Today we continued our study on various women of the bible. Whilst on the coach to Mount Tabor, Pamela referred to Ezekiel 36:24 – 28 where we see that God has been in the cyclical process of breaking and cleansing Israel from idolatry and paganism from the nations. His intention is to sprinkle Israel with the clean water of God’s Holy Spirit. The women that we would learn about today were all at different places with the Lord and had differing encounters with the idolatry and paganism mentioned in Ezekiel and other parts of the bible. Some of these women were on the Lord’s side whilst others were themselves idolaters.
Mount Tabor is a high mountain very close to Nazareth and also a place of pilgrimage to commemorate the Transfiguration. The view from the top is not just beautiful but a high point from which other significant locations can be viewed. From here we could see the Jezreel (meaning God will sow seed) valley where the Midianites and Amalekites pitched together against Israel, the hill of Moreh where the Gideonites camped against the Midianites, Mount Gilboa where Saul was killed by the Philistines, the village of Nain and Bethel the home of Deborah.
Deborah was a charismatic and well respected woman who became a Judge of Israel (Judges 4:4). She was the wife of Lapidoth and had an extraordinary relationship with the Lord, He was her ‘one thing’ that meant the most to her. We know this because Deborah despite being a Judge, counselor, prophetess, strong and assertive did not step out of the role ordained by God. For instance, she still acted in her capacity of a wife and moved out of the way to allow Barak to fulfill his role as a warrior for Israel.
Rev. Taylor explained to us that in God’s kingdom the roles between men and women are very defined. This is not the situation in the secular world when the roles have become very blurred. Deborah was the Judge of Israel but God had prepared a man, Barak, to go to battle and fight against Sisera, the enemy of Israel.
Pamela then showed us the obedience of a woman called Jael. She was in her tent when Sisera came near to it (Judges 4:18). Jael invited him in got him comfortable and when he was asleep, she drove a nail into his temple with a hammer.
From these two women we learn the importance of staying within the boundaries of the ministry that God has given to you as an individual. Jael did not step far from the camp to fulfill her purpose in the battle and Deborah did not step outside of her role as a woman. We need to know who we are in Christ – when we know this we no longer feel the need to compete against others. Only then will our primary goal be to please God.
After this teaching we thanked God for how he had spoken to us and praised God for Rev. Taylor and Pamela, who like Deborah and Jael, were individually led by the Holy Spirit and worked together in a God breathed synchronicity.
During the day we travelled to En Dor, the home of the woman referred to as the Witch of Endor (1 Sam 28:7). En Dor is a fertile place full of trees such as the carab, pomegranate, olive and almond trees. But it was also the home of a woman who was reputed for her contact with spirits. We also visited the Jezreel valley to learn about Jezebel, the wicked wife of King Ahab.
The witch of Endor and Jezebel were both violators of God’s laws. One involved in occult practice and the other a murderer, manipulator and idolater. These women were examples of how not to live. It is so important to be aware of those traits in us that are undesirable so that we can pray against them and become what God wants us to be.