You’ve heard the story of the three wise men in the Bible. Now I want to share with you some characteristics of three wise women.
Let me begin by saying that preparing this message was a lot of fun for me. One of the reasons is that I did a survey. I asked several of my friends, “Who do you consider among the three wisest women in the Bible?” Their responses motivated me to do my personal research based on some of their answers.
Let me pause here and ask you to think of the three women whom you consider to be among the wisest women in the Old and New testaments. Like you, my friends named many different women. Yes. I could have chosen:
The woman with the issue of blood. She wasn’t even given a name. But she was wise enough to know that if she could just touch the hem of Jesus’ garment she could be made whole. (Mark 9:20)
Another would be The Queen of Sheba. Before there were automobiles, Amtrak or Northwest Airlines, The Queen of Sheba traveled 1250 miles on a camel to hear the great wisdom of King Solomon. She knew she didn’t have all of the answers.
Then there was Rehab the Harlot. Rehab was wise enough to hide the Jericho spies from the enemy. Because she did, her whole household was saved.
We sure don’t want to leave out Abigail. Abilgail was married to Nabal, whose name meant “Fool.” And, indeed, he was a fool. Because Abigail was wise and humble enough to listen to her servant, she intervened in a situation that kept King David from killing her husband and every male in his household. You can read more about Abigail in I Sam. 25:23-42.
Now let me share with you three of my personal favorites. Two are from the New Testament and the other is from the Old Testament.
Mary of Bethany
Mary of Bethany understood the importance of meditation upon God. She made a good decision to sit at the feet of Jesus. As a result of this wise decision, Jesus commended her by saying in Luke 10:42, “But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” He goes on to say in Matt. 26:13, “Truly, I say to you, wherever this Gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken in memory of her.”
Mary is a reminder that our first order of service is to serve the Lord…and to sit at His feet. I loved this example so much that I named one of my books, “At His Feet.”
Another wonderful example of a wise woman comes to my mind when I think of Elizabeth.
The Bible tells us that we are to esteem one another above ourselves. Elizabeth possessed a spirit of humility. She esteemed Mary, the mother of Jesus, above herself.
Like some of us, she could have said, “Why shouldn’t I be the one carrying Jesus and you be carrying John?”
Instead, Elizabeth didn’t find it difficult to call Mary, who was much younger than she, the “Mother of my Lord, “and “blessed art thou among women.” Elizabeth was wise enough to recognize The Christ when he came into her presence.
Another thing I appreciate about Elizabeth is that she was wise enough to be obedient. She did not back down under pressure when those around her couldn’t understand why she wanted to name her son “John.” No one in their family was named “John.”
I can imagine some of the cockeyed looks on the critics’ faces and thoughts going through their suspicious minds (“Who’s this John?”). Instead, she obeyed God and said, “His name will be John.”
Jochebed (Exod. 2:3)
Last, but certainly not least, I want to call your attention to a woman whose name isn’t even mentioned in this book of the Bible. Jochebed, the mother of Moses.
For many years, I have admired this woman. She has taught me how to let go. Some of us need to learn this lesson. HOW TO LET GO.
We know the story. There was a decree out to kill all of the Hebrew boys. But there were two midwives in this account who feared God. They need to be included among wise women. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”These two midwives allowed Moses to live.
For a while, Jochebed tried to protect her son from the enemy. But we all know that babies cry. After a while, it became too difficult to hide Moses. Thus, Jochebed made a quality decision to put him in the ark of safety.
The ark of safety can be compared to the hands of God. She put him on the Nile River and let him float.
Jochebed’s decision to give him up, to let him go, even though he appeared to float right into the hands of the enemy whom she was trying to save him from, saved her child’s life and eventually an entire nation.
One of the beautiful parts of this story is that Jochebed’s son was safely returned to her for a period of time. And she had an opportunity to give him milk. I believe that during this time Jochebed not only gave him breast milk, but also the Father’s milk, the word of the Lord. I believe she laid hands all over him and blessed him in the name of the Lord…and then she let him go…again.
When you look at this story, more than once, Jochebed had to let Moses go.
Friends, sometimes (and I repeat, sometimes) we have to let something go before we can get it back. What do you need to let go of? Perhaps it’s a child. Perhaps it’s not a child, but another relationship. Maybe it’s not a person but a thing; or maybe a negative emotion such as fear, doubt, unforgiveness, jealousy, hatred, grief. Whatever the case, I encourage you to stop holding onto something that God wants you to let go of. Whatever it is, put it in the basket. Now, use your sanctified imagination and put it on the Nile River and let it float. And don’t let me catch you walking on the water trying to get it back? Oh, by the way, don’t forget to put yourself in the basket!