Becoming a Mother
“Villages were deserted, they were deserted in Israel, until I, Deborah, arose, a mother in Israel.”
God has been speaking to me fervently about becoming a mother lately. And no, I do not mean in the literal sense. What could this look like? Well—let me introduce you to Deborah:
She was head prophetess and judge in Israel, seated in a position of honor— the Israelites would go up to her for judgment and instruction. So basically, she just sat under a palm tree all day and judged people. But something interesting happens one day when she relays God’s command to Barak—the man who is supposed to be an answer to Israel’s prayers and lead them into freedom from Jabin and his 900 iron chariots. After she gives Barak ALL the details (in true womanly fashion) of what to do and what will happen, he meets her command with a condition. “If you will go with me, I will go. But if you will not go with me, I will not go.” Deborah could have said no or she could have argued with him; she probably could have used her superior position to force him to go, regardless.
Instead, it says she arose and went with him.
This is incredible… Seriously. I mean this woman could have rebuked him and kept spending her days judging under a palm tree. However, during their song of victory in chapter 5, she says that her heart was with the leaders of Israel and she “arose a mother”. Amazing. It goes on to say, “And the princes of Issachar came with Deborah; Issachar was with Barak” (5:15). Even more amazing.
Deborah is the epitome of a Proverbs 31 woman—the embodiment of Lady Wisdom (Proverbs 9)… “She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household… She draws on her strength and reveals that her arms are strong… She opens her mouth with wisdom and loving instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the activities of her household and is never idle. Her sons rise up and call her blessed.” The word for “food” in this verse literally means “prey” which implies, “diligence, strength, and cunning”. Deborah arose from the shadows during a time of darkness to provide strength and spiritual substance for the sons of Israel. All of these men—princes and warriors—followed Deborah because they respected her so. So much so that they would not have fought without her there. One woman made the difference for all these men.
Why is this? How did she provide this strength? Was it because she was scary looking or breathed fire? No, much better—this super-mama had the power of God’s wisdom.
“Doesn’t Wisdom call out? Doesn’t Understanding make her voice heard?
At the heights overlooking the road, at the crossroads, she takes her stand.”
The Bible doesn’t say that she armored up or anything… She didn’t go to fight with her hands. She recognized her position as a woman— she fought the enemy by releasing words of wisdom, encouragement, and direction over the men of Israel.
The men (specifically Barak) were obviously inexperienced—they lacked knowledge and wisdom from God because they feared man more than Him (Proverbs 8, 9:10). However, she saw them through eyes of a mother rather than eyes of a judge—she saw their almost child-like lack of knowledge and chose to arise a spiritual mother; she taught the men to act like MEN by simply showing them what the fear of the Lord looked like. The fear of the Lord looks like this—having no fear of anything in this life but being terrified to be outside of the will of God.
If an honorable-God-fearing mother arises, her sons will shortly arise after her (Proverbs 31).
In her righteousness, Deborah was as bold as a lion. Her boldness was contagious to the sons of Israel; the result of this—the sons of Israel choosing obedience to God; the result of this—God had favor on them and delivered the opposing army into their hands; the result of this—peace in the land for 40 years.
I’ll leave with the call I feel in my spirit:
Will the mamas of America please step forward?
“I am Lady Wisdom, and I live next to Sanity;
Knowledge and Discretion live just down the street.
The Fear-of-God means hating Evil,
whose ways I hate with a passion—
pride and arrogance and crooked talk.
Good counsel and common sense are my characteristics;
I am both Insight and the Virtue to live it out.
With my help, leaders rule,
and lawmakers legislate fairly;
With my help, governors govern,
along with all in legitimate authority.
I love those who love me;
those who look for me find me.
Wealth and Glory accompany me—
also substantial Honor and a Good Name.
My benefits are worth more than a big salary, even a very big salary;
the returns on me exceed any imaginable bonus.
You can find me on Righteous Road—that’s where I walk—
at the intersection of Justice Avenue,
Handing out life to those who love me,
filling their arms with life—armloads of life!”