Women of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Women in Scripture

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Overview

With distinct, vivid accounts of fifty-two remarkable women in Scripture, this book offers a way for readers to nurture their relationship with their Heavenly Father and gives them a glimpse into the lives of Old and New Testament women.

Women of the Bible focuses on fifty-two remarkable women in Scripture — women whose struggles to live with faith and courage are not unlike our own. Far from being cardboard characters, these women encourage ...
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Overview

With distinct, vivid accounts of fifty-two remarkable women in Scripture, this book offers a way for readers to nurture their relationship with their Heavenly Father and gives them a glimpse into the lives of Old and New Testament women.

Women of the Bible focuses on fifty-two remarkable women in Scripture — women whose struggles to live with faith and courage are not unlike our own. Far from being cardboard characters, these women encourage us through their failures as well as their successes. You'll see how God acted in surprising and wonderful ways to draw them — and you — to himself. This year-long devotional offers a unique method to help you slow down and savor the story of God's unrelenting love for his people, offering a fresh perspective that will nourish and strengthen your personal communion with him.

Author Biography: Ann Spangler directs the literary agency of Ann Spangler and Associates. Her best-selling books include Women of the Bible (coauthored with Jean Syswerda), He's Been Faithful (coauthroed with Carol Cymbala), and She Who Laughs, Lasts! She lives with her two daughters in Grand Rapids, MI.

Jean E. Syswerda is a writer and former editor and associate publisher for Zondervan Bibles. She is coauthor (with Ann Spangler) of the best-selling Women of the Bible. She and her husband live in Allendale, MI.*

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310270553
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Edition description: Expanded
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann Spangler is the award-winning author of several best-selling books, including Women of the Bible (with Jean Syswerda), Praying the Names of God, and Praying the Names of Jesus. She is also the general editor of The Names of God Bible., Her latest book is Praying the Attributes of God. Together her books have sold millions of copies. She and her two daughters live in Grand Rapids, Michigan. www.annspangler.com

Jean E. Syswerda is a former editor and associate publisher for Zondervan Bibles. She helped produce such bestselling Bibles as the NIV Women’s Devotional Bible. General editor of the Women of Faith Study Bible and A Mom's Ordinary Day Bible Study Series, she is the author of the Women's Devotional Guide to the Bible and coauthor of the bestselling Read With Me Bible. Jean and her husband, John, have three children and six grandchildren. They live in Allendale, Michigan.

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Read an Excerpt

ABIGAIL

Her Name Means "My Father Is Joy"

Her Character: Generous, quick-witted, and wise, she is one of the Bible's great peacemakers.

Her Sorrow: To have been mismatched in marriage to her first husband.

Her Joy: That God used her to save lives, eventually making her the wife of David.

Key Scripture: 1 Samuel 25: 2-42

Monday

HER STORY

Blockhead, numskull, nincompoop--the words strike us both harshly and humorously. But any woman married to a man worthy of such labels would have little to laugh about.

Abigail must have felt suffocated, having been paired with just such a husband. Her father may have thought the wealthy Nabal was a catch, little realizing the man's domineering attitude might one day endanger his daughter's well-being. But fools and ruin often keep close company, as Abigail soon discovered.

For some time Abigail had been hearing of David: his encounter with Goliath; his ruddy good looks; his prowess in battle; his rift with King Saul. Recently, he had become her near neighbor in the Desert of Maon, west of the Dead Sea, where he had taken refuge from Saul.

Since David had arrived with his six hundred men, marauders kept clear of her husband's livestock, and Nabal's flocks prospered as a result. But when David sent ten of his men to ask Nabal for provisions, Nabal, who had grown richer by the day thanks to David, nearly spit in their faces. "Who is this David? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days. Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?" Rich though he was, Nabal had just foolishly insulted the region's most powerful man.

Aware of their danger, one of the servants ran quickly to Abigail, begging her to intervene. As Nabal's wife, she must have suffered his arrogance every day of her life. But this time his folly jeopardized the entire household. Wasting no time, and without a word to her husband, she loaded a caravan of donkeys with gifts for David and his men--freshly baked bread, skins of wine, red meat, and various delicacies--and took them to David's camp. As soon as she saw him, she fell to the ground at his feet, making one of the longest speeches by a woman recorded in the Bible:

"My lord," she pleaded, "let the blame be on me alone. May my lord pay no attention to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name--his name is Fool, and folly goes with him. But as for me, your servant, I did not see the men my master sent. Please forgive your servant's offense, for the Lord will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my master, because he fights the Lord's battles. Let no wrongdoing be found in you as long as you live. Even though someone pursues you, your life will be held securely by the Lord your God. But the lives of your enemies he will hurl away as from the pocket of a sling."

These last words, of course, reminded David of his success against Goliath, erasing his anger and enabling his gracious reply:

"Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands. If you had not come quickly to meet me, not one male belonging to Nabal would have been left alive by daybreak." In addition to saving lives, Abigail's wisdom had spared David from sinning, reminding him that vengeance belongs only to God.

After her encounter with David, Abigail went to Carmel, where Nabal had been shearing his sheep and celebrating his good fortune.

Once again, she found him playing the fool. Oblivious to danger, he was drunkenly presiding over a festival banquet, like a great king. She waited until morning, when he was sober, to tell him what had happened.

As soon as Nabal heard the news, his heart failed. Ten days later he was dead.

Arrogance, greed, and selfishness had conspired to rob Nabal of any good sense he might once have possessed. Thinking himself a great man when he was only a small one, he lost everything. Abigail was Nabal's opposite, a woman whose humility, faith, generosity, intelligence, and honesty made her wise. Rather than putting others at risk by an ungoverned tongue, her gracious words saved lives. Few husbands and wives were ever so illsuited to each other.

When David heard the news of Nabal's death, he sent word to Abigail, asking her to be his wife. This time it was Abigail's choice whether or not to marry. She accepted, becoming David's third wife and eventually mother to his second son, Kileab.

Unlike Michal, who had been a mere pawn on a chessboard, Abigail was a woman who rose above her circumstances to change the course of events. Though Scripture doesn't offer details regarding her daily life, it is logical to suppose she was a good wife to Nabal. Even her entreaty to David was the act of a good wife. Perhaps her virtues were not inborn, but developed in the midst of a difficult marriage.

Or perhaps her marriage was actually the catalyst for her character, helping her to cultivate contrasting virtues to Nabal's vices. Regardless, through her quick-witted action, she spared her husband's life and goods. It was God, not Abigail or David, who paid Nabal back for his arrogance and greed.

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First Chapter

ABIGAIL Her Name Means 'My Father Is Joy'
Her Character: Generous, quick-witted, and wise, she is one of the Bible's great peacemakers.
Her Sorrow: To have been mismatched in marriage to her first husband.
Her Joy: That God used her to save lives, eventually making her the wife of David.
Key Scripture: 1 Samuel 25:2—42
Mo n d a y HER STORY Blockhead, numskull, nincompoop—the words strike us both harshly and humorously. But any woman married to a man worthy of such labels would have little to laugh about.
Abigail must have felt suffocated, having been paired with just such a husband. Her father may have thought the wealthy Nabal was a catch, little realizing the man's domineering attitude might one day endanger his daughter's well-being. But fools and ruin often keep close company, as Abigail soon discovered.
For some time Abigail had been hearing of David: his encounter with Goliath; his ruddy good looks; his prowess in battle; his rift with King Saul. Recently, he had become her near neighbor in the Desert of Maon, west of the Dead Sea, where he had taken refuge from Saul.
Since David had arrived with his six hundred men, marauders kept clear of her husband's livestock, and Nabal's flocks prospered as a result. But when David sent ten of his men to ask Nabal for provisions,
Nabal, who had grown richer by the day thanks to David, nearly spit in their faces. 'Who is this David? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days. Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?' Rich though he was, Nabal had just foolishly insulted the region's most powerful man.
Aware of their danger, one of the servants ran quickly to Abigail,
begging her to intervene. As Nabal's wife, she must have suffered his arrogance every day of her life. But this time his folly jeopardized the entire household. Wasting no time, and without a word to her husband, she loaded a caravan of donkeys with gifts for David and his men—freshly baked bread, skins of wine, red meat, and various delicacies—and took them to David's camp. As soon as she saw him, she fell to the ground at his feet, making one of the longest speeches by a woman recorded in the Bible:
'My lord,' she pleaded, 'let the blame be on me alone. May my lord pay no attention to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name—his name is Fool, and folly goes with him. But as for me, your servant, I did not see the men my master sent. Please forgive your servant's offense, for the Lord will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my master, because he fights the Lord's battles. Let no wrongdoing be found in you as long as you live. Even though someone pursues you, your life will be held securely by the Lord your God. But the lives of your enemies he will hurl away as from the pocket of a sling.'
These last words, of course, reminded David of his success against Goliath, erasing his anger and enabling his gracious reply:
'Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands. If you had not come quickly to meet me, not one male belonging to Nabal would have been left alive by daybreak.' In addition to saving lives, Abigail's wisdom had spared David from sinning, reminding him that vengeance belongs only to God.
After her encounter with David, Abigail went to Carmel, where Nabal had been shearing his sheep and celebrating his good fortune.
Once again, she found him playing the fool. Oblivious to danger, he was drunkenly presiding over a festival banquet, like a great king. She waited until morning, when he was sober, to tell him what had happened.
As soon as Nabal heard the news, his heart failed. Ten days later he was dead.
Arrogance, greed, and selfishness had conspired to rob Nabal of any good sense he might once have possessed. Thinking himself a great man when he was only a small one, he lost everything. Abigail was Nabal's opposite, a woman whose humility, faith, generosity, intelligence, and honesty made her wise. Rather than putting others at risk by an ungoverned tongue, her gracious words saved lives. Few husbands and wives were ever so illsuited to each other.
When David heard the news of Nabal's death, he sent word to Abigail, asking her to be his wife. This time it was Abigail's choice whether or not to marry. She accepted, becoming David's third wife and eventually mother to his second son, Kileab.
Unlike Michal, who had been a mere pawn on a chessboard, Abigail was a woman who rose above her circumstances to change the course of events. Though Scripture doesn't offer details regarding her daily life, it is logical to suppose she was a good wife to Nabal. Even her entreaty to David was the act of a good wife. Perhaps her virtues were not inborn, but developed in the midst of a difficult marriage.
Or perhaps her marriage was actually the catalyst for her character, helping her to cultivate contrasting virtues to Nabal's vices. Regardless, through her quick-witted action, she spared her husband's life and goods. It was God, not Abigail or David, who paid Nabal back for his arrogance and greed.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 52 )
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(28)

4 Star

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(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 52 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Highly recommended

    I read through this book several years ago, and appreciated the details that the authors included. This Christmas, I gave copies to 2 friends who had expressed interest in a more consistent personal Bible study time. The book includes 52 chapters. Each week is broken up into 5 days of study focusing on a different woman in the Bible, retelling her story and highlighting the cultural context. Study questions and practical application points are included as well. Although I have been studying the Bible for many years, I gained new understanding of how God worked through these women and how He continues to work today!

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2001

    Wonderful Study

    We are using this book as our guide in a weekly lunch-time Bible Study with about 12 women. The study has been exciting, encouraging and enlighting. The book's format is perfect for this kind of group sharing.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2006

    Excellent study for both woman and man

    I have found this book to be exceptional. It grants the reader a deeper understanding and connection with the woman's relationship to God. For men it will definately show them a more positive and new way to look at their female conterparts. I screamed with joy and always felt blessed reading each story and develing into the study and reflections of how it relates to myself.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 19, 2011

    Enjoying the study

    Like the study, but for nook some of the text gets tweeked in placement. It's not too hard to figure out, but it would be nice if it were fixed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2002

    God spoke to me

    This is a great devotional book. I have been ministered through every story. It especially blessed me to see how GOd care so much for every women mentioned in such a tender loving way. Jesus truly knows how to care and love women.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2001

    GREAT READ

    This book is very good! It's easy to read and follow.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2000

    Great Spiritual Learning

    Never before have I read such wonderful words on the women of the bible. More understanding of these women I thought I would never find. Makes them come to LIFE and shows me they are/were just like us.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 3, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I have used this book and made quilt blocks for 12 of the ladie

    I have used this book and made quilt blocks for 12 of the ladies so far and shared them with the Ladies meeting at my church. this is a wonderfull book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2013

    This book sheds false light on a bigoted, horrific, sexist, fear

    This book sheds false light on a bigoted, horrific, sexist, fear- and hatred- inducing book of fiction masquerading as non-fiction, called The Bible. "The Bible" contains adult, grotesque stories of rape, genocide, child abuse, sexism, revenge, murder. Many of these acts are commandeered by, and allowed by, authority figures... My advise is to actually read the entire bible, before buying this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    wow a must read. Lots of good information!

    I have been reading Women of the Bible as a devotional at night. It is full of good Biblical information on women to the Bible. It is well researched. I have learned a lot through reading this book. I have been able to use some of the material for our home Bible study.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    We (The Daughters of the King) are using this book for a Bible S

    We (The Daughters of the King) are using this book for a Bible Study and we are enjoying every time we meet to review one Women of the Bible. There are 52 chapters and we have devided them up among the group and each one has taken several chapter. Then each week another person is presenting the Woman they chose to the group. We are learning alot about what the Woman of the Bible and the way they were treated and how God worked through them. This is one the the best study's were have ever done and I recomend it to all groups looking for a book to use for a Study. I especially recommend this to Woman's groups. Very easy to read and what an insite you will get on the life's of the Women of our passed which is not revealed to us as often as the Men are. Really enjoying this book so glad we decided to use this as are
    Study

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    Great Devotional

    I love this devotional. It looks in to the lives of different women, and sheds a new light on their life, struggles, relationship with God, etc. I'm getting ready to restart it, and would recommend it to anyone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 25, 2011

    Excellent!

    I purchased this to give my personal Bible study time a boost, and have not been disappointed. My goal was to study one woman per week for this year. The 5 daily readings on each of the 52 women are brief enough that I can easily catch up when I miss a day (and even do them all in one sitting, which I have done several times!). The readings are both challenging and thought-provoking. Highly recommended!

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  • Posted April 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    I'm going to read every last story, because I realize in every story I can find a piece of me, something to learn and something to pray about. Everyday is a new day for a new beginning.

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  • Posted May 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A must for solid spiritual growth

    This book is very inspiring, uplifting, motivating for anyone wishing to have a closer spiritual walk with God. The daily prayers and verses are just what are needed for each morning and evening of your day. May you be richly blessed as you read this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2011

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