If you read the Book of Genesis you probably met the 7 amazing women of the Bible. They are flawed, scarred and often forgotten. But I believe the church can learn much by studying these women.
I resolved to read through the Bible this year. Last week, I finished the Book of Genesis. It was an amazing journey that confronted my prejudices. And challenged my faith.
Before reading the Book of Genesis, I thought it was an account of how man ruined God’s plan for all creation through sin. Yes, that’s part of the story. As illustrated in the video below, the Book of Genesis is an invitation for you to understand and appreciate God’s promise for redemption.
Read Scripture: Genesis Ch. 1-11 from The Bible Project on Vimeo.
Can Women of the Bible Teach Your Local Church Grace?
The Bible often use women as an imagery of the church. From the Book of Genesis to Revelation, you’re always reminded that the church is the Bride of Christ. And using the marriage example, Christ is pictured as the head and the church as the body.
This made me wonder whether Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are pictures of headship. And these women of the Bible in Genesis, Eve, Sarah, Hagar, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, and Tamar are types of the church.
For example, in the Book of Genesis, God promised that the seed of the woman will bruise the head of the snake. But in the Gospels, Christ promised he gave the church the authority to trample large snakes.
As a result, I do not agree with the renowned African theologian Tertullian. The blood of martyrs is not the seed of the Church. Christ is the seed of the church and the seed of a woman. But what can these women of the Bible teach us about God’s love for his Church and us?
7 Amazing Women of the Bible in the Book of Genesis
The problem in the church today is we have reduced women of the Bible to characters discussed exclusively in women’s ministry. Men are not interested in learning from these women. But they’re comfortable discussing their flaws. In the process missing out on the richness of Christ’s grace.
Here are some of the key lessons I learned from the women in Genesis.
1. Eve – beauty of His faithfulness
God told Adam and Eve that they should not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and will lest they die. But Eve added a second command to protect herself from sin, “Do not touch the tree.” Yet, God never said that.
Eve probably thought adding a second command would help her family keep God’s command. Instead, it undermined God’s word. God wants us to trust and obey him. Despite her disobedience, God remained faithful and promised to Eve salvation through the seed of a woman.
2. Sarah – beauty of His might
Sarah reminds me of those churches that deny God’s power. You probably met people who believe God no longer heals the sick or work miracles. When you mention miracles they will laugh at you and quickly dismiss you as a heretic primitive uneducated buffoon.
Sarah believed in science, that is human anatomy and physiology than the word of God. They are times I have believed in science more than Christ. After all, I am a scientist. God desires that you believe more in his will and power than the order of nature.
3. Hagar – beauty of His justice
Hagar had the favor of bearing a son for Abraham. And this happened because of Sarah’s lack of faith. Sadly, Hagar thought Ishmael was a sign that she was more blessed than Sarah. This is the message of the prosperity gospel bedeviling the church today.
We are all guilty of believing more in our dreams than on Christ. And we have made God’s blessing a mark of superiority. Because he cares, he will watch over us. Even when we suffer the consequences of our idolatry and pride.
4. Rebekah – beauty of His wisdom
I have always believed that Rebekah was a thoughtful wife. After all, she aligned herself with God by loving Jacob more. But Rebekah was a conniving, manipulative, and selfish woman. Like most of us.
God told her Jacob was going to be more blessed than Esau. How many times have you lied so that you can get what you want? Despite Rebekah’s manipulations, God blessed Jacob all the same. He even used Rebekah’s deceptive plans for the good of Jacob.
5. Leah – beauty of His majesty
You probably know some churches that are snobbish and elitist. They are the ones favored by God. Because they’re growing and they know the Bible better than anyone else. And their blogs and books try to make sure you all know it – they are the best.
This is Leah. She never struggled with infertility like Rachel. And she always made sure Rachel knew it. But Leah only wanted Jacob’s attention. God is faithful because from Leah came Judah, from whom the scepter shall not depart.
6. Rachel – beauty of His holiness
When Jacob fled from his father in law, Rachel stole his father’s gods. Rachel saw how Jacob’s God was superior to her father’s idols. She also thought children could give her meaning and satisfaction.
Tim Keller defined an idol as ‘whatever you look at and say, in your heart of hearts, “If I have that, then I’ll feel my life has meaning, then I ‘ll know I have value, then I’ll feel significant and secure.”’ But God showed he loved Rachel by blessing her with a son who became a shadow of Christ saving Israel from famine.
7. Tamar – beauty of His righteousness
Here’s a woman who life dealt a bad hand. She lost her wicked husband and a wicked brother in law who denied her a chance to conceive. In the end, she resorted to deceiving her widowed father in law by presenting herself as a prostitute.
It’s easy for us to blame Tamar for what she did. Instead, Matthew included her as the first three women in Christ’s genealogy. Despite the mess in her life, God gave her two sons. Through Tamar, we can see how God’s grace transcends our mess.
I learned more about the church by looking at the women in Genesis. I rediscovered the problems faced by the church through the lives of often ignored women of the Bible. Above all, the Book of Genesis taught me how much Christ loves us despite our repulsive mess.