April 16

April 16

Judges Deborah & Barak — Deborah’s faith, Barak’s faith, & God’s victory.

Today’s Readings:

Reading 1: Judges 4

Reading 2: Judges 5

Reading 3: Hebrews 11:32-34

As the cycle of weakness continues, and Israel goes through another round of sin and disobedience, God allows them to be oppressed by a cruel commander, Sisera, who leads the army of the Canaanite king Jabin. The Canaanites were notably ungodly: they corrupted Israel as well as oppressing them.

In response to the cries of the people, God raises up powerful leaders who listen to God, speak His Word fearlessly and prophetically, and act on God’s instructions authoritatively and without hesitation. These leaders show great courage and faith. God again gets the glory as Israel is freed from the bonds of sin.

The unusual aspect of this story is the gender of the leaders – this is a patriarchal society, yet God uses two very strong women to lead the nation back to Him. It is a most unfortunate corruption of scripture for any church to teach that women have no place of leadership. In today’s readings, and in many other places in scripture, women are called by God, placed in leadership, and fulfill God’s calling when the men are either too frightened or too inept to do so!

The message of scripture is that leadership is a calling from God, given to men and women, which carries great responsibility and brings great victory when exercised in obedience and faith.

Let’s pray for all our leaders today, especially those who have been taught by tradition that they are excluded from leadership. And let’s trust God to show each of us how to lead others as we follow Him!

Together: affirm any female leaders in your group, and pray for all your leaders.

Have a great day!