S (Scripture): Judges 5:7 Warriors were scarce, they were scarce in Israel, until you arose, Deborah, until you arose as a motherly protector in Israel.
12 Wake up, wake up, Deborah! Wake up, wake up, sing a song! Get up, Barak! Capture your prisoners of war, son of Abinoam!
24 The most rewarded of women should be Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite! She should be the most rewarded of women who live in tents.
25 He asked for water, and she gave him milk; in a bowl fit for a king, she served him curds.
26 Her left hand reached for the tent peg, her right hand for the workmen’s hammer. She “hammered” Sisera, she shattered his skull, she smashed his head, she drove the tent peg through his temple.
O (Observation): Deborah, a prophetess of the Lord, is praised in this song. She spoke the word of the Lord in order to call God’s people together to defeat God’s enemies.
Jael, another powerful female whose role was invaluable in defeating God’s enemies, is also praised. She killed a general in the opposing army by luring him into a false sense of protection and then driving a tent peg into his head.
Very graphic stuff, and yet, a strong witness to the Lord calling upon women to bring forth God’s power on earth.
A (Application): For a long time, women have been called upon by the Lord to serve in many, mighty ways. For some reason, some still have a problem with seeing women in leadership in the church. We can see powerful witnesses of women leading in the Old and New Testament. I can’t see how a few words in the New Testament can stave off what God has been doing for eons. (Several denominations deny females to be pastors, or to even learn in church, because of a few words from Paul.)
How has your view of female leaders in the church changed over the years? Have you always been supportive of female leadership in the church?
Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton of the ELCA is a strong witness to our confidence that God does wonderful work through in any baptized child of God , whether male or female. We are indeed grateful for her service and her witness in our denomination.
P (Prayer): Lord, sharpen our sense of call and witness to the world. Amen.