Monday, September 27, 2021

Biblical “Hidden Figures”.

July 1, 2021 by  
Filed under Christian Talk, Ent., News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( Similar to the book and 2016 movie, “Hidden Figures,” which highlighted the unknown contributions of African American women to astrophysics. This article brings forth the stories of three unfamiliar biblical women that made significant contributions to their respective societies. It demonstrates how God used a prostitute, a young slave girl, and two defiant Hebrew women to change history. It is proof that when we are faithful and trust in God, all things are possible.

A prostitute named Rahab

(Hebrews 11:31)

Rahab was a prostitute of the Canaanite city of Jericho that was astonishingly engrafted into the lineage of Jesus Christ.  Because of her great faith, this unlikely Gentile woman assists Israel in victory over Jericho, saves her entire family, and spotlights the hope of salvation available to mankind through God’s forgiveness, grace, and mercy.  Rehab’s story shows the world not to discount anyone because God can and will use anyone regardless of their plight in life.

Before entering Cannan, Joshua sent two spies to look over the land. The king of Jericho heard that two Israelite spies were within his city and ordered them to be brought to him.  Rahab agreed to help the spies escape provided that she and her family were spared in the upcoming battle. She took in the spies and when the King’s men asked her to turn them over, she hid the men in her attic. The city was destroyed, and every man, woman, and child in it was killed. Only Rahab and her family were spared.

Rahab’s story demonstrates that once we accept Jesus Christ, our pasts no longer matter. The slate is wiped clean for all who believe and accept the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross on our behalf. Rahab was no longer viewed as an unclean prostitute, but as one worthy by grace to be part of the lineage of our Lord Jesus Christ.  She was the first recorded Gentile convert. Just as she was grafted into the line of Christ, so we become children of God and partakers in His inheritance (Romans 11). Rahab is an inspiring story for all sinners who have been saved by grace.

2021 rehab

A slave girl, who shared her faith

(2 Kings 5:1-19)

The text gives her no name, no lineage, no social status, nor any sense of value other than she was a young girl taken captive from the land of Israel. She was bought from a slave market in Damascus by an Aramean (Syrian) Army commander. The commander was a great man in the sight of his master, the king of Aram, Ben-Hadad, who had leprosy. The young captive girl was given to the commander’s wife as a slave. Out of twenty-seven verses in the fifth chapter of 2 Kings, two versus tell of this young slave girl’s existence and her contribution to the glory of God.

This young no-named slave girl dealing with the untold trauma of being snatched from her family and homeland, held firmly to her faith in God. She was able to gain favor and influence with her mistress to suggest the Army commander should go to see the prophet, Elisha, in Samaria who could heal him of his leprosy. Evidently because of her affections for her master and mistress, she had gained their confidence so that they followed her recommendation to seek the prophet’s help.

The Army commander got permission from the king of Aram and traveled to Samaria and received healing from his leprosy. More importantly the young slave girl’s faith in God had influenced her master, who was from an idolatrous nation, to recognize and acknowledge that the God of Israel is the one true God. Her faith influenced others to change their hearts and minds of the people around them.

Two midwives that saved a nation

(Exodus 1:15-20)

Shiphrah and Puah (Pooah) were Hebrew Midwives. They were slaves who possessed great respect, obedience, and boldness for the God of Israel during harsh Egyptian slavery.

At that time Pharaoh gave a declaration to kill all male newborn Hebrew children but allow the female newborns to live. These two midwives feared God more than Pharoah and disobeyed and allowed the male children to live (Exodus 1:18). They blatantly defied the most powerful man in the world who could have had them executed for their act of defiance. Due to Shiphrah and Puah’s love for the “Most High God”, numerous Hebrew male children were spared.

Shiphrah and Puah story is like another modern day “Hidden Figure” a 15-year-old girl named, Claudette Colvin. On March 2, 1955, nine months before Rosa Parks, Claudette defied segregation laws by refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Montgomery, AL. Eclipsed by Rosa Parks, Claudette’s act of defiance for the greater good is remarkably like our two biblical heroes of Shiphrah and Puah.


There are many remarkable women that seemingly have gone unnamed, and unrecognized. However, because of their faith, these women changed the course of history. There are many other women that have made significant impacts to our society. They are our great-grandmothers, grandmothers, mothers, sisters, aunts, teachers, caregivers, civic leaders, prayer warriors and yes, even those noisy neighbors. All these women are hidden figures in our lives.

Written by Rev. Dr. Larry E. ThompsonRev. Dr. James A. Cobb, Rev Henry L. “Charlie” Sanders Jr, and Deacon Glenn Davis

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