Women Of Courage

Series:  Mother’s Day Messages

Sun am 11 May 2014 – Hazel Swart

Gen. 17:17; Judges 4; 1 Sam. 1 & 2; Ruth 1 & 2; Esther 2, 3 & 4; Joshua 2; Luke 1:38; Prov. 31

What I want to highlight today is the courage of a mother. You have to have courage to be a mother. When giving birth, it takes a lot of courage to give that last push.

One of the best things you can teach your children is to teach them order, teach them neatness; teach them to tidy up after themselves. The home is a sacred place, the place where you live and therefore one teaches respect and to put your things away.

It takes courage to say there is something more; we need to learn from the things our mothers have not accomplished. They have opened doors for us to take it further. Do not let anything stop you from using your God-given talents; there should be a passing down of the batten.

Some examples in the Bible which are great are women like Sarah, who gave birth to a child at the age of 90. That takes a lot of courage. She first laughed and said; “Take my maid-servant” then the reality hit her that she was actually called to bring Isaac into the world (Gen. 17).

Then Deborah was a woman judge in a world that was male-dominated. She sat under a palm tree and gave advice and wisdom and she went into battle with Barak and won a victory. She is an example for us to be strong and courageous (Judges 4).

Jael was the person who killed the Canaanite commander of the army. She took a tent peg and a hammer and put it through his temple and killed him. That takes courage (Judges 4).

Then we have Hanna (1 Sam. 1 & 2). She was infertile and went and cried before the Lord. She cried unto God for a child and Samuel was born to her. He was one of the greatest prophets. It took courage for her to take this child to the temple and leave him at the feet of Eli who was a priest who was going blind and already on his way out. It takes a lot of courage to dedicate your child to God and say, “God, whatever You want of this child, I give him/her into your hands.”

We also have Ruth, her name means, “companion”, “friend” and “satisfied”. She came from the wrong side of town, was married to Naomi’s son, and after his death she said to Naomi, “Where you go I will go, your people are my people and your God my God” (Ruth 1 & 2). God blessed her and she became the great grandmother of David.

Esther was the one who expected the least to be used in such a great way. The King chose her out of all the young virgins of that time and married her. There came a time that she had to save her people and she said, “If I die, I die.” It took a lot of courage to stand before the king. She could have had her head chopped off but he accepted her and she found favour with him (Esther 2 to 4).

Rahab was a prostitute yet her name is in the lineage of Jesus. There are some shady characters in the lineage of Jesus, and she is one of them. She took in two spies and hid them when the army came to seek them. It took a lot of courage but she asked to be spared. Rahab the prostitute was elevated to a place beyond where she thought she would be (Josh. 2).

Mary the mother of Jesus; this is a beautiful story of a young girl who was visited by the angel and said, “Be it done unto me according to Thy Word” (Luke 1:38). She was prepared to give birth to the Son of God and the Saviour of the nations. That is a picture of vulnerability, tremendous submission; tremendous innocence.

The last one is the woman of Proverbs. She is a picture of the Church and a picture of what we as a church should look like. I want to say to mothers and women today; be courageous! The picture illustrated in Proverbs is a woman of strength, not backing down, strong in her convictions. A woman of kindness, she reaches out her hand to the poor, she is generous; nothing is too small; nothing is too big, nothing is impossible. She is a woman who respects; she is a woman of dignity. She is a business woman who goes out into the world and succeeds in her business. A nurturer, she looks after her family, they never go without. In the winter they have warmth, they have clothes; she makes it of the finest material. She looks for it afar, she goes and finds the best for her family, and will be there for them. She is a woman who trusts and is trustworthy; a woman who is fearless and who will fight for her children. The woman of Proverbs is prepared for the future; there is nothing that catches her unawares. She is a woman who knows and her family stand up and greet her and bless her.

Today I declare a blessing on the women and the mothers in Bizweni. I declare serenity, peace, strength, trustworthiness; faith that is unswerving. I want to declare hope. I want to instil in you a faith that says to God, “I will not let You go, draw me close to You. Never let me go. Let me trust the word you have put in my heart. Be it done unto me according to Your word.” Stand strong and be fierce about what you believe. Stand pure and holy; what is sacred, keep sacred. Women in Bizweni, stand up and be a strength, be the picture that Proverbs 31 speaks of, a place where people can come and find peace, find nurturing, acceptance and love; find holiness and truth in our homes, in our church and in our nation.

I bless you with courage; I bless you with confidence, with success and with graciousness. Let everything you do be done graciously.