A Torch-Like Spirit
Judges 10:7 - Judges 15:8
One thing that is important to note in this first section of the book of Judges is that many of the Judges mentioned are types of Christ. The Book of Judges teaches a lesson on deliverance over and over again. Here is a quick example fromChapter 4...did you know the name Jael is symbolic of Jehovah and Eloheim? That Sisera is symbolic of sin? And that the nail Jael smote into Sisera's temple is representative of the atonement?
That is just one example...each of the Judges has a lesson to tell.
I hope you will forgive me for reminiscing, but over the weekend I became fascinated with Deborah, one of the Judges we already read about. (For the record, I am also intrigued by Gideon, so if you don't mind I will save his story for tomorrow.) Then we will get back on track.
In chapter four we read, "Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time." (Judges 4:4)
Cassel, a Bible Scholar, explains that the term "wife of Lapidoth" could also have been translated in Hebrew to read "a woman of torch-like spirit."
...Deborah, a prophetess, a woman of torch-like spirit, she judged Israel at that time.
From this moment forward that is the way I want to remember Deborah...as a woman with a torch-like spirit. No wonder the children of Israel came up to be judged by her as she sat under the palm tree in mount Ephraim. I am sure the spirit that she carried was inviting and wise. It was also a spirit that prompted courage.
On the day that Deborah persuaded Barak to gather his army to fight against Sisera, who had nine hundred chariots of iron, Barak had only one request, "If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go. And she said, "I will surely go with thee." (Judges 4:8-9)
Deborah's torch-like spirit had the power to instill courage in others and to inspire them to follow the command of the Lord.
Where did this power come from?
Remember when we read that Deborah was a prophetess? The scriptures teach that "the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Revelations 19:10) Deborah's strength of spirit came from her testimony of Christ.
After the army was defeated and Israel was delivered, Deborah and Barak sang a song of praise. In Judges 5:7 one verse of this song contains a sentence that is profound, "I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel."
A mother in Israel delivered the people from bondage.
A woman with a torch-like spirit.
A woman with the testimony of Jesus.
Have you ever taken the time to ponder how many mothers in Israel have been part of the process of deliverance throughout the generations of time? Just now the thought of several come to mind... Mary the mother of Jesus. Elizabeth. The mother of Moses. Hannah, who we are about to read about in Samuel. The mother's of the stripling warriors.
Sometimes we question the worth of women in the Lord's plan. The story of Deborah speaks loud and clear in this regard... Never underestimate the power of a righteous woman.
Tonight I had the opportunity to speak to a group of young women about the YW theme this year..."Arise and Shine Forth." There was a sweet spirit that permeated that room, it was also a spirit of great power. I listened as a young woman stood to explain a symbol of her belief. She spoke of a logo that represents the light of Christ, inviting all to come unto Christ.
In that moment I was reminded of Deborah, a woman with a torch-like spirit, and I wondered...what if each of us in that room could become women with torch-like spirits? What if we could become inspired, wise, courageous? What if we could lead others to follow the Lord?
After the meeting was over we participated in an event I won't ever forget. Each young woman received a yellow balloon with a small light inside.
She was invited to write her testimony of Christ on a small piece of paper that was carefully tied to the ribbon on the balloon.
Once all of the girls had finished writing their testimony we walked out into the darkness of the night.
There, the girls gathered, holding a torch with her testimony. A standard.
One that would arise and shine forth.
We watched those testimonies as they rose, illuminating the darkness. Yellow torches against a black sky.
A reminder of the mark a righteous woman can have on the darkness that surrounds us.
Tonight I have one desire...that I might be a little more like Deborah...
A woman with a torch-like spirit.
Filled with the testimony of Christ.
A righteous mother in Israel.