“Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time.
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;
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!””
Judges 4:4, 6, 8 NKJV
Critics of the Christian faith often cite the overwhelming maleness of the bible, the very foundation of what we believe. They take issue with the depiction of women, the masculinity of God, and a host of other things. What I have found is that few of them have actually read the bible for themselves. Fewer still have the most essential prerequisite: the presence of the Holy Spirit, only given through saving faith in Jesus Christ.
The bible is full of amazing women, some leading, others guiding. I can tell you that every man in the bible mentioned favorably in Scripture had a mother. I can also tell you that the ones who were horrible also had mothers. The only one that didn’t was Adam. He did have Eve, but that is another story.
Even the ministry of the Lord Jesus was heavily supported by women who accompanied him and ministered beside the disciples. Many of the people coming to faith in the Gospels are women.
Back in Judges this morning, and I read of Deborah in chapter 4. God had ordained her to be a judge over Israel, directing her people from the shade of a palm tree somewhere between Ramah and Bethel. People came to her from far and wide to receive her judgements. She was the epitome of girl power, as God placed her for such a time as that.
She was a wife and likely a mother, and she knew God. The Lord had chosen her to be a prophetess, which means that He revealed things to her and trusted her with His words to communicate to the people.
Barak would not go into battle without her, because he knew that God had anointed her and he had faith in God.
As I read through the chapter, I read of Jael, another wife and mother, a true mama bear, and one devoted to service of the Lord.
The enemy crept into the camp, and sought refuge. Sisera had seen all of his men killled at the edge of the sword. He sought safety in the tent of a woman, thinking he was safe. Little did he know that God had ordained that moment, that meeting, and God was working HIs will in that place. Sisera had entered the most dangerous place on earth.
“However, Sisera had fled away on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite; for there was peace between Jabin king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me; do not fear.” And when he had turned aside with her into the tent, she covered him with a blanket.
Then Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent peg and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple, and it went down into the ground; for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.”
Judges 4:17-18, 21 NKJV
Women devoted to God are dangerous to the enemy. Our enemy in the spiritual realm is Satan. A praying wife, mother, sister, or aunt, or friend, can have a huge impact on the lives of others. One of the unfortunate realities in the body of Christ is that we do not give adequate notice of the importance of women.
I am not speaking of the notable teachers, or the headliners with big reputations, but the unseen women, who are often the ones quietly supporting the weight of the church in their praying hands.
I think of Mary Lu Devine who I knew many years ago. She was a little woman with a huge personality. She was a bit rough on the surface and some found her hard to get along with, but she was a woman of prayer.
I learned of this one Wednesday night at church. I was having a bad day, as I was going through chemo and was wrought with infections and fever. She sensed my ailing and grabbed my hand and began to pray.
There was great power in that moment, almost tenable, as the prayers of this little old lady shook heaven. She was a prayer warrior, as she would pray over all the churches prayer requests given out each week.
God has placed many powerful, praying women in my life, that have had an influence on me.
Every family in the body of Christ is made or broken by the presence or absence of a godly parent. Mothers have a major influence on the children. If they are drawn away by sin, so too may those who look up to them.
A godly woman has the power to propel the life and ministry of a godly man. She also has the power to derail him, and cause him to fall away.
Brothers, let us salute the godly women that the Lord has blessed us with, whether they be mothers, friends, wives, or any other person.
In my testamony, there are many great women who had an impact on who I am today. I think of my mother, my forerunner, role model in being an interscessor. I think of Jan Roberts, who invited me to church so many years ago. I think of Diane Watson who welcomed me at Grace and made me feel at home. There are so many more.
Sisters, be the women that God ordained you to be. Whether you know it or not, God has given you great power. You are the giver of life, both physical and spiritual. If not for my praying mother, inspired and empowered by God, I would be on my way to hell, if not there already. But she listened and prayed relentlessly.
I urge you to seek the Lord, in Word, in prayer, and be about the business of exhorting those in your circle of influence to grow in Christ.
We are living in a world where the evil one is doing all that he can to derail the lives of believers. Let us, brothers and sisters alike, guard each other, pray for each other, and hold each other accountable as the time is short.
I think of Tabitha in the book of Acts. From the passage I sense that she had a strong ministry to the widows of the church, and her loss was devastating.
“At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive.”
Acts 9:36-41 NKJV
Let us never cease to pray for the spiritual super heroines among us, who find great power in our Savior Jesus Christ.