In my last blog, we looked at three mothers, Eve, Sarah, and Rebekah, who loved God and yet, with one unwise choice, they brought upon themselves, and others, undue hardship and misery. Their life stories teach us valuable lessons: Even though our missteps can have negative consequences, there is always hope because our God is a gracious and loving Father who “Gives us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness” (Isaiah 61:3).
Today, we’re going to look at three women who did the right thing in very difficult circumstances.
The first one is Jochebed, the mother of Moses, whose faith led to courage. The Pharaoh of Egypt had ordered to have all Hebrew male infants killed at the time when Moses was born, but Jochebed hid him for a while, and when she couldn’t hide him anymore, she made a little, waterproof basket in which she placed him and put him in the Nile River hoping that someone would find him and spare his life. Long story short, Pharaoh’s daughter found Moses and made him her son. She allowed Jochebed to nurse him and raise him until he was of age. Jochebed instilled great values in Moses while he was young, and he grew up to be a leader who later would follow God’s lead and initiate the Exodus of the people of Israel out of Egypt, (Exodus, chapter 2 – 12).
Next is Ruth who would become the mother of Obed, the grandfather of King David. Ruth was married to one of Naomi’s sons. Naomi lost her husband, and then both of her sons died, too. Orpah, the other daughter-in-law returned to her family, but Ruth chose to stay with her mother-in-law. Ruth was a compassionate and loyal woman. She had come to love the Lord, and she chose to go back to her mother-in-law’s land, Judah, so she could take care of her and serve God there. This meant that she would probably live in poverty as she didn’t have any children or anybody else who would care for her. She gathered food for Naomi and herself by working in the field of a wealthy man named Boaz, not knowing that he was related to her late husband. When learning that Ruth was working in Boaz’ field, Naomi encouraged Ruth to ask Boaz to be her kinsman redeemer, a relative who had the responsibility to marry the widow and continue the family line. So, Ruth took the bold step and asked Boaz to be her kinsman redeemer, and her faithfulness led her to be the grandmother of Kind David through whose lineage Jesus Christ would be born many years later, (Ruth chapter 1 – 4).
Lastly is Abigail whose wisdom and courage saved her family from destruction. Abigail was married to Nabal, a wealthy but badly tempered man. King David’s troops needed food, and upon the king’s request, they went to ask for some from Nabal as they had protected him and his property from harm. But Nabal, being uncaring, refused. So, he brought judgment on himself and his family. But Abigail heard of their impending doom because of her husband’s foolishness, and she gathered all kinds of provisions and went to see King David herself. She had great wisdom, courage, and humility and intervened on her family’s behalf and asked King David to have mercy and not shed blood. Because of Abigail’s faith and wisdom, King David’s anger was appeased, and her family saved. Nabal died shortly after, and King David remembered Abigail, and she became his wife, (1 Samuel 25).
Someone once said, “Surrendered people trust God’s heart, even when they can’t trace His hand.” These three wise women did just that: Even though they didn’t know what the outcome would be, they trusted God and did the right thing amid very difficult circumstances.
Here is the takeaway: Faith and wisdom will guide you and help you do the right thing.
I know that having faith and wisdom and doing the right thing don’t guarantee a positive outcome in this life, but it is always a great idea, “To trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding,” (Proverbs 3:5). We will experience difficult circumstances, but the Bible reminds us that, “Our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal,” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).
So, I pray as the apostles prayed in Luke 17:5, “Lord, increase our faith.” All we need is a mustard seed sized faith, as Jesus said in Matthew 17:20-21, but we need His help to grow that faith into a big tree, and we need His help to bear the fruit of faith and wisdom so we can trust Him and be courageous in difficult times.