Women in Ministry Series: Old Testament Women



There are countless women whom God used in the Old Testament (OT) to reveal His heart and mind. However, we are going to use these 3 particular examples to address the notion - "God will never use a woman to instruct a man." This notion was developed because of a misinterpretation of 1 Tim 2:12 (which we will rightly divide next week), but for now let us deal with the false notion by using examples in the OT.


MIRIAM - the sister of Moses and Aaron


Micah 6:4

For I brought thee out of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.


Apparently, even as Moses and Aaron were sent to lead the people, so was Miriam. The word sent, as it is used here according to Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon (index #7971), means to send words to another or to inform by a messenger. Thus, Miriam was a preacher to the people of God; not only to the women, but to the men also. This was the reason her punishment was so severe, when she spoke against Moses, because as a leader, she had portrayed division in the leadership trinity that God had set forth. To whom much is given much is required, thus she was greatly punished. Nevertheless, Miriam was clearly a mighty woman of God, a preacher, and a prophetess of God.


HULDAH - the Prophetess (II Kings 22:8-20)


It must be noted Huldah was a married woman. Her husband was the keeper of the priestly garments for those who ministered in the temple. They lived in the temple’s parsonage where those who were given over to the work of the ministry lived. But look at the sovereignty of God. Here is a devout couple given to the service of the temple. The husband runs a dry cleaning business, exclusively for priestly garments, while his wife stands in the room of the Prophet, the orator of God, the interpreter of the Word of God, the revealer of the heart and mind of God and the dispenser of the judgments of God for the entire nation, and instructor of the king.

God did not choose the High Priest, the scribe or the king to speak through. It was the WOMAN Huldah. She was the dispenser of the judgments for all Judah. Moreover, it was not her husband who was being used for this divine connection. No beloved, the Lord was using this woman separate and apart from her marital status. This woman was given over to the service of the Lord and He was able to reveal His will and judgments through this yielded vessel.

The king responded to all the counsel of Huldah, not his advisors, not the High Priest but the woman who was in touch with the true and living God. There is another point we must establish here. This woman received the word of the Lord separate and apart from her husband, her priest and her king. They were all helpless in their pursuit of the mind of God. This woman had been indeed raised to the same office as Moses, Elisha, Isaiah or any other prophet of the Lord.


DEBORAH - the Judge (Judges 4:4-14)

Judges 4:4-14

4 And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.

5 And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.


Astonishing enough, once again, we discover this prophetess was also a married woman. Her husband’s name was Lapidoth. The next fact may tend to be a shock to those who would foster such a doctrine which says God never used a woman to rule or govern His people. What are we to do with Deborah?


In the 4th verse, we discover she was a judge of Israel. If we pull out any good Bible dictionary, it will give us the definition and responsibilities of a judge. The following is taken from:


Davis Illustrated Dictionary of the Bible & Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon;


Judge:

1. A civil magistrate or elder, who possessed civil and religious

authority.

2. A man whom God raised up to lead a revolt against foreign oppressors, having freed the nation and who thereby his call of God was looked upon by the people to maintain their rights. The judges were saviors like unto Moses.

3. One who condemns and punishes the guilty.

4. One who defends the rights of another, especially the poor and oppressed.

5. One who rules and governs the people.


The Old Testament boasts of twelve Jehovah appointed Judges, here are 4:

1. Othriel of Judah - deliverer of Israel from the King of Mesopotamia

2. Ehud - expelled the Moabites and Ammonites

3. Shawgar - smiter of 600 Philistines and Savior of Israel.

4. Deborah - led Naphtali and Zebulun to victory against the Canaanites


Now when Barak sat before Deborah (under the Royal Palm Tree of Deborah) she gave him the instructions of the Lord which affected the whole nation. She told him of the divine strategy to subdue the Canaanites.


If the doctrine in question was correct in its inference, why would the Lord insult this great man of war by humbling him at the feet of a woman? Why would the Lord choose this woman to instruct this man in military manoeuvres? It was not the husband who judged Israel, it was the wife. It was not the general who knew the plan of God; it was the married woman, the weaker vessel!


Barak recognized and respected the civil and spiritual authority Jehovah had given to this vessel, so much so that he would not ride into battle without her presence.

THE LORD WILL USE WHOM HE WILL. THE QUALIFICATIONS DO NOT APPEAR TO BE GENDER: THEY SEEM TO BE YIELDEDNESS.


Read the rest of the story and discover the victory and deliverance that was brought to Israel by the power of God which was working through this woman, Deborah.


God will use a woman to instruct, lead and guide a man.

These are just 3 of the countless women of the OT God has used to minister and is still using to minister to the whole world today. Stay tuned, as we walk into the New Testament.


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