Women of the Word: Young Maidens Drawing Water

Before Saul became corrupted by power and blinded by jealousy as the first king of Israel, he was just a good-hearted guy concerned about finding his father’s lost donkeys. While searching for them, the servant who was with Saul suggested that they go to a town and find a man of God who could tell them where they could find the donkeys. This man of God – also called a seer or prophet in those days – was none other than Samuel, a man who was highly respected and whose words always came true.

As Saul and his servant were going up the hill to the town, they met some young maidens who were coming out of the town to draw water. Drawing water was a common job for women to do in Old Testament and New Testament Bible times. Saul and his servant asked the young maidens, “Is the seer here?”

The chatty young maidens wasted no time in answering. They knew exactly who the seer was and where he was and what he was doing. 1 Samuel 9:12 says that they answered, “He is. He’s ahead of you. Hurry now; he has just come to our town today, for the people have a sacrifice at the high place. As soon as you enter the town, you will find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. The people will not begin eating until he comes, because he must bless the sacrifice; afterward, those who are invited will eat. Go up now; you should find him about this time.”

Whew! For just asking a simple four-word question, Saul and his servant had a boatload of information dropped on them. But the young maidens’ answer certainly helped them find Samuel which then led to Samuel anointing Saul as king and the rest, as they say, is history. Continue reading

Women of the Word: Deborah, Nurse of Rebekah

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There are two notable women named Deborah in the Bible. One is Deborah the judge, and the other is Deborah the nurse. This latter Deborah is mentioned twice in the Old Testament. Genesis 24:59 reads,

So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men.

And Genesis 35:8 reads,

Now Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died and was buried under the oak outside Bethel. So it was named Allon Bakuth.

When Rebekah left her home to become the wife of Isaac, Deborah traveled with her. Deborah took good care of Rebekah, and she probably spent a great deal of her time taking care of Jacob and Esau when they were born to Isaac and Rebekah. We aren’t given much information about the background of Deborah, but from the spotlight that is placed on her funeral at the end of her life, it is safe to assume that she was much-loved by the family she spent nearly all of her life taking care of. In Walking with the Women of the Bible, Elizabeth George writes: “Age brought an end to Deborah’s active role of caregiver, and then Jacob’s family cared for her. She loved them, and they loved her…Deborah was buried under “the oak of weeping” and was lamented with sadness and tears usually reserved for family.”

Even though she only has a small role in the Bible, Deborah the nurse has a wealth of lessons from which we can learn. Continue reading

Women of the Word: Rhoda

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Rhoda is only briefly mentioned once in the Bible. Her story is told in Acts 12:12-17. Rhoda was a servant girl in the house of Mary, who was the mother of John Mark.

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