Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mothers in Israel

One of the judges who reigned in Israel was a woman named Deborah. Besides being the judge she led the armies of Israel into a battle in which they succeeded in defeating their enemies. In the book of Judges chapter five we find Deborah’s song, a beautiful poem about her and the battle, but the line I like best is in verse seven when it says “I arose a mother in Israel.”

We are never told if Deborah had children or not. As a matter of fact some scholars debate whether she was married or not. In Judges 4:4 we are introduced to Deborah with these words, “And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at the time.” Since the words wife and woman in Hebrew are exactly the same and the word lapidoth means “shine or flame,” and is never again found in the Bible as a name, the phrase could have been translated as “a woman of flame” which could have been a metaphor for a sanctified or righteous or outstanding woman.

Which ever, it is interesting that while a judge and a general, Deborah identifies herself a mother in Israel, but what we see her mothering is not children—she mothers the house of Israel. I think there is a message in there for all women--that we are to mother (nurture and care for) God’s children whether we have children of our own or not. In God’s plan all righteous women are mothers. It is a title of respect and honor and as we reach out to nurture and care for others in whatever capacity we are in, we like Deborah, arise as mothers in Israel.

1 comment:

Wendi said...

I agree. And I love that picture. :)