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Friday, May 8, 2015

Biblical Mothers of Faith

I recently spent several days with my mother, who is 92 years old. Although I talk to her nearly every week I hadn't seen her in nearly three years. A lot has changed and happened in my life since I last saw her, including the death of her daughter-in-law, my wife earlier this year. This was the first time that I had seen her without Ruth. Mother doesn’t drive anymore and she moves a lot slower, her memory fails her sometimes but given some time she does remember, but her mind is still clear and she is aware of what is going on around her. When I made my reservations to visit her I didn’t realize that I would be coming home just a few days before Mother’s Day so I won’t be spending it with her. My brother is still there and my sister lives close so they will be there. Since I won’t be there I’m dedicating this post to her.

In thinking about and doing some research for this post “Mothers of Faith” I ran across this hymn,  “Faith of Our Mothers” with words written in 2013 by Lawrence A. Wik, to the tune of ST. CATHERINE, by Henri F. Hemy, 1864; adapt. by James G. Walton, 1874. I thought it was very appropriate for this post.

I consider my mother a hero, or if you prefer "shero". I’m sure that you consider your mothers heroes too. I believe that God considers mothers heroes as well because the bible contains many accounts of heroic mothers of faith.

The bible speaks very highly of those with faith. There is an entire chapter in the book of Hebrews that identifies heroes of faith. I talk a lot about people of faith in this blog. Most of the people mentioned in the bible, and in this blog, when talking about faith are men and fathers. That certainly doesn't mean that men have more faith than women or men’s faith somehow is more powerful than that of women, and mothers. A quick look at church attendance, and who gets things done in our churches will tell you that’s not the case. In fact it may even be the other way around. I’m just kidding of course but there are many mothers of faith who we can learn a lot from by studying them and their stories.

Mothers of Faith


Genesis 3:20 (HCSB) Adam named his wife Eve because she was the mother of all the living.

Eve was the first woman and the first mother. Without a single role model or mentor, she paved the maternal way to become "Mother of All the Living." She and Adam lived in Paradise, but they spoiled it by listening to Satan instead of God. Eve suffered terrible grief when her son Cain murdered his brother Abel, yet despite these tragedies, Eve went on to fulfill her part in God's plan of populating the Earth.


Everybody has heard of Sarah, Abraham’s wife she’s mentioned in Hebrews 11 along with the heroes of faith;

Hebrews 11:11 (HCSB) By faith even Sarah herself, when she was unable to have children, received power to conceive offspring, even though she was past the age, since she considered that the One who had promised was faithful.

Abraham and Sarah with their son Isaac
Sarah was one of the most important women in the Bible. She was the wife of Abraham, which made her the mother of the nation of Israel. Yet Sarah was barren. She conceived through a miracle in spite of her old age. Sarah was a good wife, a loyal helper and builder with Abraham. Her faith serves as a shining example for every person who has to wait on God to act.

Genesis 21:1-3 (HCSB) 1 The LORD came to Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what He had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time God had told him. 3 Abraham named his son who was born to him—the one Sarah bore to him—Isaac.


Jochebed, the mother of Moses, is one of the under appreciated mothers in the Bible, yet she also showed tremendous faith in God. To avoid the mass slaughter of Hebrew boys, she set her baby adrift in the Nile River, hoping someone would find him and raise him. God so worked that her baby was found by Pharaoh's daughter. Jochebed even became her own son's nurse. God used Moses mightily, to free the Hebrew people from their 400 year bondage of slavery and take them to the Promised Land. Although little is written about Jochebed in the Bible, her story speaks powerfully to mothers of today.

Exodus 6:20 (HCSB) Amram married his father’s sister Jochebed, and she bore him Aaron and Moses. Amram lived 137 years.

Exodus 2:1-10 (HCSB) 1 Now a man from the family of Levi married a Levite woman. 2 The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son; when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months. 3 But when she could no longer hide him, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with asphalt and pitch. She placed the child in it and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile. 4 Then his sister stood at a distance in order to see what would happen to him. 5 Pharaoh’s daughter went down to bathe at the Nile while her servant girls walked along the riverbank. Seeing the basket among the reeds, she sent her slave girl to get it. 6 When she opened it, she saw the child—a little boy, crying. She felt sorry for him and said, “This is one of the Hebrew boys.” 7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Should I go and call a woman from the Hebrews to nurse the boy for you?” 8 “Go,” Pharaoh’s daughter told her. So the girl went and called the boy’s mother. 9 Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child and nurse him for me, and I will pay your wages.” So the woman took the boy and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.”


Hannah was the mother of the great prophet Samuel, who anointed Saul Israel’s first king, and David, perhaps it’s greatest king. Hannah would go to Shiloh year after year, with her husband, Elkanah, and his other wife, to worship and sacrifice. Every year Elkanah’s second wife, Peninnah, would ridicule her because she couldn't have children, especially a son. Hannah didn’t give up though. She continued to pray and ask God for a son. In her prayer she told God that if He would give her a son that she would give him back to serve Him. God did bless her, she conceived and had a son, Samuel.

1 Samuel 1:19-20, 27-28 (HCSB) 19 The next morning Elkanah and Hannah got up early to bow in worship before the LORD. Afterward, they returned home to Ramah. Then Elkanah was intimate with his wife Hannah, and the LORD remembered her. 20 After some time, Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, because ⌊she said⌋, “I requested him from the LORD.” 27 I prayed for this boy, and since the LORD gave me what I asked Him for, 28 I now give the boy to the LORD. For as long as he lives, he is given to the LORD.” Then he bowed in worship to the LORD there.

Hannah honored her promise and as a result she had five more children, including three more sons.

1 Samuel 2:21 (HCSB) The LORD paid attention to Hannah’s ⌊need⌋, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD.

The widow of Zarephath

This is the widow who Elijah asked for some bread during a famine. She told him that she only had a little bit of flour and oil and she was going to bake some bread for her and her son to eat and then they would die. Elijah told her to not be afraid and go ahead and make the bread for him and afterward she would always have flour and oil until the famine was over. She did and she had food to eat throughout the famine. Later her son got sick and died.
Elijah and the widow who shared

1 Kings 17:17-18, 21-24 (HCSB) 17 After this, the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. His illness became very severe until no breath remained in him. 18 She said to Elijah, “Man of God, what do we have in common? Have you come to remind me of my guilt and to kill my son?” 21 Then he stretched himself out over the boy three times. He cried out to the LORD and said, “My LORD God, please let this boy’s life return to him!”22 So the LORD listened to Elijah’s voice, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived.23 Then Elijah took the boy, brought him down from the upper room into the house, and gave him to his mother. Elijah said, “Look, your son is alive.”24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know you are a man of God and the LORD’s word from your mouth is true.”

The woman of Shunem

She and her husband provided a room for the prophet Elisha when he was in their town. Elisha was told that she had been unable to conceive and he told her that she would be blessed by God and would have a child, and she bore a son. Some years later her son died. She went and got Elisha and brought him back to her house.

2 Kings 4:32-37 (HCSB)32 When Elisha got to the house, he discovered the boy lying dead on his bed.33 So he went in, closed the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the LORD.34 Then he went up and lay on the boy: he put mouth to mouth, eye to eye, hand to hand. While he bent down over him, the boy’s flesh became warm.35 Elisha got up, went into the house, and paced back and forth. Then he went up and bent down over him again. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes. 36 Elisha called Gehazi and said, “Call the Shunammite woman.” He called her and she came. Then Elisha said, “Pick up your son.” 37 She came, fell at his feet, and bowed to the ground; she picked up her son and left.

Mother in Nain

This lady, a widow, lost her only son. Jesus was moved with compassion and, for her sake, resurrected her son.

Luke 7:13-15 (HCSB) 13 When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said, “Don’t cry.” 14 Then He came up and touched the open coffin, and the pallbearers stopped. And He said, “Young man, I tell you, get up!” 15 The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.


Barren in her old age, Elizabeth was another of the miracle mothers in the Bible. She conceived and gave birth to a son. She and her husband named him John, as an angel had instructed. Like Hannah before her, she dedicated her son to God, and like Hannah's son, he also became a great prophet, John the Baptist. Elizabeth's joy was complete when her relative Mary visited her, pregnant with the future Savior of the World.

Luke 1:24-25 (HCSB) 24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived and kept herself in seclusion for five months. She said, 25 “The Lord has done this for me. He has looked with favor in these days to take away my disgrace among the people


Mary the mother of Jesus is the most honored mother in the bible and of all time. Mary was very young, some say as young as 12 or 13 years old. She was also a peasant which means that she was very poor.

Mary, although troubled, didn't hesitate or question the angel Gabriel when he told her that she had found favor with God and that she was going to have a son who she was to name Jesus, all this without having any intimate relationships with a man

Luke 1:38 (HCSB) “I am the Lord’s slave,” said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel left her. Well we know the rest of the story Mary did give birth to our Lord and Savior Jesus only to see Him crucified on a cross for her salvation and ours.

These are just a few examples of mothers of faith in bible. So the next time that you are tempted to think that men are more important in God’s plan for mankind …..think again.


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