Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Well Balanced Wednesdays
Physical Fitness: p90x plyometrics! I did much better this week with that video than I did last week.
Spiritual Fitness: Deborah (Judges 4)
The period of the Judges in Israel's history, 350 years, was incredibly dismal. Israel would conquer an enemy, then wander from the Lord, get themselves in trouble, beg for the Lord's deliverance, God would raise up a leader to deliver them and then the cycle would continue.
This time around God would use Deborah to deliver Israel. I wonder how God initiated that leadership? What was Deborah's response and the peoples response to having a woman as a Judge? She must have been open and receptive to God's words for him to use her. We know she was a married woman which means she still had to tend to her home while being open to the ministry God had called her in to. I wonder how old she was and what stage of her family life she was in...
The bible says she "held court" under a palm tree in the hill country between two towns. I wonder what this scenario looked like...Was it near the road? were people traveling on their way to and from the towns when they stopped to talk to her? Did she sit there on the grass doing chores such as weaving as she waited for people to come? Did she have a certain day that she always went up there? Did she go specifically to meet people or was it her quiet place that people knew they could always find her?
In Judges 5:7 she says "The peasantry ceased, they ceased in Israel until I, Deborah, arose, until I arose, a Mother in Israel." Not only was Deborah a Judge and prophetess, but a "mother". This must mean she was filled with care and compassion for Israel. I don't know about you, but if I was Deborah and was constantly being bombarded with the people of Israel and their unfaithfulness I probably wouldn't be able to manage much compassion!
The summary of Deborah's life account is that Israel was about to be attacked by their enemy. The land was dangerous and Israel had no trained armies. Deborah called Barak, the military leader, and told him God had a plan to route their enemy and all Barak needed to do was follow the plan. When she told Barak of the plan he said he would only go if Deborah went with him, she agreed without hesitation. Though there are several details explaining the way the Lord brought Israel to victory once again, and knowing that this is a picture of the power and faithfulness of God not Deborah, there are key things that were pointed out to me reading through the scriptures this time.
Deborah was available to be used be God in a dark time in her country. She was a settler of disputes, a mender of relationships, a wife, and a counselor operating not in her own wisdom but in the attitude of "thus says the Lord." She was faithful in those small situations and God was able to use her epically. She was courageous and did not back down from going into battle. She knew Israel would be victorious but did she know she would be safe? And when the battle had ended, she would have had major bragging rights! I definitely would want an accolade, medal of honor or something! But she returned all the praise to God in her song in Judges 5. Her courage, obedience and humility are examples for me. God didn't need Deborah, and he doesn't need me, but He wants my trust and obedience. If I am faithful in being obedient to his daily calling it can open doors for Him to use me in bigger ways for His glory.
What a standard to live up to. Wife, Instructor, available, Warrior, Faithful, Mother to those who sought her counsel, obedient, courageous, humble.
What an honor to be seen in your community in this way. Not for your own glory but to the Lord's.