Summary: The church from its inception included women. Nothing was more natural than women being numbered among the 120 who waited in the Upper Room for the power that was promised to them by Jesus before He ascended to heaven. This would empower them to be witnes
Women in Christian Leadership
Judges 4:4-5 - Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time. And she would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim.
Deborah was a prophetess and judged Israel for forty years.
It is obvious that she had the strength and displayed the right approach to be placed in leadership. Her leadership role was shown in her ability to motivate and to encourage.
She knew the Lord and because of that knowledge, she displayed a spirit of inspiration to the people. She possessed talents and had great faith. She was also well respected.
Deborah lived in a period of Israel’s history where the nation was at a low point in terms of its relationship with God. Anarchy was rife and Israel was oppressed by the Canaanites. The oppression of Israel was directly associated with the spiritual decay that had corrupted the nation.
Deborah was a godly woman whose leadership abilities restored Israel’s security. It was Deborah’s courage that enabled Barak to defeat the enemies. Under Deborah’s leadership, Israel was able to destroy the entire army of Jabin, a Canaanite king.
Deborah used her tongue to speak God’s commands to those who needed encouragement to free themselves from oppression.
Exodus 15:20-21 - Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. And Miriam answered them: “Sing to the LORD, For He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!”
Micah 6:4 - For I brought you up from the land of Egypt, I redeemed you from the house of bondage; And I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.
Miriam was one of God’s special gifts to the people of Israel. She was a leader of the Hebrew people during the Exodus. The Egyptians had commanded that Hebrew babies be drowned. When Moses was a baby, his sister Miriam saved him by hiding him among the reeds at the edge of the river. He was found by Pharaoh’s own daughter, who adopted him. Miriam arranged that the real mother of the baby should be a nurse for the baby.
When the Hebrews left Egypt, they were led by Moses, Miriam, and Aaron. As a leader of the Hebrew women, Miriam led them in ritual singing and dancing. Miriam had an unusually influential position in the community. This made her words and ideas important, because they listened to her.
She began the Israelite tradition of celebrating God’s victories through dance.
At one point in time, she questioned Moses’ leadership. God placed leprosy on her for a week. She repented and God healed her. After this incident, Miriam served with Moses for the next thirty eight years before her death.
Esther 4:15-17 - Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther commanded him.
The story of Queen Esther is filled with intrigue, romance, bravery, and honor. It is the story of a queen who became the savior of the Jews.
Esther was a very beautiful woman. Her greatness was based on her willingness to sacrifice. Queen Esther occupied the highest position in the mighty Persian Empire. She was a Hebrew girl who was chosen by King Ahasuerus to be his wife.
Israel was in captivity to Babylon. King Ahasuerus divorced his wife Queen Vashti because of her rebellion against him and began searching for a new queen to take her place at his side. Esther was introduced to King Ahasuerus and he fell in love with her. She was chosen as his wife and queen.
Esther's uncle Mordechai was the leader of the Jews. He encouraged Esther to hide her faith from the King. At the time of the marriage, it was not revealed to the king that his new bride was Jewish in origin.
Haman came into power as the Prime Minister and was only subordinate to the king. He decided that given his rise to power, it would be appropriate for everyone to bow down to him.
But Mordecai refused to bow down to him. Haman was very angry and asked the King to authorize a royal decree to annihilate the Jews. Haman did not know that the king had great respect for Mordecai because on a previous occasion, Mordecai had told the king about a plot to assassinate him. The king never forgot about Mordecai’s faithfulness and he intended to honor him.