Thursday, January 2, 2014

     Deborah is one of my favorite women of the Bible because her story, found in Judges 4-5, shows a spectacular and unexpected way God used a woman who was wholly and selflessly devoted to Him.

     Deborah's people were slaves; their masters were strong.  Her people had backslidden and chosen new gods.  God chose Deborah to be a prophetess and a judge.  She called Barak and told him the Lord's command to face the enemy and fight for freedom.  Barak told her, "If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go."  She did not hesitate; she went with the army.  She had heard from God.  She told Barak, "Up; for this is the day in which the Lord hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the LORD gone out before thee?"  She knew her God, and she had faith.  God fulfilled his promise and defeated the enemy.  Deborah's people were liberated.

     Today, like Deborah's people, our people are slaves--slaves to sin.  Their masters are hard masters: vanity, immorality, addictions, lies.  Our people have backslidden and chosen new gods: self, money, sports, celebrities, or anything they worship more or give more attention to than the true God.  They must be liberated, and Jesus Christ is the only one who can liberate.  He gave us a command, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."  Evangelism is a call for all.  

We need to encourage others to rise up and fulfill God's high calling in their lives.  Actions, as well as words, are needed.  Deborah didn't just tell Barak to go defeat the enemy; she got up and went with him.  Is your life a shining example of what God can do?  Does the joy of the Lord shine through you as you live wholly devoted to him?  Are you an example of the courageous Christian God has called his children to be?

You may be a student, teacher, musician, chess player, artist, technician, or field laborer, but God has chosen you to be a bright light of His glory in this dark world, an example of the believers, to liberate souls through the power of Jesus Christ from the slavery of sin, and to encourage others to rise up and live the life God has for them.

My prayer today is that you will be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, and that you would put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11).  I pray as Deborah prayed in Judges 5:31, "Let all thine enemies perish, O Lord: but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might."  Amen.