(Go to Meeting)

Michael Heiss—July 30, 2021

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{transcriber's note: the Hebrew words used in this message cannot be verified for correct spellings}

We're going to look into a subject that has intrigued me for many, many years: the role of women! God made women and He made men. He made them to have a relationship with each other. But exactly is that relationship.

It's often been said that we're a 'man's society':

  • male chauvinist pigs
  • me man, you woman
  • woman is the servant of the man

Even in different church eras we've had the same thing. But when you really look into the Hebrew—which we're going to do, and you see what God really said about women—nothing could be further from the truth.

They are every bit the equal of men! God praised them and gave every married woman, especially, a commission, and we're going to dissect that commission. Wait until we see some examples of that.

We're going to begin with the Apostle Paul! When we read the Apostle Paul we have to remember three things:

  • we're reading somebody else's mail

Paul wrote these letters some 2,000 years ago! We don't always know the complete background of what he was writing about.

  • Peter told us that Paul wrote some things hard to be understood (2-Pet. 3:15-16).
  • we really lack the background to explain what Paul said and why he said what he did

In 1-Cor. 11 Paul gives us a chart of authority and rank. We need to look at that chart and realize that this is just a general chart. There are exceptions to in everyday life.

1-Corinthians 11:3: "But I want you to understand that the Head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the Head of Christ is God.

So, what we have is a hierarchy. At the top is God the Father, beneath Him is the risen Christ, beneath Him is the man, and beneath the man is the woman.

  • But what does that really mean?
  • To what extent does one have direct authority over the other?

After all, if a woman wants to pray, she's not going to pray to the man. She's going to by-pass him. She's going directly to the Father. So, man has nothing to say when it comes to the woman praying or what she's going to pray about.

We need to realize that. In this thing, we have three things to look at. First of all we do have God to Christ.

Matthew 28:18—Christ makes a striking statement: "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.'"

For one thing, Christ got His old job back, like running the universe. That takes a lot of power and a lot of energy and authority. But wait a minute, if all authority was given to Christ then the Father is really not saying much of anything. He's not, because He knows that His Son is not going to do anything that He would disapprove of! Christ and the Father are One:

  • in mind
  • in spirit
  • in heart
  • in goal

So, the Father had delegated everything that you can imagine to Christ!

Jesus will run it as He sees fit, because He knows what is best for the Kingdom at that particular time and location, and the Father agrees.

The next best thing we have on earth to something like that would be Joseph and Pharaoh in Egypt. We know the story. Joseph was sold into slavery and he winds up in prison where Pharaoh's prisoners are. The baker and the butler had dreams, and Joseph interprets those dreams. Then Pharaoh has his big dream, the seven fat cattle and the seven lean cattle; stalks of grain: healthy ones and weak ones. But the Pharaoh doesn't know the answer. So, he summoned Joseph and Joseph comes and interprets the dream.

Joseph interprets in such a way that Pharaoh is immeasurably impressed, because he shows the problem but then he offers of solution. Rulers love that! When you can show the problem and then provide the solution. Finally, in:

Genesis 41:37: "And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. And Pharaoh said to his servants, 'Can we find any man like this in whom the Spirit of God is?'" (vs 37-38).

I'm not trying to say that Pharaoh really knew the real God or had a direct relationship with Him, but he knew there was a 'Higher Power' and that 'Higher Power' had spiritual energy, and that energy somehow was given to Joseph. Pharaoh knew that and he sensed that Joseph was the best man to handle this problem and would administer the government in the best interest of Pharaoh and Egypt!

Verse 39: "And Pharaoh said to Joseph, 'Since God has shown you all this, no one is as discreet and wise as you. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall obey your word. Only in the throne will I be greater than you'" (vs 39-40).

Just like the Father and Christ! In the highest of thrones, God the Father is Supreme! But everything else the risen Christ rules. Likewise, Pharaoh says:

Verse 40: "'You shall be over my house, and all my people shall obey your word. Only in the throne will I be greater than you.' And Pharaoh said to Joseph, 'See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.' And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand and put it upon Joseph's hand. And he dressed him with fine linen robes, and put a gold chain around his neck" (vs 40-42).

The point is, Joseph was as Pharaoh to the people of Egypt. Pharaoh said, 'Whatever you need to do, do! You have my ring, my signet, my authority; I don't second guess you.'

He never did and Pharaoh never had to worry about it! Joseph sailed right on through. God was with him and we know the story.

In a like manner, so is a man to a woman. I had a direct experience in that. When I lived in Pasadena there's was a bakery that I really grew fond of. The reason that I grew fond of it was because they had my two favorite goodies.

I got to know the owners, a husband and wife team. The man was a genius behind it; he was the baker, in the back producing all the goodies. He didn't have time for anything else, so who ran the bakery? She did! Everything! She was in the front, manned the cash register, took in the money, did the banking, checked on inventories, supplies, materials, the vendors—whatever needed to be done, she did!

The husband never second-guessed her. She ran that bakery. Remember the old sign that says: Do you want to speak to the man in charge, or to the woman who knows what's going on?

  • the Father designated, delegated to Christ
  • Pharaoh delegated to Joseph
  • this husband delegated to the wife

He was her head, theoretically, according to the chart. But in actual practice, she was her own woman. She did it and he was so happy she did.

Now we need to go to the creation of man and woman. No better place to start than Gen. 1, which is a magnificent ode to creation. There are 31 verses there, and you can start out there:

Genesis 1:3: "And God said, 'Let there be light.' And there was light."

Verse 6: "And God said, 'Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.' And God made the firmament, and divided the waters, which were under the firmament from the waters, which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament heaven. And the evening and the morning were day two. And God said, 'Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together to one place, and let the dry land appear.' And it was so" (vs 6-9).

All the way through God created everything by fiat; He spoke the word and it was so, with one major exception! The biggest of them all: man!

God wasn't going to do that by fiat. He was going to do that Himself!

Verse 26: "And God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of heaven and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that crawls upon the earth.' And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him. He created them male and female. And God blessed them…." (vs 26-28).

How did God do it? We're not told here! We've got to go to Gen. 2 for the information. That gives us the detail.

Genesis 2:7: "Then the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being."

What we have here is that God, as it were, descending slowly from the heavens, de-powering, powering down. Can you imagine that if God actually set foot on the earth in His full glory what would happen to the whole area? It would be black and you wouldn't have anything there! His glory was so great!

So, He powers down and then it says that He "…formed man…"—coddled man! He manipulated man, created and had-crafted the man! Remember, God knew that this was going to be the prototype for His creation. Those who were one day going to be in His Kingdom. He was going to do it right! To perfection!

Now, we get a little play on words here in the Hebrew, which I thought was interesting, and I thought you might be interested, too.

It says that "Then the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground…"

From the English it doesn't matter, but it is interesting that the man is called 'Adm.' Later on he gets the name Adam. But at first, it's the 'adm, 'which means the man, the human! And he came from the ground. So, why does God name him Adm? Because the Hebrew word for ground 'adme.'

How did 'adme' become 'Adm'? It's a play on words. Man is of the earth, or if you want to use some science fiction phraseology, he was an earthling. He was of the ground.

But then God says, 'It's really not good that man is alone.' What God really has in the back of His mind is:

Oh, this poor guy, he doesn't know which end is up. He needs help; he needs a woman to help him out, to set him straight.

Women see and react differently. They provide a side of man that man does not have. I remember opening the refrigerator looking for some mayonnaise and I said, 'Nancy, do you know where the mayonnaise is?' Yeah, it right there on the third shelf on the right! I go looking and no it isn't, it's not here. She rolls her eyes, gets up, walks to the refrigerator, opens it up and there it is. It wasn't there a minute ago! Sure it was, I couldn't see it, but she could.

God knows that the man needs help. So now what we're going to find here is some special details.

Verse 18: "And the LORD God said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make a helper compatible for him.'"

We're going to dissect these two words, because there is so much in those two words,

Verse 21: "And the LORD God caused a deep sleep…['thrdme' to fall over Adam, and he slept. And He took one of his ribs, and afterward closed up the flesh underneath. Then the LORD God made the rib (which He had taken out of the man) into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said, 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh….'" (vs 21-23).

This was Adam saying this, but the question is: How did Adam know that she was bone of his bones, flesh of his flesh? From the English we would never know. But if you read the Hebrew and understood it… For decades I read right over this and never got it until I was forced to go into the Hebrew.

It says here in v 21: "…God caused a deep sleep…" That is not an ordinary word for sleep. That's a special word for sleep. It's almost like being in a trance. It's like in special state of being. When you're in that state, even though you're sound asleep, so to speak, you can still see and hear.

What we're going find is that Adam was on his back wherever and had an out-of-body experience. He watched God in real time work on his body. He opened him up, took out whatever He took out and made the woman, formed that woman. Adam saw her, recognized her, he knew her so that when God was finished closing up Adam and bringing the woman to him, he could say, "…bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh….'" Adam saw it happen!

How do we get that? Let's see the same word as it is used in Gen. 15! This is a very interesting story. But for the sake of time we're not going to go into it very much. We are going to simply concentrate on v 12. This is part of the maledictory oath. This is the maledictory oath and sacrifice about to take place.

Genesis 15:12: "And it came to pass, as the sun was going down, that a deep sleep…. ['thrdme'; the same word (Gen. 2:21] …fell upon Abram."

Verse 13: "And He said to Abram, 'You must surely know that your seed shall be sojourners in a land that is not theirs (and shall serve them and they shall afflict them) four hundred years.'"

How could Abram possibly hear Him if he's sound asleep, to the point where a Patton's army couldn't wake him up. He was in a state of being where he could see and hear; he heard what God said. Go didn't waste His time. But without understanding the Hebrew you would never get it.

What we really want to look at is the fact that the translation, the Old Testament to the Greek, in about 270B.C. in the days of the colonies, the Hebrew scholars, when translating them to Greek, came across 'thrdme.' What Greek word did they use.

Actually it's two words: 'ek stasis'—outside of self—if you listen to 'ek stasis' long enough you might hear ecstasy, ecstatic, delirious or happy. In fact if you take the drug 'ecstasy' you will be out of your mind.

If you're in a state of 'ek stasis' you are. This pictures to the Greek the man actually having an out of body vision. That's what the Greek means. When Hebrew and Greek scholars talk about the meaning of words, they're usually pretty good. When it comes to the understanding of the meaning of the words, they know what they're doing.

So, here was Adam almost having a front row seat while he saw God working on him, cutting him in half, as it were, and making the woman.

Even the Greek has it. Remember what Paul talked about that he knew a man and couldn't remember where he was; he's talking about himself. Well, the exact same thing here.

Now, something a little cute maybe. God handcrafted the woman. When God got through with that woman, she was a 10+; so God man the man and the woman to specification. When Adam said, "…bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh…" the Hebrew explains that 'she's a part of me. I'm of her, she is of me; we are:

  • bone of bone
  • flesh of flesh
  • mind of min
  • being of being

They were one unit!

You can't have one superior to the other. They make up one full unit. Both equal. Different functions, but they are equal. The man is not superior to a woman.

Now we look at this thing called 'rib.' God took a rib out; but actually it's not really 'rib.' In fact, the truth is there's no Hebrew word for 'rib.' You will find 'rib' in English. The real meaning of it is 'side.'

We're going to look at two Scriptures and see that. This is where the Ark and the tabernacle is being worked on.

Exodus 25:12: "And you shall cast four rings of gold for it, and shall put it on its four feet. And two rings shall be in the one side… [same word in Gen. 2] …of it, and two rings on the other side of it."

This isn't a rib, part of the human body. This is a side. How big can the side be? We will see in the episode where Absalom is chasing David out of Jerusalem. They're fleeing:

2-Samuel 16:13 "And David and his men went by the highway. And Shimei went along on the hillside…" [same word]/

So, this side could be a massive side. Want to climb Mt. Everest? Mt. Whitney? Mt. McKinley? Shall we climb the north side, the south side? The same!

Though it doesn't change any of the meaning, it's that God didn't take a small part of the man and build it into a woman. He took out a whole side and the Hebrew tells us that this is for equality. Again, man and woman are equal!

Paul also said that 'in the Lord they are equal.' Man is of the woman and woman is of the man, there's no distinction.

However, we are going to look at the great commission that God gave all married women. If we had all known this, we would be a lot better off in how we handle family relations.

Genesis 2:18: "And the LORD God said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make a helper compatible [suitable] for him.'"

Helper—Hebrews: 'ezer'

  • superior officer
  • subordinate

You don't know; it doesn't say!

Psalm 70:5: "But I am poor and needy; make haste unto me, O God; You are my help…"—'ezer'

In fact, it's estimated that 98% of the time that when the word 'ezer' is connected with an entity or being, it's God. So, you know when God said that He's going to make helper for Adam, He's not going to make anybody that's less than he is. God does not consider this helper somehow inferior to Adam. He doesn't!

Compatible: 'k ngd u'—full meaning: 'ezer k ngd u'

This is talking about 'mirror image.' You've heard the term 'spitting image,' that's what it is, a mirror image.

Remember the last night of Christ's life, He's teaching His disciples Passover night, and His disciples asked Him, 'Show us the Father.' Jesus answered, 'Look! If you've seen Me, you've seen the Father.'

If the woman is going to be a mirror image to the man, if you've seen the man, you've seen the woman; if you've seen the woman, you've seen the man!

  • hair
  • eyes
  • nose
  • mouth

I know that one is male and one is female, so we have some alterations there. But the basic form is the same. She's a mirror image! But there's something else. There's a militant aspect to this, which you just have to know from the Hebrew. If you've got The Faithful Version:

Genesis 2:18: "…I will make a helper compatible for him." There's a star; go to the center margin and you will read 'counterpart'—a sustainer beside him! The woman is to be:

  • a fighter
  • a companion
  • a support
  • to stand alongside him

If you remember Tammy Wynette, she was a good singer and her most famous song was Stand By Your Man!

But there's a flipside to that! In addition to standing beside him—fighting for him, supporting him—when you see he's wrong, not doing something he should, or if he's doing something he shouldn't, you obligated to point that out to him. And in some cases, in no uncertain terms.

Now that we have that down, we are about to witness—looking to the biggest example I can think of 'ezer k ngd u'—of a woman who was faithful to her husband, followed him everywhere, but at one point, just erupted and withstood him.

SARAH:

God intervened to back her up. Fascinating story. We know the couple, her name is Sarah, and her husband was Abraham. I'm going to bring us up to date on the story:

Gen. 11—God calls Abram out of the Chaldees and they stopped at a place called Haran, which is north of Mesopotamia; then Terah dies.

God issues His famous call the Abram (Gen. 12:1-3) and the complete the trek over the top and down in to the land of Canaan.

Then famine strikes. They leave a nice Er of the Chaldees, nice house to live in a tent. I'm a male so I can't quite think the way a woman would, but I can kind of maybe think of it. Here you are in a nice house in Er of the Chaldees. You have a living room, kitchen, furniture, all your cooking ware and one day your husband comes in and says., 'Come on, dear, pack all the bags, we're heading north, we're getting out of here.'

I can see Sarah maybe thinking it, but didn't say it, 'We're doing what??!!' We're going where??!! You don't see that! You don't hear it! She might have thought it, but she follows him dutifully. She's following her husband.

When they get together in the tent, that's a come down! And famine strikes and they have to go to Egypt! Abraham says, 'Now look, Sarah, we have a problem here. You're a beautiful woman, I'm your husband and when we get to Egypt they're likely to take me and kill me and take you. So, why don't you say that you're my sister.'

I can't imagine what could happen in Pharaoh's harem. That's why God plagued them, to make sure it didn't happen. Up they come and finally the blessed event arrives, the birth of Isaac:

All this time Sarah had been a dutifully submissive wife as far as we know. Look what happens in Gen. 21: Isaac is born and three years later there is the feast through the weaning, and:

Genesis 21:9: "And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian (whom she had borne to Abraham) mocking."

We don't know what that was, but it was menacing to Sarah. If there' s anything that will tick off a mother… I don't care how sweet, loving and cute she is, you oppose a threat to her children and she will turn into a rampaging bear or charging bull. Like a bear in the woods with cubs, oh please stay away from those cubs; don't get anywhere near or you're going to have 500 pounds of female bear come charging you. She will tear you to shreds.

Verse 10: "And she said to Abraham, 'Cast out this maidservant and her son, for the son of this maidservant shall not be heir with my son, with Isaac.'"

In the Hebrew this isn't a command, it's an imperative! 'We need to talk.' Oh no, went POW! GET HER OUT OF HERE! Abraham doesn't know what to do!

Verse 11: "And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son." Remember that Ishmael was Abraham's firstborn!

It's true that Sarah had Isaac as her firstborn, but Isaac was also the son of promise! In Isaac shall the seed be called.

Verse 12: "And God said to Abraham, 'Let it not be grievous in your sight because of the boy and because of your maidservant. In all that Sarah has said to you, hearken to her words, for in Isaac your seed shall be called.'"

Sarah saw that! Abraham didn't; he was blind to it, because Ishmael was his firstborn. He doted on Ishmael. Yes, he was so happy to have Isaac, too, but he couldn't see the danger. Sarah could! Finally, of all things God says to hearken to Sarah! We know in Hebrew that is 'sama': meaning to hear and to obey!

Verse 13: "And also, I will make a nation of the son of the maidservant because he is your seed.'

So, here we have God in essence telling Abraham, obey your wife! "…hearken to her words…" What? I thought the man was the head of the woman, and here God says to listen to her, obey your wife!

So, you see that nice, neat chart, that scale: God the Father, Christ, man, woman. Over all that's true. Yes, that the family unit that could only be one to make the final decision. That's true! But in specific instances, it can be very different. And it was here.

Two things you want to notice about Sarah:

  • she did not step out of bounds

She went through the channels. She went to her husband. She didn't take a broom and shove Hagar out; she went to her husband and said, 'Get this woman out of here.' She dutifully respected her husband.

  • she also knew that in order for her family to survive properly, she had to get that woman out of there.

So, she said, 'Abraham, we're going to have nothing but problems.' Finally, Abraham saw. But here we have an example of a woman, a wife, who stood up to her husband and she went out with daggers in her eyes.

She was very protective of her son Isaac. That's an example, the best example I know of, of a woman dutifully following her husband, but yet, stepping in when the time came.

MIRIAM:

Now let's take a look at another example: Miriam sister of Moses and Aaron who was a high priest. We first meet Miriam as a young girl following the little baby Moses in the rushes and Pharaoh's daughter sees him. She went up and sees that this is a Hebrew boy.

That sly Miriam goes up to Pharaoh's daughter and say, 'Would you like me to get you a Hebrew nurse?' She got Moses' mother to do it! She was crafty, this Miriam.

Exodus 15:20: "And Miriam the prophetess…"

What makes one a prophetess? God speaks through you! Not necessarily foretelling the future—though prophets certainly did that, too—but God speaks through you.

"…the sister of Aaron, took a drum in her hand, and all the women went out after her with drums and with dances. And Miriam answered them, 'Sing to the LORD…'" (vs 20-21).

Who gave Miriam the authority to do that? Shouldn't the man Moses have done it? Miriam was a prophetess. God worked through her, and honored her. Miriam just went and did it, and God never objected.

Of course, Miriam got a little bit 'too big for her britches' so to speak. In spite of what we're going to see, God still honored Miriam.

Numbers 12:1: "And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had taken, for he had taken a Cushite woman. And they said, 'Has the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? Has He not also spoken by us?' And the LORD heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all the men on the face of the earth.)" (vs 1-3).

Meek means that he did not seek power! He did not seek to rule over others. Remember what God had to do to get him to take the job of moving Israel out. That's what it means by meek. It wasn't weak, Moses was not weak at all.

God was upset with Miriam and Aaron for speaking against Moses. We know what happened; she became leprous and they put her out of the camp for seven days for Miriam to get over her leprosy and come back.

The interesting thing is compare Moses, Aaron and Miriam. They all sinned!

  • Aaron—the golden calf
  • Miriam—speaking against Moses
  • Moses—
    • with his fiery temper killed and Egyptian
    • Then when Moses had the Ten Commandments on tablets hued out by God, he comes down the mountain, sees the golden calf and in a rage he smashes the tablets.

Come on, Moses, this was written by God! God gave you these thing!

    • Finally, toward the very end, God told Moses to speak to the Rock, because the Rock represented Christ, and Moses had a bad day. The children of Israel got to him and he struck the Rock!

I don't know if Moses ever fully overcame his temper!

But we can be thankful to see those examples, as Paul said are for us, because God honored all three. Look at what God said through the Prophet Micah:

Micah 6:4: "For I brought you up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of slaves; and I sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam before you"—all three!

Miriam was not subservient, not subordinate; God honored all three. Just think: if they sinned the way they did and the will be in God's Kingdom, take heart my brothers and sisters, if we repent God will be with us as He was with them.

Here was Miriam, a prophetess of God, and God honored her.

Women Doing Work in the Tabernacle

Now, this is something very minor, but it is interesting, the construction of the tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant.

Exodus 38:8: "And he made the laver of bronze and its base of bronze, from the mirrors of the serving women who were working at the entrance of the tabernacle of the congregation."

In the Hebrew this is doing the work of the tabernacle!

I thought only priests and Levites could work on the sacred utensils, the tapestries and all that. Well, apparently not. These women got elevated to the point where God permitted them to do work in the tabernacle talking to other Levites and priests. Most men couldn't even do that! But God honored these women and let them do that. Maybe a minor thing, but these women, but these women would not think so.

We're also going to look at another woman. We've seen her before very briefly.

HULDAH:

Here in the days of Josiah they found the Book of the Law and they read it. Josiah was absolutely horrified and sat upon ashes. He knew there was trouble ahead. He knew that Israel had sinned grievously. God was going to punish them and Josiah knew it.

2-Kings 22:13—Josiah came to Hilkiah the priest: "Go inquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book which is found, for great is the wrath of the LORD which is kindled against us because our fathers have not hearkened to the words of this book to do according to all which is written concerning us'"

Verse 14: "Then Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. And she lived in Jerusalem in the second quarter. And they talked with her. And she said to them, 'Thus says the LORD God of Israel. Tell the man who sent you to me'" (vs 14-15). Just like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea!

Remember what makes a prophet or prophetess, God speaks through you. God was now speaking directly through her. Not through her husband. Why wasn't he a prophet? God didn't choose him to be a prophet! God chose the woman to be a prophetess.

God elevates women, He honors them!

Verse 15: "And she said to them, 'Thus says the LORD God of Israel. Tell the man who sent you to me, "Thus says the LORD…"'" (vs 15-16).

Then He goes through and talks about the evil that is to God. It was pretty bad, but Huldah was the prophetess.

DEBORAH:

The final example is my favorite woman in all the Old Testament. She was a fiery woman! She was a leader, a gallant woman, a woman of valor, a woman who led the armies of Israel because no man could do it! She did! She was a judge, a prophetess, a songstress and a mother in Israel.

We find over and over again that Israel went a whoring after other gods. They just could not let good enough alone. They couldn't remember: Hear, O Israel, the Eternal is your God! The Eternal alone! He and He only shall you worship'!They just couldn't get it! So:

Judges 4:2: "And the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who ruled in Hazor. The captain of his host was Sisera who lived in Harosheth of the nations. And the children of Israel cried to the LORD, for he had nine hundred chariots of iron. And he mightily oppressed the children of Israel twenty years" (vs 2-3).

In those days, chariots of iron like that were weapons of mass destruction! Not even the Egyptians had iron chariots. God was about to alter the balance of power in that section of the world. He was going to use Deborah and the army of Israel to do it.

Verse 4: "And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, judged Israel at that time."

We believe that she was the wife of a man named Lapidoth, although it doesn't have to because a wife could also mean 'woman.' It's the same word. Lapidoth doesn't have to be the name of a man, it's also means fire, flame.

It could mean that she was a woman man named Lapidoth, or she was a woman of fire! A woman of flame, and that really did fit her personality. She was! And her name—Deborah—actually means bee, like a stinging bee.

It says that she judged Israel at that time.

Verse 5: "And she lived under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in Mount Ephraim. And the children of Israel came up to her for judgment."

    • the leaders
    • the heads of plans
    • men

Coming up to seek judgment from her, a woman! You know what we have here, we've got a Judge Judy! If you've see Judge Judy on television, you know what she's like.

Deborah could handle her own. She dispensed justice! Men and women never complained. She judged righteously. 

Verse 6: "And she sent and called for Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedesh in Naphtali, and said to him, 'Has not the LORD God of Israel commanded, saying, "Go and draw toward Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun? And I will raw Sisera to you… [with his chariots and multitude] …the captain of Jabin's army, at the river Kishon, together with his chariots and his multitude. And I will deliver him into your hands"'" (vs 6-7).

Verse 8: "And Barak said to her, 'If you will go with me, then I will go. But if you will not go with me, I will not go.'

Can you imagine what Deborah must have thought, the look on her face when she heard that? Barak needed Deborah to hold his hand. Look at what Deborah says:

Verse 9: "And she said, 'I will surely go with you. But the journey that you take shall not be for your honor… [no glory for you, Barak] …for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.'…."

You would think this was Deborah, but it's not! It's going to be another woman. God is going to wipe out the Canaanites at the hands of two women! Talk about honor and grace to women.

So, Barak goes, and v 13: "And Sisera gathered all his chariots, nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people with him, from Harosheth of the nations to the river of Kishon. And Deborah said to Barak, 'Up! For this is the day in which the LORD has delivered Sisera into your hand. Has not the LORD gone out before you?'…." (vs 13-14).

Deborah is the commanding officer who says, 'Bugler, sound the charge!' It was Deborah who had to say it. Couldn't a male general somewhere have said it? No! Deborah did!

Barak pursued them and God gave them into the hand of the Israelites. Maybe sometime in the future I can give you a comparison of what happened here and crossing the Red Sea and the storm and earthquake and the power of God on display.

What stopped those chariots was a massive rain storm that was coming down horizontally, Josephus tells us, right into the eyes of the Canaanites, they couldn't see. It was at the back of the Israelites. Chariots, even if they're iron, they don't do well in two or three feet of mud.

Verse 17: "And Sisera fled on his feet to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. And Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, 'Turn in my lord, turn in to me. Do not fear.'…." (vs 17-18).

He had every reason to fear; he was too much of a coward, a whimpering coward!

"…When he had turned aside to her into the tent, she covered him with a rug…. [she gave him a 'blankie'] ….And he said to her, 'Please give me a little water… [he's running scared …to drink, for I am thirsty.' And she opened a skin of milk and gave him a drink, and covered him. Again he said to her, 'Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be when any man comes asking of you, saying, "Is there any man here?" You shall say, "No"'" (vs 18-20).

In reality, that would be accurate! There was no real man there, there was a whimpering coward!

Verse 21: "Then Jael, Heber's wife, took a peg of the tent and put a hammer in her hand, and went softly to him, and struck the peg into his temple, and beat it into the ground, for he was fast asleep and weary. So, he died." That was the end of Sisera!

Judges 5:24: "Blessed among women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be. She shall be blessed above women in the tent."

God said, 'Right on! What he did to My people, how he oppressed them and murdered them, right on, he deserved it.' But God did it at the hands of a woman! No man was up to the job! God honored the women and Jael here!

Verse 25: "He asked for water, and she gave him milk. She brought forth butter in a lordly dish. She put her hand to the peg and her right hand to the workman's hammer. She hammered Sisera; she smashed his head; she pierced and struck through his temple. He bowed between her feet, he fell, he lay down. Between her feet he bowed; he fell. Where he bowed, there he fell down dead" (vs 25-27).

This is a little drawn out, but this is how God pictured it. There was a massive battle! God's angels were at work. They were going to smash and alter the balance of power, the same thing that they did when crossing the Red Sea. A massive thunderstorm, lightening.

Hopefully I'll be able to show you the connection between the two. That's how God smashed the kingdom with a massive rainstorm. Those chariots were stuck in the mud.

Verse 31: "'So, let all Your enemies perish, O LORD. But let them that love Him be like the sun going forth in its glory.' And the land had rest forty years."

Think about it! She judged more than 40 years. The land having rest means 40 years after the death of Sisera. She had been judging for a while before then. So, this Judge Deborah could have been judging for 45-55 years, the longest of any judge.

From this point on it was downhill. Read the rest of the book of Judges and none of them mirrored what Deborah did. A woman has the honor of truly being the best judge recorded in the book of Judges!

Parting words—'ezer k ngd u':

  • a helper suitable
  • a helper companion
  • a loyal helper
  • a faithful helper
  • one who stay with you through thick and thin

If you're a man and you should have a wife:

  • love her
  • treasure her
  • praise her

And be so thankful that the Lord God above gave you an ''k ngd u'

Scriptural References:

  • 1-Corinthians 11:3
  • Matthew 28:18
  • Genesis 41:37-42
  • Genesis 1:3, 6-9, 26-28
  • Genesis 2:7, 18, 21-23
  • Genesis 15:12-13
  • Exodus 25:12
  • 2 Samuel 16:13
  • Genesis 2:18
  • Psalm 70:5
  • Genesis 2:18
  • Genesis 21:9-13
  • Exodus 15:20-21
  • Numbers 12:1-3
  • Micah 6:4
  • Exodus 38:8
  • 2 Kings 22:13-16
  • Judges 4:2-9, 13-21
  • Judges 5:24-27, 31

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • 2 Peter 3:15-16
  • Genesis 11; 12:1-3

MH:bo
Transcribed: 11/8/21

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