O people of Zion, who dwell in Jerusalem, no more will you weep; He will be gracious to you when you cry out, as soon as he hears he will answer you…No longer will your Teacher hide himself, but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher, while from behind, a voice shall sound in your ears: “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:19-21
Deborah, a courageous prophet of the Old Testament, offers us wisdom to live by today. Her name means “bee,” and she was certainly a busy one. Not only was she the only woman to be named both prophet and judge, but she was also a poet, a singer, a songwriter, and a warrior.
Judges were not judicial figures as we think of them today; rather, they were charismatic leaders called by God to guide the Chosen People. Around 1100-1200 BC, Deborah was called at a period in history when the Chosen People, due to their idolatry and other sins, had become captives of the Canaanites who enslaved them. People had almost lost hope when Deborah asked a brilliant soldier to lead the Israelites in battle. He would only do so if Deborah accompanied him, and she did. As God had indicated to Deborah, the Israelites won the battle. Forty years of peace followed during which Deborah continued to listen to God, to believe in God’s word, and to teach her people that God is gracious to those who cry out to Him in trust.
In case we decide to stand in judgment against the Israelites falling for idolatry, let’s recall there are many practices we have as a people that have caused great suffering. What about slavery, religious divisiveness, calling people out for their identity or orientation? We know all of these have caused great sorrow, and they still inflict suffering on a great many. So, we need to listen to God and try to have His heart of love in order to hear His voice in our heart saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
Should we decide to stand in judgment against ourselves when we look at lives like Deborah’s, we need to take heart. Yes, Deborah was poet, priestess, judge, warrior, singer, songwriter and more. But Deborah did the things God called her to do. How many today tackle daily tasks that are difficult but that God asks them to do in faith? How many feed families, reach out to their communities, work from home while educating their children, and do countless other things too numerous to mention? We can move ahead, listening to that voice which shall sound in our ears, by living our lives in trust.
Deborah is our ninth Ornament of Grace.
Observing the Beautiful Ornaments
How can you live in confident and courageous trust while facing daily trials?
How can you listen to that voice inside you, leading you in the right path?