September 3
Judges 4, 5

KEY VERSE: Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which the Lord hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the Lord gone out before thee? --Judges 4:14

Christians have debated for centuries the place of women in the Church. It would be fun if General Barak, the commander of the Lord's army, could join us for today's debate. Here is what I imagine he would say:

"In my day I learned that God does not take a poll to decide how he will use women to serve him. At a time when our people had turned away from God, he raised up a woman named Deborah to serve him as a judge and a prophetess.

"Some of us men may have had our doubts about Deborah at first. We were not used to seeing women serve God in those roles. But I was so impressed with her God-given authority that I was afraid to take my army into battle without her at my side.

"I was shaking in my boots at the prospect of going up against the superior forces of Sisera. There was no way we could match the power of his 900 iron chariots. But when Deborah spoke, it was like God was speaking. So when she told me one morning that God would give me victory over Sisera's army, I believed her even though I had no idea how God would do it.

"It turned out that God used a powerful rainstorm to help us. You should have seen all those chariots bogged down in the mud, completely helpless. It was quite a sight to see even old Sisera himself abandon his chariot and run for his life through all that mud! By the time we found him, some woman named Jael had finished him off for us."

"So for my money we had best not put our trust in men or women, but in God alone, who is able whenever he chooses to use women or men to serve him. Deborah taught me that."

Barak was indeed a wise man whose experience can be helpful to all of us who would serve God today, whether men or women.