Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment. She sent and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali and said to him, “Has not the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded you, ‘Go, gather your men at Mount Tabor, taking 10,000 from the people of Naphtali and the people of Zebulun. And I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to meet you by the river Kishon with his chariots and his troops, and I will give him into your hand’?” Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, I will go, but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” And she said, “I will surely go with you. Nevertheless, the road on which you are going will not lead to your glory, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. And Barak called out Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh. And 10,000 men went up at his heels, and Deborah went up with him.
In the hospital, the relatives gathered in the waiting room where their family member lay gravely ill. Finally, the doctor came in looking tired and somber. “I’m afraid I’m the bearer of bad news,” he said as he surveyed the worried faces. “The only hope left for your loved one at this time is a brain transplant. It’s an experimental procedure, semi-risky, and you will have to pay for the brain yourselves.” The family members sat silent as they absorbed the news. After a great length of time, someone asked, “Well, how much does a brain cost?” The doctor quickly responded, “$5,000 for a male brain, and $200 for a female brain.”
The moment turned awkward. Men in the room tried not to smile, avoiding eye contact with the women, but some actually smirked. A man, unable to control his curiosity, blurted out the question everyone wanted to ask: “Why is the male brain so much more?” The doctor smiled at the childish innocence and so to the entire group said, “It’s just standard pricing procedure. We have to mark down the price of the female brains, because… they’ve actually been used!”
Some erroneously think that the Bible downplays the role of women in the Kingdom of God. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it can be argued that no one liberated women more than the Lord Jesus Himself. Consider just a few examples of the significance of women in the Kingdom from God’s Word:
- Jesus came into the world through the womb of a woman. For this reason Mary, the mother of Jesus, is among the most beloved, honored, and respected women who ever lived.
- Jesus often used women in His parables and made them heroes.
- In Matthew 15 Jesus healed the daughter of a persistent Gentile woman and gave her one of the highest compliments He paid anyone.
- Jesus’ female disciples stayed with Jesus during His death, proving themselves to be more faithful than most of His male disciples.
- The first eyes that witnessed the resurrected Christ were the eyes of a woman (Mary Magdalene). Ironically, during the first century, a woman’s testimony was of no use in a court of law. Yet God in His wisdom allowed a woman to be the first witness to the greatest, most important miracle ever accomplished.
Another example in the Scripture of God using women in His Kingdom service is Deborah. At a time when Israel needed leadership, Deborah stood in the gap. In fact, Barak may have been in the battle to deliver Israel but it was Deborah who led the charge. Without her wise and bold leadership Israel would have continued wallowing in defeat and missing out on God’s blessing.
We learn a great principle from her example. Great men and women of the faith are born in trying times. God calls all of us, male or female, young or old, no matter our ethnicity or nationality, to stand in the gap when no one else will. I challenge you to stand in the gap in prayer. Stand in the gap in giving and serving. Stand in the gap by sharing your faith. If you don’t do it, who will? The world is not on our shoulders, it’s in His hands, but we are called to carry one another’s burdens. We are called to take personal responsibility in the ministry of the church and in the witness to the lost.
So, will you and I stand in the gap? Take a lesson from a powerful woman of God. Don’t wait on others to do the work you can do for God now. Stand in the gap for Jesus!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, thank you for salvation. Forgive me for my complacency at times and for waiting on others to do what I can for Your glory. I choose today to stand in the gap for You. In Jesus name I pray, amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
Choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.