Cover to Cover

Reading: Judges 4:1-5:31

Focus: Judges 4:4-10, 17-24

We live in a world which is increasingly gender inclusive, on a path towards gender equality, where men and women are treated as equals, and so it should be. However, one of the dangers is that gender identity is being blurred more and more. In the move towards equality, gender definitions are being lost. What is a man? What is a woman? These definitions are slowly being by the gender equality movement. The reality is men must be men and women must be women (neither which promotes or denigrates one’s gender).

In the history of the Judges, most people will recognise the name, Deborah, but how many people remember Barak? I certainly don’t…well, not his name anyway. I remember that Deborah called upon a man to lead an army against Israel’s enemies, but asked Deborah to accompany him. As a result, the victory was won by the army of Israel, but the honour of killing the commander was given a woman… Jael.

Seriously…what the heck? Deborah called upon Barak assuring him that God had delivered the enemies into his hand, yet he doubted and for his doubt, honour was given to someone else, in this case, a woman. It is not a question of equality, but a question of roles. This guy was meant to be the commander of an army, but he’s a coward… Man up, Barak, man up! He gets a brief mention in this story, but he is far from being the main character. The main characters of this story are Deborah and Jael. In the song that follows, it is essentially a song praising the exploits of these faithful women.

Where are the men who will stand for God today? Where are the men who have the guts to stand under the banner of the Lord’s name? Where are the Joshuas, the Calebs, the Davids…? Likewise can be said of the women, where are those who will stand up for the Lord God Almighty? Where are the Deborahs, the Jaels, the Esthers…? Where are the godly who follow God’s narrow path with unfailing faithfulness? Where are they…? Man up, woman up, level up and stand boldly for the name of the Most High! John Piper: Where are the faithful young men?

Next Reading: Judges 6:1-8:35

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