Friday, February 26, 2010
Judges in Israel
One of these fifteen judges was the prophetess Deborah. Deborah, whose story is told in Judges 4-5, was the only one of the judges to be called a prophet and the only one that was a woman. The word Deborah means “bee” and anciently it was believed that, of all the animal kingdom, the bee ranked highest in intelligence. It has been said of Deborah that she “made honey but knew when and how to sting.”
Deborah lived when the Caananites oppressed Israel and as she says in the Psalm of Deborah, “I arose a mother in Israel” (Judges 5:7) to save Israel. According to the Oxford English Dictionary a mother is “A person, quality, institution, place, etc., that produces, protects, nurtures, or sustains people, ideas, etc.” We don’t know if Deborah had children or not, but she protected, nurtured, and sustained the house of Israel and was a mother.
In our modern world mothers are sometimes disparaged, but when we realize that a mother is not just someone who bears children, we realize that as women we have the responsibility to do all we can to protect the House of Israel against all that is evil. Like Deborah of old, we should nurture wherever we are and in whatever we do. We should promote the ways of righteousness and produce goodness in our daily endeavors. We are judges—champions—of Israel!