Sunday, March 08, 2009

Synchroblog: International Women's Day

Deborah by Adriene Cruz

Julie writes:
Synchroblog - on March 8 post something on your blog about biblical women. This could be your experience (or lack thereof) with learning about these women, a reflection on the life of a particular woman, an exploration of the ways women led in scripture, or a midrashic retelling of the life of one of these women. Have fun with it, push yourself to discover new things, and let’s tell these stories together.

I have the same name as the woman I'm blogging about. (Quel surprise!) She's mentioned in Judges 4 and 5.


4 Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. 5 She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided. [Judges 4:4-5]

The nation of Israel was not following God. They were busy "doing evil" and were under oppression. In the middle of the mess, God chooses a woman, DEBORAH, to lead the people. They came to her to hear how to solve their problems, and eventually, how to defeat their enemies.

In a patriarchal society, Deborah held court, making decisions for her people..
In a nation that turned their backs on God, Deborah looked to God for direction, wisdom and power.
In a culture that saw women as chattel, she stood in her calling and her birthright.

Why does she inspire me?

She chose to resist the culture around her.
The nation was following other gods. She did not. She stood with her righteous, holy God, and God protected her and provided for her. She didn't make excuses or suggest a compromise. She obeyed.

It is not easy to stand against the current of the culture. It is diffictult to neither become a raving, angry male-bashing voice of oppression, nor a coy, seductive sweet thang who uses her gender to manipulate. To be God's woman, completely standing under God's love, mercy and grace is a constant challenge.

Lord, let me be a Deborah!

She moved with confidence.
Despite the odds, she obeyed God's voice and attacked the king of Canaan. Israel's commanders who were afraid to take action, and, indeed would not even try to take action with out her (Judges 46-15). Barak lost the honor of winning the battle. That honor went to Deborah.

Deborah was a woman who knew her God was trustworthy. She knew that the judgments she made and the plans that she crafted were seen with favor by God. She could move with the delivering sword of God, leading her armies in victory. There was no doubt in her mind that she was called, anointed and appointed to this task by God. When the Barak, the chief of her armies stood there in uncertainty, vacillating on whether or not to go forward, and finally begged her to go with them, she took up the challenge without hesitation. Her faith in God was THAT strong. There certainly would have been murmurings, or suggestions that if Barak wasn't sure, perhaps she was in error. She left the doubters in the dust.
Lord, let me be a Deborah!

She gave full-hearted praise and worship.
The entire chapter of Judges 5 is "The Song of Deborah" - a shout of praise to a mighty God who brought them through impossible odds and defeated their captors. Her leadership brought peace to the land for forty years - one of the longest stretches of rest and prosperity for the Israelites during the period of the Judges.

Her song re-tells the story and puts the victory in God's hands. She doesn't point her to perfect analysis of the situation nor her insightful battle plan, but claims the victory for God. She declares God's power, and metes out God's justice. She points to the faithful soldiers, the devoted people of God who rose up against their enemies. She inspires a tent peg homicide by Jael as she killed Sisera. She puts the credit and the honor on God. She did not pursue a war to make herself or her nation look invicible, but sought to bring peace to the land.
Lord, let me be a Deborah!

"So may all your enemies perish, LORD! But may all who love you be like the sun
when it rises in its strength." Then the land had peace forty years. [Judges 5:31]


friends757 said...

International Women's day is a great day for women .Women are like combination of love,emotion ,anger, power, victory everything.Women spend her whole life in serving her family.Every body should respect women.
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Anonymous said...

I love that photo - is that made of cloth?