Wednesday, March 31 2021
In Australia and overseas there is much talk about women in all types of industries and government.
When we look into our own history (over the past 50 years for example) we see numerous cases where women have tried to break the glass ceiling and enter into the fray with their counterparts, men.
As time progresses we see that there are far too many instances of female murders, abuse, violence and particularly domestic violence. Today I heard an article about women who earn more than their "partner" being in danger of domestic abuse up by 30% which is astonishing.
Thinking about why this is so is a revelation and learning curve in itself. Being in Christian circles for almost 40 years has been an eye opener. Mostly Christian churches conform to the status of women in the early Christian Church, particularly informed by the women in the Letters of Paul the Apostle, especially 1 Corinthians 11, which gives very precise instruction as to how women should "act" in church. It is a shocker for a new Christian to read and to see it applied in awkward format by our contemporaries. I remember attending a "Brethren" Church in a town in Qld and being informed by some chap at the door that I needed a scarf on my head!
If that happened today I would see red! This is the instruction that he obviously had learned from his contemporaries in the matter of "male" and "female". As a result the latest styled hats were often displayed by the budding female followers of Jesus, so it became a fashion competition.
If that man was here today we would all have a different opinion for him to absorb. If I wear a hat too long I end up with a headache as it is a hot place to live here (Qld). My health is in danger and I could have a stroke from being too hot.
Now, I wonder how many Christian leaders seek the Old Testament on this subject? I believe they do as many are studious to a tee. And I applaud learning, especially Christian learning through the help of the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures Old and New.
Now, take a look at this Scripture: So the Lord turned them over to King Jabin of Hazir, who ruthlessly oppressed them for 20 years. Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help. (Read Judges 5, 6)
What did the Lord do?
He raised up Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, who was judging Israel at the time. She would sit under the palm called Deborah, between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites would go to her for judgement.
One day she sent for Barak, son of Abinoam. "This is what the Lord God says," ...call out 10,000 warriors from the tribes of Naphtali... The Lord promised to "call out" he enemy, Sisera and his chariots and send him into battle at the Kishon River. There I will give you victory. Barak was too afraid to go alone, so Deborah agreed to go along with him. She gave a warning: "But you will receive no honour... the Lord's victory will be in the hands of a woman."
It makes the reader feel that Deborah will be top brass here today, but there is a twist in the story.
Not only does Deborah lead Israel to victory, the Lord chose another female to aid Deborah in this victory.
Sisera ran away and met with this woman. He asked her for a drink. She was extremely brave and invited him into her tent. She gave him milk to drink.
He fell asleep and while he was sleeping, she killed him with a canny device, a tent peg and a hammer. She nailed him to the ground.
Barak came by looking for Sisera and was shown the man in the tent, dead. So, the Israelites had a victory on that day.
They even wrote a psalm/song for her (Judges 5). Deborah led Israel and ruled in peace for 40 years.
Not only was their leader a woman chosen by God, but a second woman bravely faced an evil leader of the opposite peoples and with her amazing plan killed him, giving the people peace for their lifetime.
What can we learn from this story, which I believe is true? If God choses a woman to lead his people, we should accept it and back her up.
This happened over 3,000 years ago. Women like Deborah and Jael were trailblazers for women of all times.
I respect them and the Lord who gave them the victory and placed women in a rightful place at a difficult time.
Let's give our women a go.