Women in Ministry in the Old Testament

With this foundation laid, let us now consider some of the women God used to accomplish His divine purposes in the Old Testament. It is obvious, of course, that God primarily called men into vocational ministry during the time of the Old Testament, just as He did during New Testament times. The stories of men such as Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Joseph, Samuel and David fill the pages of the Old Testament.

Many women, however, stand out as proof that God can call and use anyone He desires, and women equipped by God are sufficient for any task to which He calls them.

Before we consider any of those woman specifically, it should be noted that every great man of God in the Old Testament was born and raised by a woman. There would have been no Moses without a woman named Jochebed (see Ex. 6:20). Nor would there have been any other great men of God if it weren’t for the mothers of those men. Women have been given by God the weighty responsibility and praiseworthy ministry of raising children in the Lord (see 2 Tim. 1:5)

Jochebed was not only the mother of two God-called men, namely Moses and Aaron, but also of a God-called woman, their sister, a prophetess and worship leader named Miriam (see Exodus 15:20). In Micah 6:4, God categorized Miriam right with Moses and Aaron as being one of Israel’s leaders:

Indeed, I brought you up from the land of Egypt and ransomed you from the house of slavery, and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam (emphasis added).

Of course, Miriam’s leadership role in Israel was clearly not as dominant as Moses. Yet as a prophetess, Miriam spoke on God’s behalf, and I think it is safe to assume God’s messages through her were directed at not just the women, but the men of Israel as well.