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Sheroes of the Bible

The last two months unfolded like an archeological dig. Week after week, I joined a group of women to unlock stories of the past, dust off musty translations, and peer into golden lives of unlikely sheroes. Who are these sheroes? “She heroes” of the Bible. Women easily overlooked, discounted, and even scorned by current-day Bible teachers and readers. Yet current-day sheroes of the faith––my fellow female theologians, pastors, preachers, and ministry leaders––have been digging deep to uncover and dismantle the misconceptions of these remarkable lives. Courageous lives revealing truths so important that God memorialized these women in Scripture until the end of time. Women like:

  • Hagar the runaway slave––the ONLY person in all of Scripture to give God a name. And what did she call Yahweh? El Roi: the God who sees (Genesis 16). God saw her in the dark wilderness of pain, betrayal, and abuse.
  • Tamar, daughter-in-law of Judah, who to this day receives insults for her actions (Genesis 38). Yet Judah proclaims, “She is more righteous than I” (v. 26). Clearly we need to go deeper to understand her story, especially since Tamar is one of only five women included in the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1), and both King David and his son named their daughters Tamar in her honor.
  • Rahab the prostitute––an unlikely woman in the lineage of Christ if all you focus on is her vocation (Matthew 1). Yet Rahab’s seedling faith proved more steadfast than the faith of Israelite spies, and her legacy lives on in the Hall of Faith alongside Noah, Abraham, and Moses (Joshua 2, 6; Hebrews 11). Let’s not discount the fact that the writer of Hebrews doesn’t have time to detail the faith of Gideon, David, Samuel, or the prophets––yet Rahab rightly receives her airtime.

Through our sheroes dig, we uncovered powerful sheroes like Deborah the warrior judge who also served as Yahweh’s prophetess (Judges 4). We’ve peered into the stories of women cast aside as unworthy, like the unnamed “sinful” woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears (Luke 7:36 – 50).  And we’ve sat at the feet of Jesus with Mary of Bethany (Luke 10:38–41), and then watched as she later anointed Jesus with expensive perfume (Mark 14:3–9). Each story has a message for us today as we learn from the faith walk of these sheroes, and borrow from their courage.

Before their encounter with God, many of these women endured broken lives. And story after story prove that all of these women faced times of trial and testing of faith. What makes them sheroes is not that they rose up and made a name for themselves. What makes them sheroes is that within their ordinary lives, they aligned with God and exalted his name.

In the words of Jesus as he praised Mary of Bethany, “She did what she could do” (v. 8).

She did what she could do.

Truthfully, that sums up what God asked of all of these sheroes. It sums up what Christ asks of each one of us. Do what you can do. In your ordinary life, align with Jesus and do what you can do.

Mourn with those who mourn. Stand with those who need support. Encourage the downcast. Love others generously. Demonstrate grace in all circumstances. Give what you can give. Do what you can do. And in all things: pray, pray, pray.

My beloved sisters, God sees you and he loves you. Align with Jesus and exalt his name by the way you live each ordinary day. In doing this, you too are sheroes of the faith.

You can find more information about the Sheroes of the Faith series, including links to videos, at polishedonline.org/sheroeswebinars.

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Joy Dahl

Dr. Joy Dahl is a Jesus girl transformed by God’s grace. Through many trials she has learned to rise above the depths of real life by holding fast to truth and hope. Today Joy passionately helps believers embrace their calling as Christ’s ambassadors in the world. Much of Joy’s career has focused on startup and high-growth companies in Washington, D.C. and New York, and for 10 years she provided Chief Financial Officer services through her consulting practice. Joy earned three degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary: Master of Christian Education, Master of Biblical Studies, and Doctor of Ministry. Her emphasis on the integration of faith and work led to her current role as Executive Director of Polished Network, an organization which gathers professional women to navigate career and explore faith together. Joy and her husband, Gordon, now call Dallas home. Joy’s favorite things include: God's Word, international travel, dark chocolate, horses, flowers, beach getaways, running, big dogs, and adventure!

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