Psalms 113:9 He makes the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise the LORD.
Today’s message goes out to all of you ladies who:
- loved us for no other reason than you just loved us
- who took care of us when we were unable to care for ourselves
- helped us to see ourselves when there was no other light around
- knew us better than we knew ourselves
- and who carried us in your heart and guarded us with your prayers
Today’s message goes out to all of you ladies who are our mothers. Whether:
- Biological Mothers
- Adoptive Moms
- Foster Mothers
- Surrogate Moms
- Spiritual Mothers – or simply – Mother’s At Large …
First and foremost we want to say
- “Thank You …” Thank you for all you do and for who you are - and
- “Happy Mother’s Day!”
If you have your Bible with you this morning or if you are following along on the big screen, I’ll ask you to go with me to the:
- Book of Judges
- Chapter 5 – where we will read a song written by a Old Testament Judge and Prophetess
- The Prophetess Deborah
The account of Deborah is somewhat unique and holds a distinct place in the Bible, especially in this particular Book of Judges. I expect you’ve noted that Deborah is a woman. What is so unique about Deborah being a woman? Well that in itself is not all that rare seeing that reasonably half or better of the population of the world were women at that time.
It’s not the fact that Deborah is Female that is uncommon, but rather the fact that God chose, and the people accepted a woman, any woman, as a Prophet, much less as the ordained Judge of all Israel. The role of Judge was always before and always afterwards held by a man … usually a very strong, male dominant, type-A kind of guy. Men like:
These were men of renown … strong, capable leaders … almost all of the Judges were warriors – Shamgar for example killed 600 Philistines with nothing but an ox goad. (A wooden plowman’s tool measuring about 8 feet long with a sharp pointed iron prick on one end used to spur the ox and a flat iron paddle or spade on the other end used to clean the mud from the plow) – These were no ordinary men who were called to be Judges of Israel. These men protected and delivered and sat in ultimate counsel over the Twelve Tribes of Israel, each in their turn, for more than 400 years.
But, amongst these men there was one lone woman … the Prophetess Deborah. God called, anointed and appointed her and the people accepted her and followed her … Deborah is the exception and Deborah is exceptional … God’s choices always are!
So, here we are in Judges 5, it’s 1400 years Before Christ. Joshua is long gone and the Tribes have inherited in the land of Canaan but they have not successfully defeated all of their sworn enemies because they just would not do what God told them to do. It was simple, yet they simply needed help. Over and over again the Children of Israel found themselves in need of real help and real leadership. They just kept going astray.
You can read the account of Deborah and how she counseled, encouraged and led the Children and the Armies of Israel to a great victory over the Canaanites. It is an amazing story of not only the Prophetess Deborah but also of another remarkable woman, Jael who singlehandedly killed the supreme leader of the Canaanite army with a hammer and a tent peg … one of my favorite women in the Bible. I have a granddaughter whose middle name is Jael … You just have to read the story …
Judges 4 gives the account in prose and Judges 5 tells the story in song. Let’s look at Chapter 5 and see what Deborah believes brought the victory.
Judges 5:6 In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, and the travelers walked through byways.
Even though there were mighty men and mighty women of God …
- The right ways were abandoned (good & straight paths)
- People chose a hard, dark and dangerous path of life (byways)
Judges 5:7 Village life ceased …
- No community
- No family, friends or social life
- Everyone afraid or skeptical of everyone else
- No common bond with others
Judges 5:7 Village life ceased, it ceased in Israel, Until I, Deborah, arose, Arose a mother in Israel.
Life was on the downhill until God called a mother to arise and mother Israel. --- What happens when a mother’s job goes undone???
Proverbs 29:15 The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
Some good things might have been happening and people were seeing some victories but by and large, until God caused Deborah to arise as a mother in Israel, things were really going south …
Judges 5:8 They chose new gods; Then there was war in the gates; Not a shield or spear was seen among forty thousand in Israel.
Can you hear? I believe God is saying that without a mother’s influence:
- People abandon the right way for the wrong way
- Family, community and eventually society will cease to have meaning
Where there are no mothers making their voices and their demands heard:
- Our children will choose new gods
- Fussing, fighting and all out war will divide our neighborhoods and our own homes
- And ultimately, people will grow defenseless (this happens to children who are without a mother’s protection and to others when they have no mothers to protect)
Mothers, we need you … Arise … Take your place!
It has been said: “When God wants a job done, a child is born.”
That’s right … however … no child was ever born without a mother and God entrusts all of His children to Mother’s first! (Including His own Son)
We often remember that God gave His only Son … but we must not forget that Mary also gave her firstborn and even Moses’ mother gave her son … However, both Mary and Jochebed raised their sons to do God’s will …
- Teach us the right ways of life – not to lie, cheat, steal, loose our tempers, be dishonest; teach us to respect our elders and honor our parents; to keep our commitments and pay our just and honest debts
- Give us family and give us community relationships – you have the grace for intimacy … the pattern for family is imprinted in your lives
- Introduce us to God – tell us the stories and let us hear you praying
- Keep our homes free of fussing and fighting and all out war – make us a peaceful people and teach us to value others, even those who are not like us as well as those who do not like us
- Arm us against our enemies – teach us how to defend ourselves and how to conquer our enemies … both defense and offense, The Shield of Faith and the Sword of the Spirit – arm us with prayer (Ephesians 6:16-18)
You can do this … perhaps you are the only ones who can do this!!!
God bless you ladies – Thank you … and … “Happy Mother’s Day!”