Hall of Faith
In Hebrews chapter 11, we see what has been described as the Hall of Faith. These heroes and heroines of the Bible are truly remarkable people who have forever had their name engraved in the history of God’s redemptive plan. Those who are frequently overlooked are women of God who boldly and bravely displayed the confidence that they had in God and how they made enormous differences in the Kingdom. These women put feet to their faith and the world has never been the same since. Just a quick glance at these women is like looking back at historical figures that were larger than life and overcame huge obstacles in displaying godly character.
“By faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise” (Heb 11:11). Don’t look now, but Sarah’s faith was just as strong as Abraham’s. There were times when even Abraham, the Father of the Faithful, caved in to fear. When He went into Egypt, he told Sarah that he would say that she was his sister. Even though she was his half-sister, Abraham was fearful that the Egyptians would see just how beautiful Sarah was and would kill him to take her as Pharaoh’s own.
“By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient” (Heb 11:31). Rahab risked her life in hiding the spies of Israel in their espionage of Jericho. In Joshua 2:1 we read that “Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho. So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.” Somehow she knew that God had given the land to the nation of Israel and wanted to help their nation and become part of it. So, “Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho and she lives among the Israelites to this day” (Joshua 2:25). So “Rahab the prostitute [was] considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction” (James 2:25). In so doing, Rahab later became part of the royal lineage of King David and of Jesus Christ (Matt 1:5).
Deborah was a political leader, a judge, a singer, a poet, a prophet, a mother, a wife, and one of the godliest people in the entire Bible (Judges 4, 5). The time of the Judges was a difficult time for Israel for all people did what was right in their own eyes (Judges 17:6, 21:25) but under Deborah’s rule, “the land had peace forty years” (Judged 5:31). She encouraged Israel’s army (Judges 4:6) and took great risks, even accompanying the military into battle (Judge 4:8-10).
There was a movement toward extinguishing the Jews stretching from India to Cush under the reign of King Xerxes (Esther 3:8-1) and so Esther bravely interceded on behalf of the Jews before King Xerxes to save her people from annihilation. Esther went before the king, even though “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives” (Esther 4:11). What was Esther’s reply to Mordecai when she was asked to intercede for the Jews? She said, “I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16b).
Ruth the Moabite left all that she knew behind to go into a strange land with people she knew precious little about. This was like Abraham who left family and his own nation to go where God told him to go. Ruth bravely told Naomi, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me” (Ruth 1:16-17). Israel did not take well to pagan people coming to their land. They were not allowed because God had commanded Israel to not intermarry with the surrounding pagan nations because of their idolatrous religions. The Moabite nation was specifically prohibited from going into and becoming part of the Jewish nation as it says in Deuteronomy 23: 4 “because they did not meet you with bread and with water on the way, when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you.” Regardless of this fact, Ruth became part of the Royal lineage when she married Boaz. Boaz and Ruth begat Obed, who then begat Jesse who was the father of King David and of course we know that King David is in the Royal lineage of Jesus Christ.
My own wife is a biblical heroine to me. She helps the poor, takes care of abandoned animals, helps a co-worker who is battling cancer by taking her to her doctor appointments, and she may be the best 4th grade teacher in the state of Kansas because her children love her. These days, when she attends all of their graduations from high school, many come to her and embrace her and tell her how much they remember that she really cared about them. There is still no shortage of godly women of faith today and these biblical heroines are still changing the world and the world is indebted to them because they too are taking their rightful place in God’s Hall of Faith. They are wives, mothers, aunts, grandmas, and sisters, and their life story is like reading stories of the past, right out of the Bible. They are changing the world with little fanfare and attention and so it is to these heroines of the faith that I give commendation too. I thank God for you all.
Jack Wellman is Senior Writer at What Christians Want to Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believers daily walk with God and the Bible.