Mothers in IsraelBro. David Chancellor
5/11/2008 11:00 AM
Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam that day, saying, Praise ye the Lord for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves. Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the Lord; I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel. Lord, when thou wentest out of Seir, when thou marchedst out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds also dropped water. The mountains melted from before the Lord, even that Sinai from before the Lord God of Israel. In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, and the travellers walked through byways. The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel. They chose new gods; then was war in the gates: was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel? My heart is toward the governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless ye the Lord. Speak, ye that ride on white asses, ye that sit in judgment, and walk by the way. They that are delivered from the noise of archers in the places of drawing water, there shall they rehearse the righteous acts of the Lord, even the righteous acts toward the inhabitants of his villages in Israel: then shall the people of the Lord go down to the gates. Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam.
This is the song they sang after winning a battle against the enemy of Israel. Victory is found in being able to server God as he wants us to through Jesus. This battle was won through the courage of a woman. Barak should have been ready and willing to fight at the commandment of God, but he needed a woman to do it. Deborah was a mother in Israel. We need more mothers in Israel. Women can carry the gospel, too. They have a part in the work of God, too. God needs women to stand up for the gospel. We all have a part in the gospel. We need to stand up for God so that the highway of holiness will be occupied. God needs willing workers for this to happen.
But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
This prophecy says that both men and women will speak up for God. Everyone is to be workers for God. All of us have a part in the gospel.
1 Corinthians 11:1-16
Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
This passage isn’t all about hair. It’s clear that men should have short hair and women should have long hair. It focuses on the veil and whether or not a woman should wear one. This is still a big deal in the Middle East. Paul was dealing with a situation and was telling them to deal with it in accordance with the customs of the land. He felt that a woman’s hair was sufficient covering. Paul observes the fact that both men and women pray and prophecy. We need to work within what society accepts as decent and modest. It wasn’t an uncovering of indency that was the concern, but an uncovering through lack of submission. An appropriate attitude was needed, but he made the point that the sisters have a part. Women shouldn’t pray and prophecy to the abandonment of their responsibilities at home, but God can use you at home and elsewhere.
1 Corinthians 14:31-40
For ye may all prophecy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all church of the saints. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order.
These had a problem where the women were uneducated and unlearned. If you have nothing to say, whether you’re a man or a woman, you should keep silence. Their services were handled more like a Bible study. They asked questions. This may have been said to help keep things decent and in order. There are appropriate times to keep silence and appropriate times to speak. The women have the same responsibility to God as the men do.
And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.
This is a woman’s work and gospel, also.
I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also. Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well beloved Epaenetus, who is the first fruits of Achaia unto Christ. Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us. Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. Greet Amplias my beloved in the Lord. Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ, and Stachys my beloved. Salute Apelles approved in Christ. Salute them which are of Aristobulus’ household. Salute Herodion my kinsman. Greet them that be of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord. Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord. Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them. Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them.
The women Paul mentions here are workers in the gospel as much as the men. God can use us all. Women are needed in the church.
Lena Matthesen had as much to do with the establishment of this congregation as Ed Matthesen did. She was a preacher in her own right before she ever came to Oklahoma. Sis. Gunter pastured here for several years. Sis Wilma preached here sometimes and in other places. Sis Davis was a good example and a true minister of God. Some men would have done well to listen to what she had to say. What we have today was influenced by mothers in Israel. We want that to continue. The gospel needs all the workers it can get. There isn’t one we can tell that "we have no need of you." All of us must do what we do decently and in order, with modesty and decorum. God has a work and would have us all fill our place within it.
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
We’re all children of God and part of the body of Christ, whether we’re male of female. God wants to use us all. He wants to be lifted up in the lives of each one. We all need to give ourselves wholly to him and his work. God still calls women today.