Thursday, March 18, 2010

2010 – Mar. 18 – Reluctant Role Reversals

Study from God’s WordJudges, Chapters 4 and 5 … Passage for Reflection: Judges 4: 9 … NIV 9 "Very well," Deborah said, "I will go with you. But because of the way you are going about this, the honor will not be yours, for the LORD will hand Sisera over to a woman."

My Journal for Today: HOT BUTTON!!! Today, as I reflected on the stories, in Chapters 4 and 5 of Judges, what came to mind – and what I’m about to post here as a hot-button issue in my life – may not sit well with some of my more, independent, “liberated” female followers [if there are any out there? ;) ]. But today’s lesson is a good one we need to read in these days where the outcomes of “woman’s liberation” are so apparent in our world.

Deborah was a unique – and most interesting – personage in the history of Israel. There is no doubt, as Dr. Smith points out in his devotional today, that Deborah was a very capable, strong, and decisive leader. But one has to take into account the cultural milieu of her time, which was decidedly male dominated when it comes to political and/or military leadership. And yet, in Deborah’s time, the people, including the men, came to Deborah as their “Judge;” and she decided their directions. And this included the political/military leaders of the day. All you have to do is read Judges 5: 7-8, from the song of Deborah and Barak, to see that male leadership had failed in those days of pagan influences in Israel.

God’s order, whether you like it or not, is to have males at the forefront of leadership, taking their assertive roles as leaders of families, communities, cultures, countries, and yes, … churches. In Deborah’s day, reading Judges, Chapters 4 & 5, we see that God’s order had broken down; and a void in the ability to lead the political structure, as well as the military, had been created; and without any capable or willing male leaders on the scene, God led Deborah into the breech to lead the Israelites; and she did, along with another key woman, Jael, who was needed to help the armies kill a fleeing Cannanite King, Sisera.

As we see in these passages, the question is not whether a woman can lead effectively. Deborah is ample proof that women can lead when they’re called upon – by default or desire – to do so. The question becomes, in light of Godly design, whether women SHOULD be put in roles where there are no men to lead. The wavering passivity of leadership began in the Garden of Eden when Adam balked, stood back, and let Eve take the lead. That led to the curse of God upon women, which you can read in Genesis 3: 16, which, in turn, led to women desiring to take the leadership God had intended for man and for man to overcompensate by trying to “rule” women.

The design for man and for woman is modeled in the marital relationship; and there, as you can read from God’s word in Ephesians 5: 22-33 - [linked], God would have the man take the lead in the marriage, honoring and loving his wife the way that Christ loves His Bride, the church. And the order would have a wife (i.e., woman) respecting and yielding to a capable and loving husband, who would lead as God has intended men to lead families – and by extension whole cultures.

But this was not certainly the case in Deborah’s time; and because if it, God’s people once again, in spite of a generation of numbing military peace, were led toward disobedience and disastrous consequences in their history. You may not like my position being state here; but God does not intend for a family, a church, a community, or, I believe, a country to be led by a woman. And when that happens, I see it is because a void of God intended, male-led, leadership which has been cast on the scene. When men become passive and surrender to female leadership, God cannot impart His enabling and empowering grace in the same way He could or would if men were taking their rightful roles of assertive leadership, … following God and pursuing His grace the way they should.

We see this today with default, dead-beat dads taking a hike in our world; and the results become fatherless kids and a social plague of gangs, drugs, and destruction in our world. We see this with husbands not honoring and loving their wives the way they should and not taking the spiritual leadership in their homes; and the results are broken marriages, broken families, and broken communities. We see this with churches, which are being led by women. And God cannot, and will not, honor a church with His Spiritual power when it’s led by a woman, especially with men cowering and not taking their designated and God-led roles as leaders.

Where are the men in our world? Where are the leaders? Where is God when the men are not there to take their place in leadership? You look at our world and answer these questions.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, help me to be the man I need to be in my family, in my church; and in my world. Amen

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