Spiritual Growth and Encouragement for Christian Women

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3 Women in the Bible Who Took a Big Risk

  • Kristine Brown Author of Cinched: Living with Unwavering Trust in an Unfailing God
  • Published Dec 01, 2016
3 Women in the Bible Who Took a Big Risk

Risk-takers. They’re willing to kick fear aside and take on challenges, regardless of the outcome. They say yes without hesitation. And when a situation seems hopeless, they trust God’s guidance even more. I’ve always wanted to be a risk-taker. Still, even though I long to be brave for God, fear holds me back every time I get an opportunity to take a risk.

Maybe you’ve been there too. You feel compelled to move forward, but fear surfaces and persuades you to stay put. It presents the same old argument. It’s not safe. As if that weren’t enough, it convinces you it wouldn’t make a difference anyway. And if you’re like me, you give in.

Thankfully, the Bible teaches us about ordinary women who took big risks for God. At that critical moment when a decision had to be made, they chose to take the risk. And the results made history.

Here are three women in the Bible who can teach us a thing or two about taking risks. Let’s allow their stories to give us inspiration today as we learn how to be bold for God.

1. Abigail

Desperate situations call for extreme measures. Abigail knew this well. When her husband Nabal hurled an insult at David, the future king, “Abigail acted quickly.” (1 Sam. 25:18). This was not your average insult either. David came to Nabal requesting food for his army. Nabal not only rejected the request, but he also lowered David’s name to a place of dishonor. “Who is this David?” The words left a sting so poisonous David felt his only recourse was retaliation. He set out to kill Nabal and all his men.

In spite of her husband’s bad choice, Abigail jumped into action. Nabal would never have consented to Abigail’s decision. Because of this, she moved forward in secret, “...under cover of the mountain,” (1 Sam. 25:20). 

Abigail’s name means “the joy of her father.” No doubt she brought joy to her Heavenly Father that day when she offered the best gifts to David. Abigail knew the wisdom of Proverbs 21:14, “A gift given in secret soothes anger…” She presented her gifts to David in the most submissive, respectful way. She bowed down in his presence to ask forgiveness on behalf of Nabal. (1 Sam. 25:23)

David was so moved by Abigail’s eloquent speech, he thanked God for sending her. God honored her courage by bringing justice upon Nabal while keeping David free from the burden of “needless bloodshed.” (1 Sam. 25:31). Abigail risked her relationship with her husband to defuse a deadly situation. 

2. Joanna 

Joanna’s name is only mentioned briefly in Scripture. But the words used to describe her show her willingness to go where her Savior led and help in whatever way she could. Joanna was among the devoted women who traveled with Jesus during his time on earth. She either had a terrible disease or was overcome by evil spirits. Jesus healed her, restored her, and accepted her.

Most amazing of all, Joanna supported Jesus and the apostles “out of her own means,” (Luke 8:3). Why was this such an integral detail in Joanna’s story? Joanna had connections with Herod the Tetrarch. Her husband Chuza held an important job at the palace. He was Herod’s household manager - his right hand man.

We remember Herod the Tetrarch as the one responsible for having John the Baptist beheaded. Luke 23:11 reveals how he treated Jesus. “Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him.” Yet the wife of the man appointed to oversee his entire estate faithfully followed Jesus. She also supported Jesus’ ministry with her family’s finances. Joanna’s role in Jesus’ ministry was a risk, but her connections to the palace didn’t deter her from her calling. She gladly risked it all for her Lord. 

God rewarded Joanna for her dedication. She was among the first to see the empty tomb and learn that Jesus Christ - her Healer and Deliverer - had risen, just as he promised.

3. Rahab

Scripture describes Rahab as “a harlot” in Joshua 2:1. But her past sins fade away when we see how she risked her own life to help Joshua’s men spy out the land. Rahab not only hid the men on her rooftop, but she also lied to the king’s men who asked about them. (Joshua 2:4). Punishment for lying to the king would be severe, but this didn’t deter Rahab from her goal – ensuring the safety of her family.

Rahab knew what was about to happen to her city, and she acknowledged God’s sovereignty. “...for the lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below,” (Joshua 2:11).

She shared her belief and extended an offer to Joshua’s men. She would help them in exchange for her family’s protection. The men agreed. As a result, Joshua spared Rahab. She and her family lived among the Israelites from the day the walls fell. (Joshua 6:25) Rahab took a big risk, setting her life on a course to be used by God in an even bigger way.

Rahab, Joanna, and Abigail took action when they could’ve lost everything. Their love for God gave them the courage they needed to make daring decisions. Their lives serve as inspiration for me today as I strive to become a risk-taker. Like these brave ladies, we too can release fear and face life’s challenges with risk-taking faith.


Kristine Brown is a writer, dramatist, and former English teacher. She desires to support women in their spiritual lives with practical teaching for real-life struggles. Kristine devotes her time to freelance writing and her non-profit ministry, More Than Yourself, Inc. You can read more from Kristine at www.morethanyourself.com.

Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com

Publication date: December 1, 2016