Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Deborah and Jael - Women of the Bible
Judges Chapters 4 -5
After the death of Joshua, the man who had lead the Israelites into the land of Canaan, God raised up judges to lead and rule Israel.
The first Judges God used were Othniel, Ehud and Shamgar (Judges 3). And then came Deborah.
Deborah lead the nation of Israel. Who said women cannot lead? Here is one of the many women God Himself called and used. She was very much respected. Her leadership qualities were unquestionable. She was also a prophet and married women might also like to note that she was married (Judges 4). Marriage was never designed to hinder the ministry of women but rather to aid it.
Deborah's duties and ministry was similar to all the other judges of Israel and even went a bit more.
She was the leader of the Nation.
She helped to settle their disputes.
She was also a prophetess who gave the nation direction from God
She was respected by all the people.
She was called by God.
The land had peace for forty years due to her ministry. (Judges 4 and 5)
If Deborah was under our dispensation she would have occupied the office of a pastor, prophet, and teacher.
It is the calling and gifts of God on a persons life that brings them into the ministry of the Lord. Your sex has nothing to do with it. As you dedicate yourself to the lord and seek His face you will be prepared to fulfil His will for your life.
Deborah told Barak, the head solider in Israel, to attack Sisera, the commander of the enemy forces against Israel. Barak was afraid to do this and insisted that Deborah come with him. He knew that Deborah's presence would guarantee victory. Such was the respect and confidence of Israel in Deborah. She was a woman of God and all recognised it.
Women should never look down on themselves. Deborah did not allow the fact that she was a woman hinder her ministry. She was the first (and only) woman Judge of Israel. Despite the fact that she lived in a time when men seemed to dominate everything she did not allow this to hinder her.
Deborah was not proud nor did she hold an unspoken grudge against men. This is the wrong attitude that some women take today. Remember Rachel. Hurt or bitterness in your heart will destroy you and hinder your ministry.
The woman lib and feminist movements that are sweeping the world today are doing much more harm than good because they sow the seeds of discord. They bring women to stand against men. This is not of God.
It is a godly attitude that will promote you. All human beings will respect and heed to your ministry once they see the love and character of God flowing out from you. Women of God please take note.
Barak did not kill Sisera but Jael did. Deborah had prophesied that this is what would happen.
What Jael did might look barbaric to us now but it was an act of courage,determination and fulfilment of God's will (Judges 5:24-27).
The act of Jael in our generation would be similar to Christian ministry. Jael destroyed the enemy. Today we do not fight against flesh and blood like the Israelites did in their time but rather we wrestle against forces of darkness. Our weapons today are not physical but spiritual (2 Corinthians 10: 2-6).
We intercede with prayer and use the gifts of the Holy Spirit to fight and win over satan. There is no reason why you as a women should not be engaged in this. Women might be weaker than men physically but not spiritually.
Deborah's reign brought forty years of peace to Israel (Judges 5:31). Forty years is a long time. A whole generation had peace because of the godly behaviour of one woman. Now its your time.
What was the role of Deborah in Israel?
Who called her to play this function in the land?
What gave Deborah the strength to do her work?
How can we be effective as women ministers of the gospel in this day and age?
Who was Jael?
How can you relate her act to the present day ministry of the Church?
What ministries do women have in the Church today?
What is the importance of keeping a clean heart?
Mention some things that can help women in fulfilling their God given ministries today.