SARAH Sarah died when she was one hundred and twenty-seven years old. She never had the chance to see her beloved son, Isaac, married to Rebekah. Her husband Abraham mourned and wept for her at her funeral. Her death was a great loss to him because she was a good wife, and we can use her life as an example for us today.
She Accepted Her Husbandâ€™s Lifestyle Under Godâ€™s abundant blessing, Abraham became a wealthy person (Gen 13:2; 24:34-35). Despite his wealth, Abraham lived in tents (Heb 11:9)-a far cry from Lot, who built his house in Sodom. The present world offers worldly splendor far exceeding that in
Abrahamâ€™s time, and such a lifestyle depends on wealth. Great riches will buy you grand homes, beautiful clothing, and worldly luxuries. But there is more to life than these.
A wise wife will learn to support the life of her husband according to the teachings of God. Sarah did not insist that her husband build a great house, for she realized that she was just a sojourner on this earth and that the true home she would enjoy could only be found in heaven (Heb 11:11-16).
She Supported Her Husband Sarah followed Abraham from Ur to Canaan. They must have shared much joy and sadness as they traveled near and far in their life together (Gen 11:31; 12:4-6; 12:10,11; 13:1-3). Her willingness to follow Abraham wherever God led them is an inspiring example of faith and submission.
Though filled with doubt whenever her husband had to uproot the entire family, Sarah gave her support to Abraham to fulfill Godâ€™s commandment. The Bible never recorded her complaining in all the years that she followed her husband. This is not easy for most women.
Many years after Sarah, Paul would write about women and how they should learn to do likewise-by adorning themselves not with material things but what is â€œproper for women professing godliness, with good works. Let a woman learn in silence with all submissionâ€ (1 Tim 2:9-11).
It is true that God made a covenant with Abraham because of his faith. But behind every good man is a good woman. The quietness of Sarahâ€™s resolve to follow Abraham found the greatest favor with God, and He blessed her with a child in her old age.
DEBORAH During the time of the judges, the Israelites did great evil in the sight of the Lord. So God surrendered them into the hands of Jabin, king of Canaan. Jabin persecuted and ruled over Godâ€™s people for twenty years.
By His grace and mercy, God made Deborah judge and prophetess over Israel. Deborah would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim, where the people of Israel would come to seek her counsel (Judg 4:5).
She Judged Wisely Deborah is the only female judge recorded in the Book of Judges. From her story, we can see that she is a wise and strong woman who was very capable in all things she set her mind to do. Because of her wisdom, she gained the respect and support of her people.
When the Israelites were about to fight against Jabin king of Canaan, God commanded Barak, son of Abinoam, to take ten thousand men into battle. Even though this command was from God, Barak did not feel safe in going alone. Barak insisted of Deborah, â€œIf you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go!â€ (Judg 4:8).
Her presence and her judgment was a comfort to the Israelites. They sought her as their refuge. They knew that her wisdom lay with God because she was close to God. Apart from being a judge over Godâ€™s people, she was also a prophetess.
A prophetess is one who is in close communion with God, for God speaks through her and works through her, so that His glory may be witnessed. She found strength to carry out her duty as a judge because she relied on God.
She Gave Thanks to God In the battle, Deborah witnessed how God was with them to give victory to the people of Israel:
And the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army with the edge of the sword before Barak; and Sisera alighted from his chariot and fled away on foot. (Judg 4:15)
After defeating the Canaanites, Deborah sang her song: When leaders lead in Israel, When the people willingly offer themselves, Bless the Lord! Hear, O kings! Give ear, O princes! I, even I, will sing to the Lord; I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israelâ€¦They fought from the heavens; The stars from their courses fought against Sisera. The torrent of Kishon swept them away, That ancient torrent, the torrent of Kishon. O my soul, march on in strength! (Judg 5:1-2,20-21)
From this, we can see the joy Deborah found in God. After twenty years of longsuffering, she was still able to put her faith and hope in the Lord, believing that God would deliver His people out of bondage.
As capable as she was, she remembered to give praise to God and to dedicate a song in remembrance of Godâ€™s great victory. This victory brought peace to Israel for forty years-a double portion of blessing compared to the twenty years they suffered.
LOTâ€™S WIFE Many Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign of the coming of the kingdom of heaven. In His reply, Jesus spoke about a woman saying, â€œremember Lotâ€™s wifeâ€ (Luke 17:32).
Lot was lead by Abraham to the land of Canaan (Gen 12:5) and later to the land of Egypt (Gen 13:1). When Lot arrived at Bethel, he already had in his possession flocks, herds, and his own tents (Gen 13:5).
Abraham and Lotâ€™s combined possessions were so great that they could not dwell together anymore. Fighting and strife between Abraham and Lotâ€™s herdsmen were inevitable, which forced uncle and nephew to separate.
Lot led his followers to the east of Bethel to dwell in the plains of Jordan, and they pitched their tents up to Sodom (Gen 13:6-12). Finally, he settled with his wife and two daughters, and built his house in the city of Sodom (Gen 13:12; 19:2-3).
What can we learn from this woman who became Lotâ€™s wife?
She Loved the World Lotâ€™s wifeâ€™s memories were deeply tied to the city of Sodom. However, life in Sodom lacked fear of Godâ€™s law and was filled with the evil deeds of men. This wickedness continuously oppressed Lot because he was a righteous man (2 Pet 2:7).
When God decided to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for their wickedness, Abraham pleaded with God to protect the life of Lot, and God sent His messengers to warn Lot and to rescue his family.
In the escape, the angels of God held Lotâ€™s wifeâ€™s hand and brought her out of the city. Once they escaped from the city, Lotâ€™s wife turned back to look at Sodom, even though she was instructed not to (Gen 19:16,17). Instantly, she turned into a pillar of salt (Gen 19:26).
Nowadays, many Christians resemble Lotâ€™s wife. Even though they have been saved from the bondage of sin and have been reconciled to the Lord Jesus, they are still unable to let go of the things of this world. Apostle Paul admonishes us: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.â€ (Rom 12:2)
The purpose for us to follow Jesus is to be able to reach the kingdom of God and enjoy eternal life. Paul said, â€œI have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faithâ€ (2 Tim 4:7). The Lord Jesus also emphasized, â€œhe who endures to the end shall be savedâ€ (Matt 24:13).
At a destined point in time, God will let go of our hands, and He wants His people to be able to use their spiritual insights to walk aright. A spiritually mature person does not need constant guidance-somebody to hold his/her hands-because this person is strong enough to walk with Jesus.
Lotâ€™s wife longed for Sodom more than the refuge that the angels of God offered her. Even though she escaped danger, her regrets of leaving Sodom tempted her to take one last look. She did not listen to the warnings of the angels of God.
She desired something better but could not leave the past behind. John encouraged us, â€œDo not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in himâ€ (1 Jn 2:15).
God wants us to desire something better and, if we do, He has promised to bless us with the riches of a heavenly home. His promise never fails-it is we who lose sight of God. Therefore, disclaim the world and follow God: For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. (Heb 11: 14-16)
Whether virtue or vice, each of these three women have a story to share. Likewise, we will also weave our own personal story. How we decide to live this life will have an impact on our salvation. The challenges we face will be different for each one of us, so we must run our own race according to Godâ€™s commandments.
If we choose to desire the world and forsake God as Lotâ€™s wife did, God will forsake us. But if we actively seek to draw close to the Lord as Deborah did, we will find wisdom and strength to carry out our lives on the right path. And if we learn from Sarah by putting our trust in the Lord and quietly following His will, He will bless us with abundant riches.