Read Judges 4.1-9 and 5.7.
Motherhood is a special gift given to women who fear the Lord. It is one of the greatest gifts God has given to humanity. This morning, while praying, I was reminiscing about how our mothers struggled to take care of us and how I struggle to keep my family together and I concluded that motherhood is key. There is a saying that the man is the head of the family but the mother is the heart of the family. When your heart stops you are declared clinically dead so if the mother who is the heart is not functioning as expected, the society will collapse. Hence, the role of the mother is key.
But just think about the types of women or mothers we have. There are runaway mothers; those who don’t care about their children or families. There are women who trade their children for money. I want to ask this question. Just imagine yourself as a woman. What type of mother are you? What is your anticipation? What type of mother are you planning to be in the future? This morning the Almighty God is telling us to arise as women to perform the task he has given us. Once we possess the home, the entire society will be possessed for God.
The story we read is about Deborah. She is an epitome of motherhood. There are many stories we have heard about the Israelites. They were people just like us. After the judge Ehud had died, the people of Israel sinned against God by blatantly disobeying his word. For twenty good years they were terrorized by a Canaanite king called Jabin. Every now and then he would parade his 900 chariots before Israel and Israel could not do anything. They were under oppression because of their sin. I believe as a result of the twenty years oppression there were mothers who were concerned about the plight of the people and their children. And I believe one of the women was Deborah. As she was always interceding and praying to God, God gave her a message for the commander of the army of Israel called Barak. Barak was supposed to get read for war because God had given the people of Canaan into their hands.
After he heard the message he believed it was the true message from God but he said he would not go unless Deborah went with him. Imagine the plight of Deborah. She was a judge, a wife, and a prophetess. Barak asking her to go to war sounded weird but this Spirit-filled woman poised for action was determined to go all out for the deliverance of his people. At the end of the day she went to battle and Israel was delivered from the hands of the Canaanites. Whenever there is victory people compose songs to celebrate and the Judges 5.7 was a song of praise the people of Israel sang. It says,
Village life ceased it ceased in Israel, Until I, Deborah, arose, Arose a mother in Israel. (NKJV)
Whenever the people of God rebel against God he allows their enemies to torment them. Let us not rebel against the command of God because sin has its own consequences. In the midst of the turmoil there arose a mother in a male-dominated society. Bible says she was a judge. Mothers, we’ve been called to be judges in our own homes. I always tell my husband that as for me I am a fair judge. If you deserve a red card I will show you; if you deserve a yellow card I will show you.
You cannot be a good mother without being a good wife.
Proverbs 31.10 says,
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. (NIV)
What is your price? For some of the young ladies it is a pack of takeaway. For some it is 10 cedis of MTN credit. For some it is yoghurt and pie. The price of the noble woman is far above rubies. If we don’t perform our roles as expected, how can our children say good things about us? Praise from her children—that is the praise of the virtuous woman. If your husband cannot be bold to tell you you are a great woman, sister, you need to change.
Deborah was there as a watchwoman interceding for the people of Israel. We’ve been called as prophetesses in the family. We’ve been called as intermediaries. If you are a woman and your husband prays more than you then there is something wrong with you. We have been called as prophetesses and intermediaries for our families.
When Deborah commanded that Barak should come, he came. How could a woman command a man to come in a male-dominated society? Do your husbands listen to you? When your intuition tells you something and you say it do they believe it? Because of Deborah’s reputation, when she commanded Barak came. The statement Barak made baffles me. God said he was giving the Canaanites and their iron chariots to them but, as commander of the army of Israel and a strong man, he said, “If you will go I will go but if you don’t I won’t.”
Mothers in the house, if you lead a life of integrity whatever opinion you share will be respected. Sometimes there will be decisions for which they will be reluctant but you just have to give a little push. Men are wired to be logical but we woman are more emotional. Deborah came in as a mother. Thank God for women who are ready to go to war. I believe that as we aim to possess the nations we will possess our homes as well. Deborah was given the strategy. God has given us mothers something. 2 Peter 1.3 says his divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness. Imagine the things the woman can do. She can be pregnant and carrying a baby at her back and preparing food for the family at the same time. God has created women specially. Leave the children with the men for thirty minutes. Deborah helped plan the war.
Praises were sung in honor of Deborah. As a prophetess and mother, what praises can people sing about you? In the account of Ruth, when she followed her mother-in-law to Moab and went to Boaz for help, he said everybody in the community knew she was a virtuous woman. That was the first time the phrase “virtuous woman” was used in the Bible. For Deborah, it was when she arose as a mother, not a judge, that she brought salvation to Israel—until she arose as a mother—it means what society needs now is a real mother; a virtuous mother concerned about the welfare of her family.
Some characteristics of Deborah:
1. She stood firm on her conviction
It must have taken strong conviction for her to summon Barak. If you are not strong to know when God speaks, you cannot stand for the nation and command. God has given us mothers intuition as a gift. If you practice it you will be so great a person. God will not do anything in the family without telling someone in it who is close to him.
2. She possessed uncommon maturity
Look at how she called Barak, the army commander. For a mere woman to be able to comport herself to speak wisely and display so much maturity, if it were you and I, we would have talked down to the men. I pray God will grant us this uncommon maturity. It is not easy being a mother.
3. She contributed to the success of others
She gave them the word of God and the guidance they needed to defeat the enemy. She wasn’t selfish. If it were left to you and me, we would have said, “I don’t care”. When you read the commentary it says the people of Israel could easily go to her with their issues. Can our children confide in us? Even in the church there are people who don’t have mothers and need a mother figure. In counseling we believe a person has the solution to all his problems and only needs a mirror to guide them; somebody to listen; somebody to say hello. Be person-centered. We don’t need your food necessarily; we need your smile.
4. She was a positive influence
What can people say about you? Yesterday a friend called me and said there was a woman who died in her house and nobody knew. We are social beings and God wants us to be so. We should not separate ourselves.
5. She was praised as a mother
If you perform your role as a mother as expected you will be praised. As a mother, if you perform your role as expected, you will be praised. Your children will call you blessed. I like what the King James says in Proverbs 31.29,
Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
And the verse 30 says,
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. (NIV)
My prayer is that you will be a woman who fears the Lord so the Lord will bless you.
Judges 4.1-9, 5.7