Unseen women of the Bible from Eden to Easter
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The first witnesses to the resurrection were not men, but women - and without women, the Easter story would not have happened at all. These hidden voices of the Bible's story are found through the Old Testament and the New Testament. In this daily Lent devotional for 2022, join Ros Clarke as she uncovers the women of the Bible who are essential to the Easter weekend. From Eve to the Shummamite, and from Deborah to Ruth, Forty Women will open your eyes to the power of the gospel. Exploring a different character each day to take you from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday, Forty Women is an uplifting and inspirational look at what we can learn from the different women of the Bible. Looking at their lives, triumphs and failures, Ros Clarke shows us how these women are examples of faith and warning against sin, whose seemingly ordinary lives connect with an extraordinary God. The perfect Lent book for 2022, Forty Women shows us how these women's stories cast fresh light on the Bible in unexpected ways, whilst their shared humanity reminds us of wonderful truths and promises of God's word to His people as we prepare to celebrate the ultimate promise of the resurrection at Easter. Forty Women can be read in small groups or individually, and is an ideal read for anyone wanting to learn more about the women of the Bible and the witnesses to the resurrection, as well as for anyone looking for Biblical encouragement during Lent. Its daily devotions can easily fit into a busy schedule, and will give you a new appreciation for these often overlooked Biblical figures. Join Ros Clarke this Lent, and see the women of the Bible as never before.
I loved this book! Ros paints compelling pictures of these 40 women and shows how they are far more than simple villains or victims. Though the reflections are short, they are profound and practical, illustrating the beauty of God's wisdom and grace in a very messy world. -- Sarah Allen, Course Director of Flourish North. This is good reading for women young and old AND for men both young and old. Each story is beautifully told, and in each case the connection is opened up for life for women and men today in our schools, homes and everywhere. Each person is honoured, each circumstance seen from the perspective both of the woman and the God who loves her. May God make us men and women who do not accept that sin is normalised, but who know the way of being saved, through God's coming, born of a woman! May this book help us as we read of our sisters in scripture to become the women and men God made us to be. -- Bishop Keith Sinclair, National Director of the Church of England Evangelical Council Fresh, honest, faithful, and perceptive. These devotions bring together a striking turn of phrase, a keen eye for what many may miss or hide in the text, and a personal and pastoral heart that is unafraid to broach subjects that are too often neglected. Highly recommended! -- James Robson, Ministry Director for Keswick Ministries In this compelling and enriching survey, Dr Clarke is faithful to Scripture and to the humanity of the women it presents. I found myself moved to laughter and tears, inspired by courage and resilience--in short, confronted with the reality of the human heart before God, and His holiness, faithfulness and steadfast love to His own. Men and women in the church have so much to learn and pray about when it comes to our flourishing together; this book will help us considerably with that. -- Niv Lobo, curate at Highfield Church, Southampton. The Old Testament meets everyday life in these forty stories of envy, grief, shame, courage, faith and hope, from famous women in the Bible's limelight to anonymous bit players. Not just for women! Culminating with New Testament stories, Ros Clarke's gritty devotions will pack a punch for anyone seeking to deepen their reflection and prayer in Lent or at any other time. -- Revd Dr Jill Firth, Lecturer in Hebrew and Old Testament at Ridley College in Melbourne. This book will flood your heart with truth of God's mercy passionately pursuing the hearts of women, the hearts of his beloved daughters. By looking to the lives of real women in all the mess and depravity caused by them and inflicted on them, Dr Clarke points us to the gracious, powerful, redemptive work of God. Not shying away from the reality of sin that grips our hearts, from the shame and despair that threaten our thought life, body image and speech, Dr Clarke leads us to look to Christ alone for our redemption and refuge. As we lift our hearts to Him, using Dr Clarke's pertinent prayers at the end of each devotion, steeped in faithful, powerful exposition of Scripture, our hearts' hope is rooted in Christ alone. -- Emily Lucas, MTh student, Union School of Theology 'In these devotions, Dr Clarke explores the minds and emotions of 40 biblical women from Eve to Mary Magdalene. She skilfully uses the concerns of the contemporary reader to try to understand something to the experiences of the women and concludes with questions for thought and prayer. She does not hide their faults as she depicts their struggles and achievements, but gives them the voice of praise and thanks as a challenge to us'. -- Peter Jensen, Former Archbishop of Sydney and General Secretary of GAFCON With wisdom, imagination, and biblical fidelity, Ros Clarke brings new life to the lives of these women of the Bible. More importantly, Forty Women makes the words of scripture in which these lives have been preserved even more meaningful for us today. This book will educate, edify, and spur readers on to greater faithfulness. -- Karen Swallow Prior, Research Professor of English and Christianity & Culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and author of On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books