Thursday, November 17, 2011

Deborah the judge

Good morning sisters and brothers,
We're not going to read a lot of Judges, but I thought I would include this story because it shows us a woman in leadership, an image that is too rare in scripture to pass up. The judges were generally military and all-purpose leaders. Deborah is the only one who is explicitly associated with "judging" as we usually think of it. She is the second judge we read about, the first being Ehud. As we see in the readings, this story follows the general pattern our introduction laid out: judge dies; Israel turns away from God; God allows enemies to oppress them; Israel cries out; God sends a judge to rescue Israel and the people turn back to God. Let's see how Deborah's leadership will save Israel.

God bless,

Judges 4:1-7
1The Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, after Ehud died. 2So the LORD sold them into the hand of King Jabin of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor; the commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-ha-goiim. 3Then the Israelites cried out to the LORD for help; for he had nine hundred chariots of iron, and had oppressed the Israelites cruelly twenty years.

4At that time Deborah, a prophetess, wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel. 5She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the Israelites came up to her for judgment. 6She sent and summoned Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali, and said to him, “The LORD, the God of Israel, commands you, ‘Go, take position at Mount Tabor, bringing ten thousand from the tribe of Naphtali and the tribe of Zebulun. 7I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to meet you by the Wadi Kishon with his chariots and his troops; and I will give him into your hand.’”

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