Monday, October 19, 2009

Deborah: Prophet, Judge, and Military Leader

Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, is one of only five women in the Bible called a "prophet". She was the only female Judge of Israel and held court in Ephraim in a place called "Deborah's Palm Tree," where people would come to her for judgment (Judges 4:5). She held her court outside because it was improper for a woman to be alone in a house with a man.
After 20 years of oppression, God told Deborah that it was time to deliver His people once again. After receiving the message from God she called upon the warrior, Barak, telling him to organize 10,000 men the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun. She was going to battle with the army of king Jabin of Hazor in Canaan. Barak agreed to organize the army and go to war with one condition; Deborah would have to go with him. Barak was afraid to go into battle without Deborah. He knew that Deborah's presence would guarantee victory. Such was the respect and confidence of Israel in Deborah.
Although she agreed to go with him she warned him that he would have no honor in conquering King Jabin’s general Sisera.
"However, there will be no glory for you in the course you are taking, for then the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman" (Judges 4:8-9)
Sisera's army was very strong with nine hundred iron chariots. Once his army was at the Kishon River Deborah told Barak it was time to attack. "Now is the time for action! The Lord leads on! He has already delivered Sisera into your hand." Barak led his army down the slopes of Mount Tabor and defeated the Canaanite army as Sisera fled on foot to the Kenite camp.
After escaping slaughter by the Israelites, Sisera is killed by Jael. The woman drove a peg through his head while he was sleeping and fulfilled Deborah's prophecy that Sisera would fall to a woman.
Deborah and Barak sang a victory song that Deborah wrote in Judges, chapter 5. There was peace in the land for 40 years after the battle.
Deborah had unwavering faith in God. He used her to unite the people of Israel and lead them to victory against the Canaanites. Her role as prophetess, judge and military leader was extraordinary for a woman. No one else held this level of authority and responsibility except for Moses and Samuel. Deborah serves as an example of how God can use anyone to do His will and even change the course of history. A woman can serve as a prophet, judge or military leader if it is in God’s plan.
In our patriarchal society Deborah helps to affirm that God uses both men and women in many different roles to fulfill his plans. God is not a respecter of persons- women are as useful to Him as men are (Galatians 3:28).
Deborah did not limit God. Deborah accepted her roles as judge, prophetess, and warrior and allowed God to use her as He saw fit. God can use anyone in His plan—as long as that person yields to Him.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Healing Bible Verses

Psalm 103:2-5
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits--who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Psalm 107:19-21
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress; he sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from destruction. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind.

Exodus 23:25
You shall worship the Lord your God, and I will bless your bread and your water; and I will take sickness away from among you.

Psalm 30:2
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.

Proverbs 17:22
A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.