The cycle that repeatedly plays out in Judges is this: the people sin; God hands them over to an oppressor; they call out to God; God sends a saviour. The next saviour in line is Deborah, a prophetess. And what a woman she must have been. The Israelites came from all over to have her hear their story and pronounce a judgment. So great was she that Barak, leader of the army, will not go into battle without her beside him. But her statement to Barak when she agrees to accompany him is telling: you’ll not get the glory for the victory; a woman will. In that deeply patriarchal society, acknowledgement for a woman’s accomplishment was hard to come by.
Although the world has changed greatly since Deborah’s time, many things haven’t. It is still hard for women to get the chances and recognition they deserve. But not just women. People of colour, persons who have special challenges, people with different orientations, youth, immigrants and many others routinely have to struggle to have equal voice, equal time. It should not be so.
This week we have been talking about kingdom work. Part of that work is to ensure that all people, regardless of who, what, when or where, are valued as people created in and bearing the image of God.
Lord Jesus, help us see you in everyone we meet. Amen. — DAB