"Don't ask me to leave you and turn back. I will go wherever you go and live wherever you live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. I will die where you die and will be buried there. May the LORD punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!" (Ruth 1:16-17 NLT)
This past week, we were reminded once again of the powerful influence of the actions of one woman. Rosa Parks, a seamstress tired from a hard day's work and years of mistreatment, refused to give up her seat on the bus simply because of the color of her skin. She was arrested and fingerprinted because what she did was a violation of city law in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama. Her actions galvanized the early civil rights movement into action and led to a Supreme Court ruling that segregation in transportation was unconstitutional. Rosa Parks demonstrated what we should have learned from both secular and sacred history: never underestimate the power of one woman to change her world.
For Christians, this truth should be well remembered and often taught. The story of the Bible reminds us again and again of the power that one woman of faith has had throughout history. Rooted in the earliest history of God's people is the story of Moses' mother who protected and raised her son in the ways of God in a time of infanticide and danger. We know of Deborah's wisdom, leadership, and courage during a time of corruption, deceit, and weakness among God's people. We know the moving story of Hannah begging God for a child and then giving him back to God to be used and to be useful to Eli. Samuel goes on to be the crucial bridge between the corrupt time of the judges in Israel and the first two Kings, Saul and David. We hear of Ruth's faithfulness to her mother-in-law, Naomi, and how God honored her faithfulness by having both King David's and the Messiah's lineages go through her line of descendants. Then with a little research, we can learn the story of Jehosheba and her act of defiance to hide the last living true heir in the line of David, partnering with God to keep His promises alive.
Of course we could list many other women who play important parts in the story of the Bible. These have been chosen to remind us of the power that one godly woman has to influence many others about things that matter to God. If you are a woman, never underestimate what God can do through you if you will let him. If you are a church leader, Bible class teacher, or youth worker, please, remind our young ladies of the vital role women have played in our story of faith.
Let's never forget the power of one woman to change her world!