Being what you are, no matter what everyone else is doing
Scripture Read: Judges 4:1-5 Then the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord, after Ehud died. And the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor; and the commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-hagoyim. The sons of Israel cried to the Lord; for he had nine hundred iron chariots, and he oppressed the sons of Israel severely for twenty years. Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the sons of Israel came up to her for judgment.
Application: The story of Deborah has much to challenge us in the world we live today. Today is very much like the day Deborah lived in...
“Everyman did what was right in his own eyes”. When this condition in society is prevalent, the question that arises is what can you do when the people in authority do not do right? This is the first truth that is communicated in the story of Deborah. First, we must remind ourselves the difference between “roles”and “essence”. In essence men and women are seen as equal in God’s eyes –Paul makes it clear that in Christ this is true.
Galatians 3:26–28 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
However, this is not so with “roles”God desires the man to be the leader in his household –remember this is notabout who tells who what to do, this is about who God holds accountable for the condition of the family. It is clear from examples and statements in scripture that God desired the men to also be the spiritual leaders in society. This does not negate women being used as leaders; every good mother I have ever known is a great leader. The point is that the normal leader in Israel was a man, but what happens when none will step up? Here is the first characteristic that we learn concerning Deborah. She was what she was in spite of the circumstances. This is what a leader is! Notice –Deborah was doing what God had called her to do, even though others had given into sin and brought judgment on themselves. A true leader walks with God and that is what Deborah did. Despite what anyone else was doing she was sitting under her palm tree and helping those that came to her for counsel from the Lord. The important question that we should ask ourselves no matter our role or status in this world is - Am I taking responsibility for my own walk? We cannot allow the world around dictate our walk with our Lord – that pace should be set by Him and each individual!
Meditation Questions: How much do you concern yourself with what other people think about you? What kind of issues are you concerned about? What does that say? When you get ready to make a decision, how much does circumstance effect that? How much are your convictions effected by popular opinion? What does that show you? Where does the authority of scripture and the world’s opinion collide in your life? What do you do about that? What does that show you?