Sunday, May 10, 2009

What Do A Bee And A Mother Have In Common?

There are probably many analogies I could come up with, but the one I'm thinking about is encapsulated in Deborah, a judge over Israel (Judges 4 &5). A few years back, I studied Deborah in depth in preparation for a presentation about her. This Mother's Day brought her to mind again.

In Hebrew, Deborah means "bee."

Through Deborah's steady and inspiring leadership, enabled by her unshakeable faith, Barak, and the men of Israel liberated their land from the Canaanite king, Jabin, and his fierce military commander Sisera.

After the land was liberated, Deborah and Barak sang a song praising Yahweh and recounting the deeds of Yahweh and the people of Israel in battle. Interestingly, Deborah, when describing herself, does not refer to herself as a wife, leader, a warrior, or even a prophet (all of which would've been true). She referred to herself as a mother, a mother in Israel.

I thought her description odd. Mother?

In Hebrew, the word translated as "mother" in Judges 5:7 can also be translated, "a point of departure." Hmmm....

I don't think that the translation used in Judges is incorrect, but I do find it VERY interesting that the same word used for "mother" can also be used when someone means "a crucial point, period in time, when things changed."

During Deborah's leadership, Israel, which was being oppressed, terrorized, and plundered (caused by their choosing the gods of the people around them instead of Yahweh), broke free from the yoke that was on them (the yoke of fear, the yoke of false gods) and turned their hearts to Yahweh. Deborah stirred herself to play her part. She placed, not only her heart into the action, but also her body. She followed Yahweh into the thick of the battle calling Barak and Israel to fight with her. Deborah, with God's spirit upon her, lead her people to rise up and change for the good.

And when it was over, Deborah acknowledged the part the people of Israel played and gave all credit and glory to Yahweh.

So ladies, what did Deborah do?

She chose Yahweh, when those around her were choosing other gods. She listened to Him, trusted Him, believed Him, obeyed Him and praised Him.

She fought for her people; she exhorted and encouraged them, she lead and inspired them, she taught them, she held them accountable.

She allowed Yahweh to use her. She considered herself a mother and allowed God to use her as a prophet, a judge, a military leader.

She placed not only her heart and mind into the fight, but her body too. She was a warrior!

What can she teach us?

FIRST, choose Yahweh, by choosing Jesus: listen, believe, trust, obey, praise and worship him!

On behalf of those around you: exhort and encourage, lead, teach, usher accountability in.

Allow God to use you as a mother wherever you are, no matter your position, your authority, your influence or your power.

Place your heart, mind and body into the fight, be a warrior!

You can do this, you have what she had; the wisdom found in scriptures and the trust in God found in relationship with Him.

You have what she did not have. You have God's spirit in you through belief in His Son. You have Christian brothers and sisters.

You can be like Deborah! You have worth because God created you. You are royalty because you are an adopted daughter, sister to Jesus! You can be a warrior, a mother, a point of departure for the people around you; serving their needs, fighting for their lives, following God in the battle, fighting the good fight!

You are a woman-mother-warrior-princess!

Happy Mother's Day!

P.S. The bible doesn't give us any information about Deborah's husband except his name, but I'm going to make the assumption that he was a faithful and strong man and a supportive husband. His name means "torches." Men, if you are married to a Deborah, remember, God put you together, you are perfect for her and she for you. As your wife fills her call as a warrior mother, know that you are God's warrior also-- never forget.

P.P.S. :-) If you would like to hear more about Deborah (there is a lot more), I'd love to share what I learned! :-)
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