Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Deborah judges Israel

Good evening sisters and brothers,
Judges is a book we don't read from often, but there are some great stories in it. The book takes place soon after the people of Israel came into the Promised Land. Joshua, who led them in has died and the book tells the stories of the struggles the new people had. It seems that the tribes had some organization, but the the nation wasn't really unified. Time and again the people turn away from God, often to the gods of the other inhabitants of the land. When they turn away God allows them to be defeated by their enemies for a time. Before long, God can't bear seeing them oppressed and raises up a leader, called a judge, to lead Israel back to faithfulness and to victory.

Tonight's reading begins the story of the only woman judge, a woman named Deborah. Deborah is also the only judge who also acted as a judge in the way we think of it. This passage tells us that she settled disputes for the people before becoming a leader in the political and military sense. It's an interesting story, so I hope you enjoy it.

God bless,

Judges 4: 1-9
The 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.’” 8Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” 9And 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 got up and went with Barak to Kedesh.

No comments:

Post a Comment