Can I Be a Humble Woman and Still Be Strong? [Episode 205]

Humble Woman Still Strong Amos Cows of Bashan

Today we’re going to talk about cows. Yes, cows! And more specifically, today you’ll learn how Scripture uses cows to teach us about humility! Are you ready for this?

You’ll appreciate this conversation about humility because it’s a spiritual superpower that we just don’t talk about enough. And often it’s because we don’t understand it.

We may think if we’re humble, then we’ll be walked on or overlooked. But humility is not just an attribute or an attitude, it’s an action—a powerful and profound force that can change you and the world around you.

So, today I’m going to reframe humility for you based on the book of Amos.

That’s right, sister! Dust off this minor prophet in the Old Testament because there are some gems hidden in this frequently-overlooked book of the Bible. Amos makes a harsh comparison of his listeners’ actions to that of cows, and through this comparison, we get a really profound picture of how not to live.

Now … I realize Amos doesn’t rank high on the encouraging devotional reading list! Amos is often called a “prophet of doom” because his prophecy is full of condemnations. Yet, I’ve discovered that within each bleak condemnation is an invitation to seek God so we can live the good life. Amos is promoting the God life, and the God life is the good life!

I have spent the past year studying the book of Amos as I was writing my new Bible study, Amos: An Invitation to the Good Life, and I found that embedded deep within the book of Amos are such practical truths about how to live. And humility is a big theme!

I couldn’t wait to share what I’ve been learning with you, so today’s podcast comes straight from the Amos study! You can learn more at, or get the details (and lots of FREEBIES) at the links below.

So, 4:13ers, let’s take a cue from these cows, and instead of just being consumers of God’s Word, let’s be carriers of His mission. We can be humble followers of Christ and still be strong because we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.

[Listen to the podcast using the player above, or read the transcript below. Then check out the links below for more helpful resources.]

Learn More About My Amos Bible Study

Discover more about how you can live the good life through my newest Bible study, Amos: An Invitation to the Good Life (Lifeway, August 15, 2022).

Amos: An Invitation to the Good Life Bible Study

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Episode Transcript

4:13 Podcast: Can I Be a Humble Woman and Still Be Strong? [Episode 205]

Jennifer Rothschild: Humility is a spiritual superpower that we just don't talk about enough. And often that's because we just aren't quite sure we understand it. Because we may think, well, if I'm humble, I might be walked on, or maybe I'll be passed over. But today on the 4:13, I am going to reframe humility for you based on the Book of Amos. Yes, the prophet in the Old Testament. You are about to learn that humility is not just an attribute or an attitude, it's an action, a powerful and profound force that can change you and change the world around you. So dust off the minor prophets in your Bible, because we're about to dive into some Amos for the next 30 minutes and you are going to love what you learn. So let's go.

K.C. Wright: Hey, welcome to the 4:13 Podcast, where practical encouragement and biblical wisdom set you up to live the "I Can" life, because you truly can do all things -- and we mean all things -- through Christ who strengthens you.

Now, welcome your host, Jennifer Rothschild.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, hey, our people. That was K.C. Wright, my seeing eye guy. And it's just two friends sitting here in the podcast closet with one topic and zero stress.

K.C. Wright: Zero stress.

Jennifer Rothschild: And today our topic is humility. Listen, after I have learned so much from the Book of Amos, humility is one of my favorite topics. I am learning it really is a superpower.

K.C. Wright: Yes. And, hey, listen, I'm humble and proud of that. I just want to put that out there. No.

Jennifer Rothschild: That's awesome.

K.C. Wright: No. I am so excited about today's podcast. Honestly, I've been looking forward to today, because usually we have guests on that you interview.

Jennifer Rothschild: Right.

K.C. Wright: But today and next week -- don't look now ... you're it -- we're getting some flat-out Bible teaching from a book of the Bible that, I'll be honest, I haven't read in a long, long while.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

K.C. Wright: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: You and most people. Because like Amos, he does not rank very high on the encouraging devotional reading list when it comes to Scripture. But here's the thing. I have found that embedded deep within the Book of Amos are really practical truths about how to live. In fact, how to live what I call the God Life, which is really the good life. And humility is a big theme.

K.C. Wright: But what nobody is expecting from you as you talk about humility is the fact that you are about to talk about cows.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Right.

K.C. Wright: This is so fitting since you and I are in a podcast closet in Missouri.

Jennifer Rothschild: Talking about cows.

K.C. Wright: Surrounded by cattle.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes. There you go.

Okay. Well, believe it or not, Amos talks about cows. And he compares a certain kind of ancient woman to a cow.

K.C. Wright: Well, glad you're doing this, and not me. Okay?

Jennifer Rothschild: I know, right?

K.C. Wright: But I'll read the passage so you guys will know for sure that we are not making this up. Okay?

Jennifer Rothschild: Exactly. Right.

K.C. Wright: Take the word for it. Here's proof. Amos 4:1: "Hear the word, you Cows of Bashan on Mount Samaria, you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy and say to your husbands, 'Bring us some drinks!'" Okay, this is going to be good.

Jennifer Rothschild: I know, right?

K.C. Wright: That was Amos 4:1.

Jennifer Rothschild: Well, here's the thing. You got to know a little of the backstory first. Okay?

So you heard K.C. read there from Amos 4, cows of Bashan, right? Okay. So Bashan was located, like, near the Jordan River to the east in the northern part of Israel. And today, by the way, little fun fact, it's the Golan Heights. But back then, it was famous for producing these really fat and healthy cows. Okay? Because the land was super fertile and lush. And so in the ancient world, if a person was chubby, it was very attractive.

K.C. Wright: Huh. Well...

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Like, if you were on the plump side, it means you had some health and some wealth, and, like, for a woman, that means you could bear children. It was a good reflection on your husband because he looked like he could feed you well. So it was a status symbol, right? So how in the world did we get this so wrong in this century?

K.C. Wright: Right, right, right.

Jennifer Rothschild: So Amos' insult, it's not an insult like he's calling them an animal like we would today, like, "You are such a pig" -- right? -- because, oh, my gosh, what an insult that would be. But he is still being insulting in comparing them to a cow because he's trying to point out something about their character that is not good at all.

K.C. Wright: It sounds like he's calling them out for selfishness or laziness or pride. These women's pride was captured in the phrase, "Husband, bring us a drink."

Jennifer Rothschild: Right. It just sounds very selfish and entitled, doesn't it?

K.C. Wright: Yes. Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. These women were super indulgent is what it sounds like, like they satisfied their own thirst. "Husbands, bring us a drink." Right? They satisfied their own thirst while they exploited the poor and oppressed the needies. While others theoretically were left thirsty, they were drowning in wealth. It was like it was all about them. It was a picture of a lack of humility. It was a picture of pride. And seriously, think about the word pride, p-r-i-d-e. What is the middle letter? I.

K.C. Wright: I, yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: It was all about them.

K.C. Wright: But here's the truth. Pride knows no gender.

Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, that's true.

K.C. Wright: There is a male version of those cows --

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, yeah.

K.C. Wright: -- the pharisees. So listen to what Jesus said about them in Luke 20:45-47. "While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, 'Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplace and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.'" Verse 47, "'They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.'" Ouch. I don't want Jesus talking about me like that. These guys cared only about their title, they cared only about their status. See me, look at me while I overlook you. They demanded the best seats at the banquets. Feed me and my ego while others go hungry. That is pride with the middle letter I.

Jennifer Rothschild: It really is. Exactly. They were what I call consumers of God's message, but not carriers of God's mission. Just like those cows, you know, they consume God's words, but they don't carry out his will or his work. And Jesus' mission, when you think about it, he even said his mission was that he came that he would serve, not be served. He was humble. He served. And that's why I say humility is an action. Humility does not sound like, "Husband, bring me a drink. Serve me."

Let me just show you what this looks like. I was traveling -- this was a couple years ago -- alone. And I don't tend to do that very often. If you're new to us, I'm blind, so traveling alone is exceptionally challenging, so I always get help for the airports when I do this. And so this was one of those weekends I was traveling alone. Well, I had made it to Dallas because I was changing planes there. And I'm seated at the gate and they start to announce delays. So if you travel enough, you know that at a certain time of the evening, if they start changing your gate and delaying the flight, you know that the more this happens, the worse it's going to get. And so finally, after I had changed gates like three or four times and they continued to delay -- it was almost like 11:00 p.m. and this guy walks me down to this gate. And it literally literally is at the end of the corridor. And there's a lot of tired, cranky people there, and he sits me down next to this couple. Now, I have my white cane, clearly he was helping me, it's obvious I cannot see, right? I have to get help.

Okay. So this guy who is sitting next to me, he starts asking me questions, you know, "Where are you going?" And he's complaining about his travel, like everyone does in an airport. Well, then I say something about that I'm going to go speak at this conference, and it's like he lights up. "Oh, my gosh, do you know Joyce Meyer?" That's the first thing he says. I'm like, "No." "Oh, my favorite." And then he starts naming literally, K.C., like, every TV preacher, every book he's read, like, every celebrity Christian you can think of.

K.C. Wright: Right.

Jennifer Rothschild: And he's like, "Oh, my gosh, and I love them." And, "Do you ever listen to them?" and, "Do you know them?" And on and on and on. Never -- that was it.

Well, his litany of his celebrity Christian reputation gets interrupted by this announcement, "Flight 1492 has been canceled. Please go to customer service." Well, literally, the announcement barely finished and this guy --

K.C. Wright: Oh, no.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- and his wife, like, they jump up like they're in a jack-in-the-box, grab their bags. He looks toward me as he's running off and he said, "It was nice to meet you. You're so brave," and he leaves me there. And literally the gate empties and there's no one there. And I'm literally thinking, What in the world? He just says to me I'm brave and good luck, and I'm sitting alone.

K.C. Wright: What?

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay, so I'm thinking, Dude, you supposedly are a Christian -- right? -- and you just left your sister sitting here stuck. And so I was so struck by it, because I'm like, Dude, you're not a carrier of his mission. You carried on about his servants --

K.C. Wright: Right.

Jennifer Rothschild: -- but you didn't carry out his mission.

And so as I'm sitting there alone, eventually this employee comes. And so she walks me down to this customer service area where there's, like, probably 200 people in line. It's almost midnight at this point, I know I'm going to be stuck there. And I'm like saying to her, "You know, can you please tell them at the gate that I'm here?" I will, I will, but I'm about to leave." "Well, before you leave, can you please just come check on me, you know, just to make sure?" Because I knew I was going to get forgotten in this crowd.

So I'm on the phone with my husband at the same time, and he finds me an airport hotel. He's like, "If you just get a walk to the curb, then this guy named Terry is going to come pick you up from this hotel." So when the airport worker comes back to me, she goes, "I'm about to leave." And I said, "Hey, well, listen, my husband got me a hotel if you can just walk me down to the curb, you know, to get the hotel van." And she goes, "Well" -- and she's hesitating, so I make this joke. And I say -- trying to break the ice, you know.

K.C. Wright: Right.

Jennifer Rothschild: "Well, for 20 bucks?" She goes, "Okay." I'm like, Oh, crud, I hope I have 20 bucks.

K.C. Wright: Right.

Jennifer Rothschild: So she walks me to the curb. Well, while she's walking me to the curb, Phil calls, we're on speaker phone. And he somehow has this three-way call with Terry, the van driver.

K.C. Wright: Right.

Jennifer Rothschild: And so Phil's like, "She's walking down to the curb right now," and I can hear Terry on the other and he goes, "Okay, well, you tell her, sir, tell her to look for me. I'll be the black man in the white van." And he's like, "Well, remember, Terry, I told you she's blind. But she'll be the white woman with the white cane." Okay, so we're all laughing about this.

So this woman gets me down to the van -- Terry's there obviously -- and she's waiting. And I'm like, "Thank you so much," and she's waiting. I'm thinking she's waiting for a 20. So I'm fumbling through my purse, giving her plenty of time to say, "Oh, no, I was just kidding."

K.C. Wright: Yeah.

Jennifer Rothschild: I pull out a 20, hand it to her, she goes, "Have a nice night." And I'm thinking, oh, my goodness. So I pay her $20 to walk me.

K.C. Wright: Oh, my goodness.

Jennifer Rothschild: I get in the van with Terry, Terry gets me up to the gate. Then this kind woman at the -- I'm sorry. Not the gate. The hotel -- What am I trying to say? Desk.

K.C. Wright: Desk. Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. She walks me up to the room. Nobody asks me for a tip. I closed the door and literally, K.C., I burst into tears. Because I was exhausted, it was stressful. And literally all I could think of was what about those people who were sitting by me in the gate?

K.C. Wright: Yes.

Jennifer Rothschild: Why didn't they help me, right? None of this would have happened. My stress would have been lower. But it was such a picture of consuming Christ's message but not carrying it out. It was a picture of what humility is not.

Now, I'm not saying they're prideful, but I'm saying what it showed me was humility is not just an attitude. It's not just an attribute. It is an action where we choose to serve. So if that's true, that it's not just an attitude and it's not just an attribute, then what does the action of humility look like? That's what we're going to talk about. And this is actually found -- I base this on Isaiah 66:2. So, K.C., would you find that verse and read us Isaiah 66:2.

K.C. Wright: "I will bless those who have humble and contrived hearts" -- there's a blessing, a blessing involved -- "who tremble at my word." "I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word."

Jennifer Rothschild: All right. Now, in that verse we're going to see three qualities of what a humble person is. So the first is this: a humble person has a right estimate of themself. They have a right estimate of themself.

K.C. Wright: Yes. The Bible says in Romans 12:3, "Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment." I heard somebody say once that humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Isn't that interesting? You know, a lot of people think C.S. Lewis said that, but really you can't attribute that to him. We don't really know who said it, but it is profound. It's not having low self-esteem, it's just having a correct estimate, not being the first and biggest and most constant thing on your mind. Because when you are, you're not aware of God's greatness, you're only aware of your own. And humility, humility is aware of God's greatness and aware of our own smallness.

Okay. Second quality of what it looks like to live humble based on Isaiah 66. A humble person has a right assessment of their sin. All right.

K.C. Wright: Yeah. When King David blew it and sinned with Bathsheba -- so interesting that he saw her in a bath and her name was Bathsheba.

Jennifer Rothschild: I know, right? Isn't the Bible creative?

K.C. Wright: Yes. He was wrecked. He poured it out to God with a contrite heart. This is in Psalms 51. "My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise." Psalms 51:17.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. It's a perfect picture of contrition, to be contrite. Because to be contrite is to have remorse over your sin, which results in repentance -- you see, that's what K.C. read there -- and then it brings restored joy. Okay, so did you catch that? This is how I define what it means to be contrite. It's to be remorse -- to have remorse, which results in repentance, and then it leads to restored joy. It means you're willing to be wrong.

K.C. Wright: Yeah. To be contrite means you care about how your sin hurts God and others. You're humble enough to be broken over your own sin.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

All right. So review. Humility has a right estimate of themselves, humility has a right assessment of their own sin, and a humble person -- I love this one -- has a right adoration of Scripture. Because God esteems the Word. God blesses the woman, the person, the man who trembles at his Word. That's what that verse said.

K.C. Wright: Let me read Isaiah 66:2 again. "I will" -- God will -- "bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my Word."

Jennifer Rothschild: To tremble. This means you revere, you regard. It means you're not going to blow off what God says. You live out what the Bible says as an act of worship for the God who breathed and gave you that book.

K.C. Wright: "But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." That was in James 1:21. One prayer that I pray every time I have the honor of delivering the Word, "Lord, help us. Help us. Help me not only hear the Word, but love the Word, receive the Word, and then obey the Word."

Jennifer Rothschild: Do it, yeah.

K.C. Wright: We don't want to just hear it, we want to do it. Reminds me of the couple in the airport.

Jennifer Rothschild: I know, right?

K.C. Wright: They had heard the Word for years --

Jennifer Rothschild: Obviously. But they didn't do it.

K.C. Wright: -- from their favorite people --

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.

K.C. Wright: -- but they didn't do it.

Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. And that's not a picture of reverencing God's Word. And here's the thing. When we really reverence his Word, when we believe it, we love it, we do it, we tremble at it, you know. When we tremble at his Word, nothing else really shakes us.

All right, let me take you -- speaking of the airport, K.C. -- back to the Dallas airport. Because I eventually got to the location where I was speaking, but then I had to come home. All right? So that was on a Thursday night when I left. So it's Saturday night now and I get to the airport. I make it all the way to Dallas again. And wouldn't you know, it's time to change planes and delays begin again. And I walked from gate to gate with every change. And I got to be honest, I was full of dread. Because I was like, I cannot believe this is happening again. Like, the same scenario over and over. Same cancellation, same line of angry people, it all just happened. So I'm just like, Okay, I can't believe it. At this point, I know the flight's canceled again, they finally do announce it. I get walked to the gate where the customer service is and I'm on the phone with Phil trying to get rebooked on another flight and to a hotel. And so I'm like, "Phil, can you call that hotel again and get Terry, you know, the black man in the white van to come get me again?" So I'm talking to him on the phone.

Well, while I'm talking to him on the phone, there's a lady sitting in the seat next to me. And she hadn't really said anything, so I was not really aware of her. But then as soon as I hung up from Phil, I hear her on the phone. And I could tell by a couple things she said, I'm like, Hmm, I wonder if she's a Christian. I'm like, Oh, thank you, Lord, for providing. I'm like, Well, okay, so, like, I thought you did that last Thursday night, but let's hope that this lady might be a little more of an option. Maybe she'll help, you know. But I wasn't real confident because of what had happened.

So anyway, just as she's hanging up -- and I had been eavesdropping on her -- my phone rings again. And it's Phil telling me he confirmed the hotel. And so what is she doing? Eavesdropping on me, I find out later. Okay. So she had been listening to my phone call, she recognized my voice, she saw my white cane. And she tells me later that she Googled, so -- because she thought, I think I've done a Bible study of hers.

K.C. Wright: Wow.

Jennifer Rothschild: So as soon as I hang up, I hear this voice, "Are you Jennifer Rothschild?" And I'm like, Oh, my gosh. And then she says, "How can I help you?" Oh, my gosh. Okay. So I say to her, "My husband got a hotel. I'll cover it. If you can just walk me to the curb, there's this black man in a white van who's going to pick us up." You know, Terry's out there waiting. Anyway, she's like -- she's an older lady and she goes, "Well, I've never done this before." I said, "Listen, you just let me walk with you, I'll hold your arm, and we'll do it together."

Okay. So we get to the curb and there's Terry. He's like, "Hi." I'm like, "Terry, I got a friend." So Terry takes me -- and her name is Mary, by the way -- to the hotel. We get into the room and it's past midnight again. I pray from my bed out loud, "Lord, thank you so much for providing for me through Mary."

K.C. Wright: Wow.

Jennifer Rothschild: And then Mary prays out loud, "Lord, thank you for providing for me through Jennifer."

K.C. Wright: Wow.

Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. It was just such a different experience. And here's why. Because Mary wasn't just a consumer of God's word. She literally carried out his work. She didn't just take in and consume his messages. She became this conduit for his mission.

K.C. Wright: Come on.

Jennifer Rothschild: And it was just such a beautiful picture of humility.

K.C. Wright: I love Mary. Such a cool story. I love it. I love it. Love it. Mary, if you're listening, podcast hugs right now --

Jennifer Rothschild: We love you.

K.C. Wright: -- to you. Okay?

Jennifer Rothschild: Always.

K.C. Wright: Humility chooses sacrifice over selfishness. And Mary, our girl, she's a perfect example of humility. I want to be like Mary. It really is an action. She was a carrier of Christ's mission. Total opposite of those Bashan babes in Amos 4. All right?

Jennifer Rothschild: That's right. That's right.

K.C. Wright: So let's be like Mary.

Jennifer Rothschild: I like calling them Bashan babes.

K.C. Wright: Bashan babes.

Jennifer Rothschild: But it's true. Because those women were like, "Husband, bring me a drink," right?

K.C. Wright: Right.

Jennifer Rothschild: So instead of, "Husband, bring us a drink," we want to be the humble person who says, "Thirsty world, may I bring you a drink?" You know, to your neighbor who's living in this drought of hope, "Can I bring you a drink?" To your coworker who's in this desert parched with confusion, "Can I bring you a drink?" To the stranger who's thirsty for kindness, "Can I bring you a drink?"

K.C. Wright: Yes and amen. Let's live humble, our 4:13ers.

This is such a good teaching, and it comes right from Jennifer's new Bible study -- y'all, I'm so excited about this -- "Amos: An Invitation to the Good Life." You can get a copy for yourself. And by the way, it comes with eight video teachings. And we will have a link to it on the show notes at Or you can go straight to You will also find there a playlist with some of Jennifer's favorite songs that help her live humble. In fact, there are lots of resources that come with the Amos bible study, so check it out. I'm holding it in my hands right now -- true story -- and it really is an inviting and beautiful cover. Just the cover is wanting me to dive in and live the good life myself.

Jennifer Rothschild: I know, right?

K.C. Wright: Right?

Jennifer Rothschild: It's got figs on it.

K.C. Wright: Yes. So let's be humble followers of Christ, our 4:13ers. Let's be carriers of Christ's mission even now, even this moment, even today. Don't procrastinate any longer because we've got a thirsty, hurting world. We can become everything that God calls us to be through Christ who gives us supernatural strength. I can.

Jennifer Rothschild: I can.

Jennifer and K.C.: And you can.

K.C. Wright: You really can. Isn't there a Scripture that says God resists the proudness?

Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, that he resists the proud. Do you want to be those that he resists?

K.C. Wright: No.

Jennifer Rothschild: Me either.

K.C. Wright: No, no, no.

Jennifer Rothschild: But he gives grace to the humble. So if you're needing grace, humble yourself in the sight of the Lord.


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