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

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Women of the Word: Singing and Dancing Women

David and Goliath is one of the most popular stories in the Bible. For forty days, the infamous Philistine giant held the Israelite army hostage – defying them, taunting their God, and flaunting his might in their faces. For forty days, King Saul and all the other Israelites were dismayed and terrified. They didn’t know how they were going to get out alive of the pickle they were in. Thankfully, David volunteered to fight Goliath. Because David relied on the power of God, he was able to defeat Goliath with just a slingshot and a stone.

After Goliath was defeated, David became the de facto leader of the Israelite army. Whatever mission he was sent on, he was successful. All Israelite troops and officers, and Saul’s son, the prince Jonathan, admired and loved him and were eager to follow him into battle. Even the common Israelite people loved David. 1 Samuel 18:6-7 reads:

When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with timbrels and lyres. As they danced, they sang: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.”

This little ditty made Saul very angry and jealous, of course, but we’re not focusing on him. We’re focusing on the women who sang and danced because of the great miracle that God had worked for them through a simple shepherd boy who would later become their warrior and king. Continue reading

Women of the Word: Merab

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As we observed in the profile of Merab’s younger sister, Michal, both of these girls were the first princesses of Israel because their father, Saul, was the first King. Before Saul gave Michal to David, he first promised to give him Merab if David served him bravely and fought the battles of Israel. David did exactly that, but jealousy caused Saul not to keep his promise. Instead of giving Merab to David, he gave her to Adriel of Meholah to marry. You can read all about this in 1 Samuel (14:49; 18:17, 19). Adriel and Merab had five sons together, but unfortunately these sons were killed by the Gibeonites as revenge for what Saul had done to them (2 Samuel 21:8-9).

This is all the Scripture that we have on Merab, the oldest daughter of Saul. We don’t know how she reacted to her father’s broken promise about her marrying the future king of Israel. We don’t know how she handled the horrible green-eyed monster that her father became in his obsessive pursuit to get rid of David. We don’t know how she reacted to the deaths of her father and brother, Jonathan, at the hands of the Philistines. We don’t know how she dealt with the horrible deaths of her five sons (although, some believe that she died young and was not around when this happened). Whatever the case, if the musical Annie had been around back then, I’m almost certain Merab would have readily sang ‘it’s a hard-knock life for me!”

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Women of the Word: Michal

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Michal’s story is told throughout the books of 1 and 2 Samuel. She was a princess. In fact, along with her older sister, Michal was the first princess of Israel because her father, Saul, was the first King.

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Women of the Word: Ahinoam

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Most of us know the story of Saul. God chose him to be the first king of Israel and he reigned over the nation for forty-two years. God used him to defeat many of Israel’s enemies. But despite his popularity, success, and riches, Saul still disobeyed God and allowed jealousy to control him. Instead of fully becoming the great king that he could have been, he spent most of his time trying to find and kill David – the young hero who had chopped off the head of the great giant Goliath.

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