DEBORAH: A VIRTUOUS WOMAN IN CHARGE

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CHRIST THE ROCK CONGREGATION

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 3RD 2019

Sermon by Pastor Marc E Simeon

DEBORAH: A VIRTUOUS WOMAN IN CHARGE

Juges 4:1-5

1 ¶ Les enfants d’Israël firent encore ce qui déplaît à l’Éternel, après qu’Éhud fut mort.

2 Et l’Éternel les vendit entre les mains de Jabin, roi de Canaan, qui régnait à Hatsor. Le chef de son armée était Sisera, et habitait à Haroscheth-Goïm.

3 Les enfants d’Israël crièrent à l’Éternel, car Jabin avait neuf cents chars de fer, et il opprimait avec violence les enfants d’Israël depuis vingt ans.

4 ¶ Dans ce temps-là, Débora, prophétesse, femme de Lappidoth, était juge en Israël.

5 Elle siégeait sous le palmier de Débora, entre Rama et Béthel, dans la montagne d’Éphraïm; et les enfants d’Israël montaient vers elle pour être jugés.

English

Jg 4:1 ¶ When Ehud was dead, the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD.

2 So the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who dwelt in Harosheth Hagoyim.

3 And the children of Israel cried out to the LORD; for Jabin had nine hundred chariots of iron, and for twenty years he harshly oppressed the children of Israel.

4 ¶ Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time.

5 And she would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim. And the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.

INTRODUCTION

  • Every now and then you meet a person who deserves for all to take off their hats for a salute.
  • The Bible is filled with such characters that deserve this treat either for their faith, or their bravery, or their zeal, or their unmatched sacrifices for the cause of God or mankind.
  • Great names like Abraham, like Noah, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Samson, David, Daniel, Peter, Paul and a host of others could be mentioned as example.
  • The biblical character in question today is a woman in the Old Testament: not Eve, not Sara, not Esther, not Ruth. Her name is DEBORAH.
  • What makes her unique was that she occupied the most prominent seat in Israel in a time where women were put in the lower shelves.
  • She became the judge and the senior prophetess of God in the land.
  • No other woman in the history of Israel has occupied that post either before or after her.

BACKGROUND

  • Not much is said concerning the circumstances that lead her to become the judge of the Land, but we know that the Children of Israel were being chastised by God for their ongoing disobediences to God.
  • They were oppressed for 20 years by the Canaanites. The mighty army of Sisera with 900 chariots made of iron was indeed impressive and frightening the the Children of Israel.
  • The morale of the people was very low as they faced this insurmountable obstacle for so long.
  • When God distant Himself from a person or a country, the chaos that follow can never be bearable.
  • In the times of the Judges, whenever the children of Israel became oppressed and cried to the Lord, God would usually raise a man to become a mighty military ruler to lead them out to freedom; but never a woman.
  • Taking a sample of some of the women politicians of our day, you would expect Deborah to be a tuff and hard to deal with, a diehard and tenacious woman.
  • You would expect her to be of the Jezebel type, a domineering woman, a she-devil woman who bosses everyone around.
  • Imagine being marrying to such an entity who loves to show everyone who runs the show around the house.
  • Fairly or unfairly, Black women in particular have this negative reputation; the expression “Angry Black Woman” is a household name but it should never be appropriated to a Christian woman.
  • Debora was a gentle woman, a wife, probably a mother, yet she was the one chosen by God to represent the nation of Israel before God and before the nations.
  • The Bible says that all Israel came to be judged by her.
  • Been also a prophetess, she was the mouthpiece of God to the nation.
  • What is interesting is that, no one seemed to have protested the fact that the most important post in the land went to that particular women.
  • When we follow the narrative about Debora, we can see why she had this broad respect in the male dominated world of that time.

The 10 Distinctives of Deborah

  1. Debora was the leader of the land but she was not the head of the feminist movement.
  2. Debora never used her position to display her superiority to the males, not even her equality to man.
  3. Deborah understood how men perceived themselves with respect to women in that time.
  4. Deborah sets out to protect the fragile ego of her male counterparts.
  5. Deborah was humble enough to allow a man to get the credit as the hero of the land.
  6. Deborah encouraged a man named Barak to step up to the plate as if to say, she would have preferred for a man to be in her place.
  7. Debora was a mother figure as when a husband is deceased and the children are left to be raise by a strong mother.
  8. Deborah was a big sister figure who took care of all the siblings in the absence of the parents.
  9. Deborah was a God fearing person, a lady who heard the voice of God.
  10. Deborah was a lady of great faith, for she believed that God was strong enough to deliver Israel.

The interaction between Deborah and Barak

Juges 4:6-9

6 Elle envoya appeler Barak, fils d’Abinoam, de Kédesch-Nephthali, et elle lui dit: N’est-ce pas l’ordre qu’a donné l’Éternel, le Dieu d’Israël? Va, dirige-toi sur le mont Thabor, et prends avec toi dix mille hommes des enfants de Nephthali et des enfants de Zabulon;

7 j’attirerai vers toi, au torrent de Kison, Sisera, chef de l’armée de Jabin, avec ses chars et ses troupes, et je le livrerai entre tes mains.

8 Barak lui dit: Si tu viens avec moi, j’irai; mais si tu ne viens pas avec moi, je n’irai pas.

9 Elle répondit: J’irai bien avec toi; mais tu n’auras point de gloire sur la voie où tu marches, car l’Éternel livrera Sisera entre les mains d’une femme. Et Débora se leva, et elle se rendit avec Barak à Kédesch.

Jg 4:6 Then she sent and called for Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali, and said to him, “Has not the LORD God of Israel commanded, ‘Go and deploy troops at Mount Tabor; take with you ten thousand men of the sons of Naphtali and of the sons of Zebulun;

7 ‘and against you I will deploy Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude at the River Kishon; and I will deliver him into your hand’?”

8 And Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go!”

9 So she said, “I will surely go with you; nevertheless there will be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for the LORD will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh.

  • Deborah was not afraid step away from the spot light to make way to Barak.
  • The men in that time were too afraid because of the social conditions at hand.
  • The men were too intimidated.
  • The men lack the faith necessary to be used by God.
  • Initially God wanted to restore the dignity back to a man, but Barak was too afraid to step up to the plate.
  • Barak told Deborah, I will not go unless you go with me.
  • Deborah gave Barak a fair warning, going with you will work against what God intended to do here.
  • My presence will cause the glory to go to a woman instead of a man.
  • In other words, Deborah was telling Barak: I don’t need such thing to feel important but you do.
  • In spite of her warnings, Barak insisted the presence of Deborah for him in order to go to the battle.
  • Although the battle was lead by Barak, but the capture of the captain was the chief prize in a war.
  • The trophy action that was going to be engraved in the history book was done by a brave woman who managed to kill Sisera, and what made it worse is that that woman was not even Deborah but a foreigner.

HOW ARE WE TO APPRECIATE THE DEBORAH (S) OF OUR DAY.

  • Because of the many cultural shifting that have been done in history, women now occupy a more dominant space in the landscape of the affairs of mankind than ever before.
  • Women are more prone to have a higher education than men in these days.
  • Women are CEO’s, entrepreneurs, presidents, Prime ministers, lawyers, doctors, senators, governors, mechanics, truck drivers, plumbers, carpenters, garbage collectors, wrestlers, boxers, footballers, bankers, educators and in some instances senior pastors.
  • The clear superiority that men have enjoyed over the centuries is now history.
  • My daughter is now so far advanced than me in so many areas, it’s unbelievable and I consider myself a smart person.
  • How are we to line this fact with the verse that states: The man is the head of the woman?
  • Should we suggest that these verses become irrelevant for our days?
  • Has God changed His mind in the role He initially had for women?
  • Coming from an underdeveloped country like Haiti where the man in the house still wear the official badge of “bread Winners”, many of us do very badly when we migrate to a developed country like the US.
  • Should women play dumb in order to protect men’s ego?
  • Should men rise up and change their attitude toward how they perceive their wives?
  • Should we reverse the role play now that women are emancipated to a higher standard of living?
  • Is it a good thing or is it a bad thing that women are now in the same plane with men in the business world?
  • As Christians, the Bible remains the compass in all our endeavors. Before God, no role has changed between the man and woman.
  • The leadership of Deborah was no threat to the males in the Land. Her rise to power probably evidenced their state of beings as men tend to shrink emotionally under prolong oppression.

THE BEST DEBORAH

  • The best Deborah would be a woman who can find a way to honor and respect her husband in spite of her successes.
  • The best Deborah quickly gives credit to the husband even when she is more worthy of it.
  • The best Deborah never insults her husband especially in front of people
  • The best Deborah keeps finding ways to allow the husband to be the head of the home.
  • The best Deborah never put her career ahead of her family.
  • The best Deborah always makes sure to let others know that the husband has the last say in the matter of her life.
  • I asked a few male co-workers on how a successful wife can appropriate to a lesser successful or educated husband. (The reply is that she should show respect, communicate what she is doing, and not take lone moves now that she earns more than her man.)
  • The best Deborah understands that people already perceive that she is the boss in the house, she will do every possible effort to include her husband in all her endeavors.
  • The best Deborah will make sure to show affection to her husband in front of co-workers.
  • The best Deborah will never for one minute feels embarrassed to present her husband to her acquaintances.
  • The best Deborah is very defensive if someone in her circle tries to put her husband down.
  • The best Deborah will do all within her power to elevate the image of her husband by buying expensive and stylist clothes for him and treat him like a king around the house.
  • The best Deborah will avoid taking jobs or assignments that keep her away for a too lengthy time at the expense of her family.
  • The best Deborah makes her success a “us success”

THE BEST HUSBAND FOR THE DEBORAH (S)

  • The best husband for the Deborah s takes pride in her accomplishments.
  • The best husband for the Deborah s never set a stage to become a competitor to Deborah.
  • The best husband for Deborah is one who keeps showing love affection and encouragements to his wife.
  • The best husband for Deborah will not allow her to be emotionally exhausted or abused in the job.
  • The best husband for Deborah doesn’t see her as a money-making machine either to use her as a pimp.
  • The best husband for Deborah is not asking Deborah to be less in order to feel good about his own self.
  • The best husband for Deborah understands that he has to share her with others, because she is a gift to humanity.
  • The best husband for Deborah does not try to make her feel guilty for her successes.
  • If the relationship is secured enough, the best husband for Deborah should alleviate her by doing some of the shores around the house or hire someone to do them in order to give her a break.
  • Example of the man who did all the house shores one afternoon aiming to see which excuse his wife was going to use this time beside “I am too tired for intimacy”. In appreciation, coming from work, the wife dressed up seductively to add to the fantasy only to receive the reply. “Not tonight honey, I am too tired”.
  • The best husband for Deborah brags about her successes to all her male counterparts.
  • Proverbs 31 woman is a Deborah type.
  • She is all that she is to make her house and her husband look good.
  • The best husband for Deborah does not debate her in public in aim to show that he is smarter than her and to counter how people perceives him with respect to her.
  • The best husband for Deborah does not ridicule her to put her down.
  • The best husband for Deborah does not disengage in her life thinking that he is no longer worthy of her love because of her high success.

IF YOU ARE A DEBORAH

  • Don’t feel guilty about it
  • Don’t use your blessings to humiliate others.
  • Do not take a back seat in order to satisfy the status quo that people have about women.
  • Be aware that many Deborah (s) because of their attitudes, end-up being lonely divorcees although they live in nice houses, drive nice cars and have lots of money.
  • Do not follow the feminists out there whose lives have nothing to exemplify except for their status in the social ladder.
  • Acquire and maintain your success in humility and a deep respect for God and your fellow men.

CONCLUSION

  • My wish for all of you ladies is that you would stay in school and make something out of yourselves and climb in the social ladder as high as God wants to take you.

  • If you have a husband and family, make sure to take them up there with you.

  • Shine Baby shine! You only have one life to live. Live it well and become a beacon of hope to all mankind. At the end of your life, be able to say: “NO REGRET”

  • May God add His blessings to His word

AMEN!DEBORA IMAGE

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