purim: the story explained the origin of a major Jewish feast day.

Christianity is sometimes accused of causing the anti-Semitism that has shamed the modern world. This story shows this prejudice existed long before the birth of Jesus.

The book of Esther doesn’t suggest that the goal of proper Jewish living is to return to Judah; rather, it encourages the idea that Jews can live personally fulfilling, and even socially successful, lives in exile from Palestine. It asks who are we; if we not only don’t live in Judah but also don’t even want to?’

Life Lessons

  • Esther’s courage and wisdom were used by God to save His people from extinction.
  • Beauty and creativity are also useful tools for a God-fearing woman.

What are your thoughts on this story? Comment, let’s interact!

Ruth: Loyal Daughter-in-Law

Today’s devotion will focus on Ruth.

Listen to this segment: “Ruth: Loyal Daughter-in-Law (2nd of 10 in the Women of the Bible series)” on Anchor.

What’s the Book of Ruth about?

Ruth means ‘lovely friend’.

People often think the Book of Ruth is just a pretty love story. It’s not. It’s an outcry account against some of the severe laws passed in Israel at the time – the ‘purity laws’ of Ezra and Nehemiah.ruth image

These laws banned Jewish men from marrying non-Jewish women and commanded Jewish men to divorce their non-Jewish wives.

Many people disagreed. They said a woman’s worth was in her actions, not her blood-line. Boaz agreed. He knew Ruth was from Moab, not Israel, but he loved her and married her anyhow.

It’s awesome he did: she was loyal, hard-working, and generous – and gave him a great-grandson who was Israel’s hero, King David.

Ruth’s story

Even though there was protesting against the laws; the text of the Book of Ruth is, still, one of the most beautiful stories in the Bible.

  • It’s about loyalty: to God, to family, to each other.
  • Ruth wasn’t the sort of heroine you’d expect: Ruth is a foreigner, not even an Israelite – which meant a lot at that time.

Notwithstanding of this, Ruth survived and thrived. It’s just as well she did because it was vital for the future of Israel. Ruth’s great-grandson will be David, king of Israel, founder of a royal dynasty.

The story of Ruth has four parts

  1. Naomi and Ruth go to Bethlehem – the grief of losing someone you love.
    Naomi and Ruth suffered terrible misfortune: the men in their family, including both their husbands, died. Deserted in Moab, the older woman Naomi decided to return to her home in Bethlehem. Ruth, though a Moabite herself, chose to go with her. She vowed her loyalty to Naomi and they set out on the long journey, arriving in time for the barley harvest.
  2. Ruth meets Boaz – a love story.
    Soon after, Ruth met Boaz, a rich land-owner, and relative of Naomi. It seems to have been love at first sight for him, and he commanded that Ruth be well attended to when she worked in his fields. The older woman Naomi saw immediately what had happened, and encouraged Ruth to continue working in Boaz’s fields.
  3. Ruth proposes marriage to Boaz.
    Cleverly, Naomi notified the young woman how to catch her man. Ruth addressed Boaz during the night, on the threshing floor, and the text crookedly hints that there may have been some intimate mischief. The next morning, Ruth recommended that they marry, reminding Boaz of his responsibility to her as her nearest male family. Boaz promised to do all he could.
  4. Ruth and Boaz marry – a happy ending.
    Naomi’s plan worked. Boaz demonstrated good on his word, and he and Ruth were married. She had a son called Obed, and Naomi cared for the child, who would grow up to be the grandfather of King David.

What are the chief points of Ruth’s story?

  • Friendship: Ruth was poor and a foreigner, but she listened to the counsel of an older, wiser woman. In turn, Naomi was honored by Ruth’s steadfast loyalty. The message? Courage and ability triumph over hardship.
  • Family: The story of Ruth honors the family and the way it continues through many generations. Ruth, a childless widow at the beginning of the story, became the great-grandmother of Israel’s great king, David.
  • God’s plan: The story of Naomi’s family and the way it remained is a common theme. Even Ruth, a foreigner from the detested Moabites, could move God’s plan towards accomplishment.

Ruth has special importance for Christians: Matthew’s gospel lists four women who were ancestors of Jesus (Matthew 1:2-17). Ruth is one of them.

Life Lessons from Ruth

  • Ruth’s promise to Naomi is one of the most beautiful declarations of commitment in Scripture (Ruth 1:16-17).
  • Her obedience to Yahweh God brought rich rewards (4:10-17).

Do you have rich rewards from your obedience to Yahweh God? If not, why? If so, praise His Holy Name. Share with us.

Why be obedient to Yahweh? What’s the importance of it?

Comment and let’s interact. Or, if you prefer, send me feedback in the contact form below:

Trinity Tidbits


This is a new element I’m adding to the ministry.

I will call it: Trinity Tidbits. I will post once a week!

For the next 10 weeks, I’ll talk about 10 amazing women of the Bible.

Today’s episode: Mary of Nazareth: Mother of Jesus.

Check out the radio station on Anchor and help it climb to the top charts!

Trinity Digital Ministry: Trinity Tidbits