Summary: The third character Sketch from the Bobk of Judges that looks at our gifts and the giftings of others.
On January 30, 1933, Tonto made his first appearance on the Lone Ranger Radio Show on WXYZ Detroit. Tonto was a Potawatomie tribesman who found John Reid dying after he and other Texas Rangers had been ambushed. He nursed the wounded man back to health. When John Reid vowed to clean up the west and took on the identity of the Lone Ranger, Tonto agreed to be his partner in this endeavour.
The Lone Ranger was a famous Texas Ranger, but in his time of need Tonto was there to nurse him back to health and later on become a trusted partner for him. Tonto was a skilled horseman, tracker, excellent shot and a good fighter. Ironically, Tonto did not have his own horse the first two years of the show and after riding double with the Lone Ranger they finally got him a donkey. Tonto saw potential in the Lone Ranger and assisted him in his quest to clean up the west.
We have been working our way through the book of Judges in our series “Character Sketches from the book of Judges. Today I want to look at forth Judge in the series and that is Deborah.
When pastors preach on Deborah they often preach of God providence in the raising up a Godly woman that was in tune with God and delivered her people from ternary. Some have preached leadership sermons comparing the leadership styles of Deborah and Barak the leader of the Israelite army and some have preached sermons supporting women in ministry. I believe there is room for all of these sermons from this text, but today I want to look at this narrative from maybe a new perspective. I want to look at recognizing and celebrating gifts that others have. I touched on that a bit last week and no one asked me what gift I saw in them! You can still ask!
In our society we are taught to look out for number one. We are taught to step on whoever it takes to get to the top. It does not matter how bad we make others look as long as we ourselves come out smelling like a rose. But is that what God has called us to do? Tracie read Romans 12:1-8 for us today and we read that each of us have gifts, we are not lone rangers.
We pick up the story of Deborah from the book of Judges Chapter 4. The people of Israel had fallen back into their sinful life style and they would forget that God had delivered them from Egypt and many other oppressive leaders over the years. They had forgotten about how God had raised up Othniel, Ehud and Shamgar. Once again, things got so bad that they cried out to God to deliver them. Once again, God did, He raised up Deborah. Let’s pick up the story in Judges 4:4.
4. Deborah was a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth. She was judge over Israel at that time. She held court under Deborah’s Palm between Ramah and Bethel in the hills of Ephraim. The People of Israel went to her in matters of justice. She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “It has become clear that God, the God of Israel, commands you: Go to mount Tabor and prepare for battle. Take ten companies of soildiers from Naphtali and Zebulun. I’ll take care of getting Sisera, the leader of Jabin’s Army, to the Kishon River with all his chariots and troops. And I’ll make sure you win the battle.” Barak said,”If you go with me, I’ll go. But if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.” She said, “of course I’ll go with you. But understand that with an attitude like that, there’ll be no glory in it for you. God will use a woman’s hand to take care of Sisera.”
I. Recognizing the gifting of others
Deborah was Judge over Israel and a prophet of God. We think of other great leaders from the Bible who were both ruler of the nation, but also the military leader. Saul and David are good examples. On the other hand, Deborah called for Barak to assemble the army. She was prophet and judge, but we get the picture that the military thing was not her thing even though she had the whole plan in place.
The U.S. President in the commander and chief of the military, but he is not on the ground in Iraq fighting. This is kind of like how Deborah’s role is here.
Barak listens to Deborah’s plan and is ok with it, but states he will only go If Deborah goes with him. This is where we can start reading a lot into this passage of Scripture especially when Deborah replies to him, “of course I’ll go with you. But understand that with an attitude like that, there’ll be no glory in it for you. God will use a woman’s hand to take care of Sisera.”