The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose,
that I arose a mother in Israel. Judges 5:7 KJV
Israel had fallen into sin. Again. For what seemed like the “umpteenth” time (bible scholars inform us it was anywhere from 12-15 times) God chastised His people by allowing them to go into captivity. Mercifully, each time they fell into the hands of their oppressors, God would raise up a Judge, or Deliverer.
After 20 years of captivity by Canaanite King Jabin of Hazor, the children of Israel cried out to the Lord for deliverance. In response to the prayers of His people, God called Barak to deliver Israel by fighting Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army. Apparently, Barak was dragging his feet and was slow to obey – and Deborah spoke to the situation.
She said, “Hath not the LORD God of Israel commanded, saying, ‘Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?’” Deborah didn’t mince words! She even repeated to Barak God’s divine battle plans: “And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand.”
Interestingly, Barak refused to go unless Deborah went with him. He was even ok when told he would not receive credit for the battle! Deborah accompanied Barak, and just as she had prophesied, Sisera was killed by a woman, and God’s people won the battle.
When reading this passage from Judges, this line from Deborah and Barak’s song of victory was particularly intriguing. “The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel,” Deborah sang in Judges 5:7.
Deborah’s words caused me to think of my own dear Mother, and other Mothers in Zion who are now with the Lord. I thought of their sacrifice and labor of love to God’s people and His church. These women prayed, counseled, cooked, cleaned, visited the sick, and took in orphaned children and raised them. They thought of creative ways to raise money for pastoral appreciation services, and local, district, state and national meetings. They raised money for building funds, home and foreign missions, and to send children and young people on trips. They helped their pastors by holding shut-ins and “Mother/Daughter meetings.” Not only that, these Mothers in Zion worked the altar, praying over souls and loving them into the kingdom of God. And these things are just the tip of the iceberg of what they did!
In this month of celebrating Mothers and motherhood, be sure to reflect on the Mothers in Zion God used (and is using) to shape and mold your spiritual life. Thank God – and them! for the He has used them to pour into your life. And as we reflect on their legacy, we are compelled to think of our own legacies. Those women “bore the burden in the heat of the day” (Matthew 20:12).
So, what is our contribution? What are we doing to uplift the kingdom of God and His Christ? It’s our time and our season, and we must rise to the occasion just as the Prophetess Deborah did many years ago. We are the modern-day Deborah. It’s time for us to Rise Up! Be Blessed.