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May 08, 2022

Lessons from the Ladies | Mother’s Day 2022

Lessons from the Ladies | Mother’s Day 2022

Speaker: Matt Petty

Series: Stand Alone Message

Category: Sunday Sermons

Keywords: worship, faith, jesus, sunday, god, sermon, gospel, hope, believe, bible study, mothers day, live music, livestream, burnt hickory baptist church, gods calling, dealing with temptation, burnt hickory worship, deborah in the bible, women leadership, bible, old testament, israel, judges, celebration, temptation, christianity, mother, mom, deborah, baptist church, mama, bible stories, happy mothers day

We celebrate mothers and mother figures today on this special Sunday, and we dive into scripture to see some principles from women in the bible like Deborah. God calls and equips both men and women for leadership in his kingdom. We also see that women can lead and flourish inside of God’s design for our lives. God does his greatest work through simple acts of obedience, and he never needs our ability, just our availability. God has a specific call for your life, and the greatest temptation is not to do evil, but to sit back and do nothing. Are you aware of God’s calling for you life? Are you making yourself available and willing to do his will? Are you consistently being obedient? As always, if you’ve got questions or want to talk or pray with someone, just reach out – burnthickory.com/next.

I'm sorry, Mom. For all the endless piles of laundry. Arms up I'm sorry for not giving you one moment of silence. I'm sorry. For everything. I'm sorry, Mom. For all those times that I came home late. I'm sorry for was fighting with my brother. For treating you like an ATM machine. For breaking your heart over and over by thinking I knew better. Parenting is the hardest thing I've ever done. But I've learned how to do it from you. Thank you for teaching me that giving of myself is the strongest way to live. That allowing my kids to fail will teach them the greatest lesson. Thank you for teaching me that I can go one more day. That parenting is the greatest honor in the world. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. All right.

Well, happy Mother's Day. In fact, if you're a mom in the room, can the rest of us just appreciate you for a minute? Can we give them a hand today? Oh, man. Amen. I mean, the reality is without our mothers two thirds of us probably wouldn't be here today. How many of you didn't get that joke? All of us wouldn't be here today. And, man, our moms are so, so special, and they carry so many roles in our lives.

I was thinking this week about all the things that my mom taught me growing up. My mom taught me religion one day when she said, you better pray that comes out of the rug. My mom taught me about some time travel one day when she said, if you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into next week. My mom taught me logic when she said, because I said so. That's why. Remember that one? That was the best one of the kids of the eighties. My mom taught me irony when she said, Keep crying. I'll give you something to cry about. Remember that? That scarred us. That's why we are where we are today. My mom taught me about endurance as a kid when she said, You going to eat that broccoli or are you going to sit there all night long? She taught me about the weather. When she looked at my room, it said, meant to look like a tornado came through this place. She taught me about the circle of life, didn't they? When she said, I brought you into this world and I could take you out. My mom taught me about behavior modification. When she said, stop acting like your dad. My mom taught me about anticipation. When she said those famous words, just wait till your dad gets home. Right? And my personal favorite. My mom taught me about justice when she said, one day you're going to have kids. And I pray they're just like you. Tell me you can't relate to just a couple of those things. And I don't know you can.

But the reality is and those are funny, but the reality is, is that that our moms are incredible. That she they taught us so much and not only taught us they were our biggest cheerleaders They were our mobile medics. Right. They took care of us. They were our Uber drivers. They were our coaches. Along the way, they were our schedule makers. They were our playdate people. You didn't call them playdates when I was a kid. But you do now evidently. They were the people that kept the family straight. And they did all of that while dealing with dad. Amen? All of that. Today, I just want to say a big thank you, not only to my mom, but also the mother of my kids who without her, we're coming apart in our house. And that's how a lot of our houses are. I want to do something a little bit special today for the moms in the room and really actually for all of the ladies that are present. You know, as you watch the history of Mother's Day, Mother's Day was created somewhere around the fourth century A.D. and it was actually created by a church to set aside a day of the year to give thanks to not only just biological mothers, but also our spiritual mothers, those that have spoken into our lives, those that have done the work of the Lord in our lives. And they set this day apart to hold these ladies up, to honor them, to say thank you for what they did in us, thank you for what they're doing in the church, and thank you for what they do. In the community. So today is for all the ladies as well as just for anyone who has ever had a mom in our lives. And what I want to do today is I want to watch how God highlights a couple of ladies in Scripture to do an amazingly mighty act on behalf of the Lord. We going to do it by looking at one of my favorite Old Testament lady verses lady scriptures and it's one of those that it's not like a normal one that we speak about a lot.

Actually, most of the time when we're reading it, we're just doing our best to get through the book of judges. All right, so if you got a copy of Scripture, I want you to turn on me this morning to Judges chapter four. Judges chapter four. You have probably never heard a Mother's Day message out of the book of Judges. But let's be honest, sometimes that's what a mama is, right? She is the judge in our lives, as you're finding it. Let me remind you a few things about the book of judges. The Book of Judges is a book that highlights some people that God rises up to lead his people, the Israelites, during an incredibly traumatic time. There are groups of people that come from different walks of life, different areas of life, and it's called The Book of Judges, not because it's about a bunch of court cases, like an old Matlock issue. Right. But it's a book about these people that God has said, I'm putting them in this place for this time. God also in the book of judges, shows us how he uses people. A lot of times that no one thinks they're going to be used. He uses the oppress. He uses those that no one picks. He uses those that I, quite frankly, would not be anyone else's selection. In the leadership process. But he calls them out, uses them in his kingdom, and sets them on a path to where they can be useful to God.

Today's story is one of those occasions, and actually today's story puts the focus on ladies when ladies were an incredibly oppressed people in culture, they were a group of people that didn't do anything outside of the home, really. They were a group of people that just had men to speak for them, and they took care of the family. The text today shows us an incredible example of how God uses ladies as well as how God has charged us to take the example of some of these ladies in our lives. And He does it by telling the story of Deborah and this lady of Jael. Deborah starts it, Jael finishes it. You're going to see it in just a minute. So, I wanted to jump into the story. We can start Judges Chapter four. We're going to walk through the whole story because it is a great, great story. Starting in verse one. Here we go. Read along with me again. The Israelites did evil in the sight or in the eyes of the Lord. That's probably one of the most famous verses in all of the Old Testament. It shows up around every 40 verses. It seems like why because they're always doing evil, right? They're always messing up. Kind of sounds like a lot of us. Now, Ehud was dead now. Ehud was the judge that was before this. He was the South Paw judge. I don't know why they hated on lefties back in the day, but for some reason, they saw it as a curse.

Now, I'm not hating on you just reading the text, right? Here it is, verse two. So, they walked away. So, the Lord sold them into the hands of Jabin the King of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor Sisera. This is the bad guy in the story, just to let you know, was the commander of his army, and he was based in Harosheth Haggoyim, because he had 900 chariots fit with iron and had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for 20 years. They cried out to the Lord for help. Now stop there. Let's catch up with a story. So, this is interesting. A- because they waited 20 years to cry out for help, how bad did it have to get in two decades to where finally they turned and went, We're not getting anywhere. We need some help. But they did. Second thing in this first part, I want you to notice that these iron chariots. Now, that doesn't sound like a whole lot to us today, but today's language would be the Apache helicopter or the Abrams tank or something that is an advanced tool or weaponry of war that this guy or this evil army had 900 of them. And you know how many the Israelites had? That's right. Zero they had none. That's why they never fought them. They never came up on them. They lived in this absolute fear. Don't mess with them, they will mow down all of us. Did you know one of these chariots with iron clad armor on it could mow down dozens and dozens and dozens of foot soldiers without even stopping? All right, keep going. Verse four Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. She held court under the palm of Deborah. I don't know what you have to do to get a tree named after you, but she did. Between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided. She sent for Barak. All right, he is the good commander. She sent for Barak, the son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, The Lord, the God of Israel commands you go and take with you 10,000 men of Naphtali and Zebulon and lead them up to Mount Tabor. I this is God speaking, right? Well, lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin's army with his chariots and troops to the Kishon River, and I will give him into your hands. Verse 8, Barak said to her, if you will go with me, I will go. But if you will not go with me, I won't go. Watch verse nine. You can kind of read this through Deborah's like, Really? OK, watch. Certainly, I will go with you, said Deborah. But because of the course you are taking the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman. So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh. Now, here's what we're thinking. We're thinking when you read this. Oh, Deborah's about to roll, right?

We're reading that all the judge is about to take over. She's about to go and smote this other army. Deborah is about to save the day. He is going to deliver this other army into the hands of a lady. To which I would say, not so fast. All right, don't go there yet, because the story continues. Verse 10, there Barak summons Zebulun and Nahtali, and the 10,000 men went up under his command. Deborah also went up with him. Verse 11 now, Heber, the Kenite, You know Heber, right? The Kenite. No, you don't know. Nobody knows who this guy is. He's a random guy in scripture, right? Now Heber the Kenite had left to the other Kenites, the descendants of Hobab, Moses' brother-in-law, and pitched his tent by the great tree in Zaanannin near Kedesh. Now, stop there for a minute because you're thinking what I'm thinking, and I'm still thinking it. I've been studying this all week. That is the most random thing ever. We're about to see this epic battle scene, right? We're about to have this incredible movie type event in the Valley. They're about to do this thing. And now we're talking about Heber pitching his tent out in the wilderness. They make it a wilderness camp for his family. It's so random. Why do we care that they made a wilderness camp well, that's a great question, and we're going to see that in a minute because it's not random? It's actually super important. Let's get back to the story, right? Because what happens Deborah gives the marching orders, she sends them out. She directs Barak to take the Army down into this to this basin of Mount Tabor. And what we don't know, unless you study all those maps in the back of your Bible, which is like three of you, while I'm preaching, is this. That valley all came down into this plain at the bottom of this valley. And formed a basin where water really had nowhere to go. And it formed this incredible marshland during the rainy season. The problem was it wasn't the rainy season. It was the dry season in this part of the world. It does not rain during the dry season. Well, God said, hey, send your army over here to this little river basin during the dry season so that you would draw out all these chariots into the middle of this thing.

And what we find out in chapter five is that God sends a freakish rainstorm in the middle of the dry season. That's not a big deal here in Georgia. It's kind of like snow in August here in Georgia. That's what it would be equating to. And because of that, these 900 chariots get stuck in the swamp, and they can't go anywhere. Tell me God doesn't have an incredible imaginative sense of humor. So now watch what happens, verse 14. And Deborah said to Barak, Go, This is the day Lord has given you. He's given Sisera into your hands, has not the Lord gone ahead of you? So, Barak went down to Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him. At Barak's advance, that's when it starts raining, and we find this out in chapter five. You can read it when you get home. The Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and army by the sword, and Sisera got down from his chariot and he fled on foot. Now, clearly a commander didn't do this. That's when you know it got bad. It got so bad that all these drivers of the chariots didn't know how to fight. They just knew how to mow down people. The Israelites came out of nowhere. Evidently, they knew how to walk in the mud. Don't know that part of the story. But then they routed. They killed the whole army. But Sisera takes off running like any good commander would do, right? Takes off running into, now you're catching up with the story, right? Into the wilderness, into the woods. He runs and runs and runs and runs. And finally, after God does, this miracle he's running in the woods makes it a long way. And look at verse 17. Sisera meanwhile, fled on foot to the tent of Jael. You're right.

That's how the Bible works, isn't it? Random becomes not so random. The wife of Heber the Kenite, same one in verse 11, same family there randomly in the middle of the woods right Remember all that talk about God delivering Sisera into the hand of a woman? It ain't Deborah. Read the rest of the story, right? Verse 18. Jael, that's the lady she went out to meet Sisera, and she said to him, Come, my Lord, come right in, come right in. Don't be afraid. It's just so, so humorous. Like come here, mighty warrior, come into my tent, please don't be afraid. So, he entered her tent. She covered him with a blanket. I love it. She covered him with a blanket. Verse 19 I'm thirsty, he said, Please give me some water. Evidently, she didn't have any water. What's the next line? She opened a skin of milk. She gave him a drink and she covered him up. Now, pause there. It's almost like she's like, Come on in, mighty warrior. Have a little rest. Right. Here's some warm milk. Here's a blankie. Let me put you down in the cot. I know you must be tired from all the running away from what's happening here.

So, he lays down. Verse 20. Stand in the doorway of the tent. He told her, If someone comes and asks you, Is anyone there, say no, and he falls asleep from exhaustion. How tired do you have to be to fall? But then again, give me a blanket and warm milk. Let me lay down. I'm out. Right, I'm out. So, you travel with me. You know that's true, right? So, the Warrior's tucked in. He's safe, he's exhausted, he's had some warm milk, and now he's asleep. Look at verse 21. But Jael, Heber's wife picked up a tent peg and a hammer. She went quietly to him while he lay fast asleep and exhausted. She drove the peg through his temple into the ground and he died. Great story.

Great story. How do people not read the Bible? How? Which, by the way, you all know the inerrancy of Scripture. Every word matters in Scripture. Right? But were those three words necessary right there? Did it need clarification after she drove a stake through his temple into the ground that the guy died? I mean, couldn't they have just left it at that moment? I can just see her in my glorified imagination walking out of the tent with a hammer in her hand and just going dropping that hammer, going nailed it. Right? I could just see it. I could just see her in my mind going, nailed it right. Now, look, this is an incredible, incredible, incredible event. But it's more than a story. It's an amazing event. But the question is what piercing truths can we learn from Deborah and Jael from this story? Some of you are going to get that in a minute. But seriously, how can I hammer this home? We need to see what's at stake. We really do. And in this story, I need to quit. All right. No, no. I mean, serious. No more of that. Here's what I want to do. I want to I want to show you three things in this story that are lessons from the ladies. I want to show you three God lessons from the ladies and how he uses them in the story and how he sets us up to walk out what he's calling us to do in our faith.

Number one is this is that God calls and equips both men and women for leadership in his kingdom. He both calls and equips both men and women for leadership in his kingdom. This event shows quite beautifully and probably stronger than almost any other story in the Old Testament of how God uses a lady in a time of culture where men literally did everything in public to be a part of his kingdom plan to save these people. Deborah was a prophet. She was a prophet. In fact, she was a wise prophet. She was a respected prophet. And God had set her in a place of authority as a leader in Israel of the day. Now, throughout the years, some have speculated, All right, quite erroneously, I might add, that the only reason that Deborah was a prophet is because there were no males around to lead. The text doesn't say that there's nothing in the text to indicate that. In fact, some have even said things like, well, the only reason Deborah was a prophet at this time is because Israel was in a huge, chaotic moment. And to participate in the chaos, Deborah stepped up and led here. But that's just that's just crazy talk of history that is not in the Bible. The opposite is actually true. If you read almost any Old Testament scholar, you will see that Deborah was a bright spot in the middle of Israel's history of deliverance. That she was a godly lady. She led with class, she led with character, she led with a calling that God had on her life. And when we read the story of Deborah, we yes, we read it through the lens of the Old Testament. But as every story in the Old Testament, we also need to read it through the lens of what God is doing and showing us in the New Testament. And in the New Testament, it also teaches us that God's call on ladies’ lives has been to play a huge role, a huge role in His kingdom, that God values them. He speaks into them. He uses them. And Deborah is a lady that shows us this. She shows us that it's not just a men's game to be part of the Kingdom of God.

Ladies are called to do that. You see, in the New Testament, there is nothing in the New Testament that indicates that women don't have access to the leadership and the teaching gifts that men have. There's nothing there. In fact, there's many verses that actually affirm that. Now, hear me, the access to leadership and teaching are there. They are present, they are available. But God has called us to use them. In specific ways and specific roles. And He set us apart and called us to do specific thing. Men and women are not called to use them in the same roles, but God has given all of us the ability to hear from him, to serve Him, to minister in his name, to be his mouthpiece. You see, there's been this myth through the church for generations and generations that we should celebrate guy's gifts and we should lift them up. We should pay for them. We should send them to the places. But the reality is, men's gifts are great. They should be celebrated and lifted up. But women also are called to be his tools, to be as daughters and to be lifted up. And there's nowhere in Scripture that says that men should lead in these huge, massive authority places. And the ladies should be back in the kitchen, a VBS serving barrel drinks and cookies. Right. That is not in Scripture. Men and women both have been called have been sent, have been made his servants. See, the problem with that kind of thinking is that we're all called to live in deep love, deep relationship, deep, meaningful uses in the Kingdom of God. And Deborah's life shows us this. And ladies, she sets you free to lead, sets you free to leave. Now, having said that, I want to reiterate though, that the Bible is very clear in the Old Testament and in the New Testament that there are certain positions in the home. There's certain positions inside the church, the bride of Christ, that God has clearly called men to operate in out of their giftedness, just like there's certain ways that ladies have some gifts that men don't possess.

For example, in the Old Testament, you would never see a lady being a priest. You just don't see it. Deborah doesn't challenge that. You don't see it in the story. In verse eight of the story, we don't see Deborah stepping up and looking at Barak and saying, Hey, I'm going to lead this army get out of my way because I don't like the way you're doing it and nobody else is stepping up. No. She recognizes that's what God has done, and God has called him to do that. We see in verse four that Deborah is identified as part of the House of Lappidoth. Why? Because He was seen as the spiritual head of that home, and she was put into this idea of he is called by God to lead this home spiritually. We see if you flip over to the New Testament in Ephesians five, that Paul explains that because of the order of creation, the pattern that God laid down, that men should carry the burden, and I call it a burden of leading our homes in spiritual leadership. It's what God has put into this, what God has put into our mind in our calling.

We see first Timothy, two and three, that men should also bear the ultimate responsibility and authority in leadership and teaching in the churches an elder pastor, it's just what we see in Scripture. But listen, that is not to imply some sort of inferiority. Don't hear that in it. It's not at all. In fact, in Genesis Chapter two, we see clearly that when God created man and he created women, God created woman ezer kenegdo. That word literally in Hebrew means of the same kind, but another. That's what he created us as. What does that mean? That we're not exactly the same that males and females, we are not created the same. I don't know. Maybe this is news to you, but we are not the same. We don't think the same. We don't smell the same. We don't work the same. We are not the same. We are created, listen to this, to complement each other. That's the beauty of it. Without God's design of us complementing each other, he would create all of us as carbon copies of each other and we would not see the beauty and what God has done in us and for us. He's created you. He's created me, He's created man, he's created lady so that we walk together in compliment of each other, therefore forming the body of Christ. This is where we get that huge theological, confusing term complementarianism, alright? That we complement each other. Now, with that said, I just want to be clear in saying this nothing in the Old Testament and New Testament discourages ladies from living the calling that God has put on their lives the calling.

So, ladies lead, speak, serve, meet needs, speak into people's lives. In fact, let me just give a couple of words to the ladies. Really, it could go for all of us. But number one, ladies, God has a calling on your life. He's got a calling on your life. And I want you to hear that from your pastor this morning. He has a calling in your life. And listen to me, it is not just to sit on the sidelines and marry a man with a calling. It is to live your life out as a daughter of the king. In the calling of the king, that he has made you. You have a call. What are you doing to develop that call? To live in that call. To press into that call. Like Deborah, right? He has a calling on your life. Number two, ladies you need to take the initiative in your personal relationship with God or put the word personal in there yesterday because it needs to be there in your personal relationship with God. You need to take that initiative. Say, Matt, what do you mean by that? Here's what I mean. I've seen so many ladies that sit back and wait on their husband to lead that sometimes, you've got to take your life seriously first in your relationship with Christ, you got to. Or you've gotten so dependent on your husband's faith that you've lost that personal connection with God.

Now, I'm not saying that I'm not getting on that to skew you over in some weird direction. I want to affirm you and release you to know that you can hear from the Lord. Yes. Celebrate the fact that God has put your husband as the spiritual leader of the home. I'm doing a ton of weddings this spring, and we're talking about what does that mean to lead my home? What does that mean to be sacrificial and me pointing my home in the direction of Christ as a male? But ladies, I want you to hear this. You have the capacity to hear the Holy Spirit, so hear him and serve him. In Titus two, Paul talks so much about the importance of the spiritual and the biological mothers in our lives and in the church. And for so many of us, if you look back on it, you've got to look back at the faithfulness of ladies who heard from the Holy Spirit and who spoke life into you I'll just be transparent. My father did an incredible job of leading our home spiritually. Incredible. There was no doubt that he led that not one of those position of pride, but as a position of calling it was where God wanted him to be. But I'll tell you this. I've heard no, I have I have heard more sermons from my mother than any person on this planet, any person. And I wouldn't be half the person I am today without the wisdom of my mother speaking into my life. That's what we're looking at. Ladies, look, God calls all of us, whether in the home, whether in our circle of influence.

We need you to be connected leaders and daughters of the King. We need you. I promise you. Here's number three, ladies. You can lead and flourish like this while respecting God's design. You can. You can. It's how God has made us. Just like we see Deborah here, right? She refused to take the position of leadership that God had already assigned to the male, but she led in her calling. She led. Let me say this. We need more Deborah's in this church. We need more Deborah's in this church to lead. We need more Deborah's in our home to speak courage to our families. We need more Deborah's in society to lead and display faith in times of adversity. Because women are way better than that than we are. Amen. We need ladies in ministry to encourage, to pray, to seek God's wisdom for other people in their life. And at this church, I'm just telling you right now, we are committed to develop the young and the old Deborah's in all of our lives. So that we can serve the kingdom faithfully as a family of God. Because when one suffers, we all suffer. But in this it's not in superseding men being called to be the pastoral authority. And I say that with tenderness, and I just say that as I'm coming behind the scriptures to say, Listen, I'm not celebrating. This is what God's done. I'm just saying, this is how God has made us. Let me say this and move on, because I want to be clear. Complementary ism is not a restrictive box that we checked, but it's a beautiful doctrine to be celebrated. It's a beautiful doctrine of how we all fill different roles in all of our lives. God reveals His image through us in different ways. He's given ladies insight into people's lives and relational sensitivity connectivity that us dudes never would be able to have.

Do you realize I struggled so long when I really got serious about the Bible of Why is it that God called ladies to be a helper? I struggle with that, and I'm not even a lady. I know y'all struggle with it. Until one day I finally realized that there is only one other being in this world that has ever been called the helper in the Bible, and that's the Holy Spirit. Please, I want you to hear that helper doesn't mean let me serve you a barrel drink, and a cookie helper means, Hey, I'm here to pick you up when you fall down. I'm here to help you a direction. I'm here to relationally walk beside you. I'm here to speak wisdom into your life. Hey, I'm here to be a friend when nobody else is a friend to you. And I'm here to be the person that you know that you can rely on. Because that's what the Holy Spirit does. And ladies, that's what God has called you to do.

Ladies, we need you. We need you. We need your community mindset. We need your making decisions. We need your voice in things to be used for the kingdom and in your home and in the spirit of the day. We need that in motherhood, whether that be biological motherhood, a spiritual motherhood, number one, God calls both men and women for leadership. And number two, let's see the other side of the coin. When men fail to lead, the people suffer. When men fail to lead, the people suffer. Look at the story, right? The Israelites are defeated. Sisera is dead, his army is destroyed. And I want you to hear the response of Deborah in chapter five. You need to read chapter five this week. It is a great chapter we don't have time to look at it all today. But chapter five is like her victory speech, like a spoken word. Let's note, she said in verse two, she said, When the princes in Israel take the lead, when the people willingly offer themselves - praise the Lord. Then in verse 13, she starts walking through some of the tribes, and the men are the leaders of these tribes. They started to help. She's like, Hey, those guys from Ephraim, they came, Issachar they helped, the people of Zebulun, they risked their lives. But watch verse 17. Then she begins to call people out for not helping. Verse 17 says Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan and Dan. Why did he linger by the ships? Asher remained on the coast and stayed in his cove.

Look, since my first point was directed at the ladies, let me direct this from straight to the men. I'm going to make it brief. It's Mother's Day. Here it is. And we're pretty brief people. We got a lot of men hanging back by the ships when they ought to be in the fight. That's what Deborah's saying. That's what God is saying right here. In fact, Genesis Chapter three. The first sin indicates that in some way, when the serpent came to Adam, if you remember correctly, the Bible clearly tells us that Adam was with Eve. The serpent came to Eve. Adam is with Eve. You know what the Hebrew of with means standing with. But do we see Adam stepping in on behalf of his wife as her defender and knocking that serpent out of the garden? No. What do we see in that first sin? Adam steps back and lets Eve make a decision not being involved. That's what Deborah is saying. She's saying, men, we need you to lead spiritually. We need you to defend. Here's the man principle. The greatest temptation for man is not to do evil, is to sit back and do nothing. So, what we're seeing in Scripture, it's not me talking. This is Scripture. See, Barak in our story. He's making this mistake, isn't it? He's his old man. He's holding back. He's holding back till finally one day, Deborah is like, Hey, you got to go. You got to fight. You got to live the role that God has called you to live. He was hanging back. Look, there's so many men in this church and the Big C church. Listen, they're not bad people. They're just hanging back by the ships when they ought to be leading for Jesus. That's what it's saying. I was with the International Mission Board presidents and vice presidents, not this week, but last week and they set a whole lot of stuff.

But one of the things that stuck out the most stood out the most to me in knowing that I was in this passage was they were talking about missions across the world. They were talking about the hard places, the hard-to-reach areas, the dangerous places, the places we can't even talk about where we are places. And they said, and I quote of the applicants asking to go to these places the ladies outnumber the men four to one that's the point. Africa Inland Missions says an estimates between 80 to 85% of their single missionaries are females. I realize I look hallelujah ladies stepping up Amen. Being Deborah’s, Amen. But here's two things that I kind of got from that story. Number one, if you're a single dude in the house and you want to meet a Christian lady, you know where to go, right? Go to the mission field, evidently. But number two, men, it's time for us to step up and live and lead and get away from the ships and get into the battle. It's time for us to lead and guarantee you one thing. Your bride will thank you. She won't see that as an offense to her. She'll see that as you fulfilling the role that God has put you in in her life. Deborah says When the prince is lead, praise the Lord. When they hold back, people suffer. Look, Deborah's pretty strong when she talks about it, but even stronger. I want you to hear what the angel says about this. Notice that not only does the angel say that, hey, the people out there suffer. The angel says those that are holding back are going to be cursed. Verse 23 curse Meroz, said the angel of the Lord. Curse its people bitterly. Watch this little conviction here, because they did not come to help the Lord, to help the Lord against the mighty. Do you realize what it doesn't say? It doesn't say that these people did anything bad. It just says they did nothing. They just did nothing. It's not like they're hanging back by their tents, smoking weed, getting drunk and raid and stealing from everybody else that's out fighting. No, it just says they did nothing. Do you know why? Because it didn't seem to affect them at all. Their lives were together, and those people should probably get their lives together. Wanted that matter to me, man. If that's not American thinking, I don't know what is. When the men choose not to lead, people suffer.

Here's number three. This is quick number three, the lesson from the lady is this God does his greatest work through simple acts of obedience. Just through simple acts of obedience. When you read the book of judges, you will see really quick that none of these people did these extraordinarily leaps of faith into life. No, they just took another step every day. They just set the course of their life in a trajectory that they were going to honor God with every small decision. And then when God said, do this, they just said, Yes, I'll do it. God works the most powerful miracles in the book of judges through simple people just doing what God asks them to do. Left-handed Ehud, Deborah, Gideon with his 300, Samson with his one-man army, even the boy David in the next book. We see this just simple people that God said go. And in the case today, we just see a housewife sitting out in the woods enjoying her camping and God said Yes. See the point the writer of judges is making. This is our last principle is this is the God doesn't need our ability He never has. He only needs our availability. That's all he needs. God overturns unjust systems from the beginning of time. The regular people just living their calling. And when we understand this, we will quit praying prayers like God, fix that, God fix that. God fix that. Until we say things like this, God fix me, and God help me to move in your direction.

Do you realize that small obedience over time, one degree at a time, over the years makes incredible difference in God's kingdom? Ladies, we need you to lead we need you to lead in this church. We need you to lead in your home. We need you to operate in God's design of what He's called you to do. We need you to step into your relationship with Christ as the daughter of the King and show that beauty in your kids’ lives and in the lives of this family of faith. Men we need you to step up. What would happen? Men in the boardroom this week if you game this gave the same effort in the boardroom as you gave in your home and in this church. How long would you keep that job? We need you to step up and become the men of God, the protectors, the providers, those that cast vision. We need you. We need you and all of us. Through simple acts of obedience, we can make a difference. We can make a difference. Students, singles, this for you, too. Because if you could put your life on this track right now and move one step after another, step after another, step in the direction of his glory and his renown, then one day you will pull up and look backwards and see the wake of God's mercy and grace that's been put behind you.

Will you pray with me, Lord Jesus, today as we walk into this time of decision? God, I just want the ladies in this house to hear that you were loved, you were celebrated, you were cherished. You were called of God as daughters, and you have a place to serve. God, I need the men to hear it is time for them to step up and lead in their home and in this place. God, I know every person that knows you as their Savior today. God, just to ask themselves one question. What is God calling me to do right now? God, I pray that during the next couple of minutes, that God you a place that in our hearts and lives. What's that one thing today? God, I also pray for others that don't know you today. That maybe, just maybe, Jesus, you're drawing them to yourself. You're calling them into a relationship with you, God, and you're wanting to come into their heart and give them salvation. God, if there are people in this house listening to us online, they need to submit their hearts to you today. Give their lives to you today. Got I pray, as soon as this invitation starts, they break from their seat. They walk to the front of whatever room they're in they grab one of us by the hands and look at us in the eyes and just say the simple words. I need Jesus today. God, if they won't do that, I pray they jump on the app and on the next steps app and they just let us know I need Jesus today. Somebody will get back with them this afternoon. Lord, move in this church. Let's operate in the giftedness that you have given us, and we love you Jesus. Let's stand and sing together.

Follow Along with the Message


Lessons from the Ladies

May 8, 2022

Judges 4:1–9
1 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, now that Ehud was dead. 2 So the Lord sold them into the hands of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. Sisera, the commander of his army, was based in Harosheth Haggoyim. 3 Because he had nine hundred chariots fitted with iron and had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the Lord for help.
4 Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. 5 She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided. 6 She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor. 7 I will lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.’”
8 Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.” 9 “Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh.
Judges 4:10–11
10 There Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali, and ten thousand men went up under his command. Deborah also went up with him. 11 TNow Heber the Kenite had left the other Kenites, the descendants of Hobab, Moses’ brother-in-law, and pitched his tent by the great tree in Zaanannim near Kedesh.
Judges 4:14–15
14 Then Deborah said to Barak, “Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?” So Barak went down Mount Tabor, with ten thousand men following him. 15 At Barak’s advance, the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and army by the sword, and Sisera got down from his chariot and fled on foot.
Judges 4:17
Sisera, meanwhile, fled on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite…
Judges 4:18–20
18 Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Come, my lord, come right in. Don’t be afraid.” So he entered her tent, and she covered him with a blanket. 19 “I’m thirsty,” he said. “Please give me some water.” She opened a skin of milk, gave him a drink, and covered him up. 20 “Stand in the doorway of the tent,” he told her. “If someone comes by and asks you, ‘Is anyone in there?’ say ‘No.’”
Judges 4:21
But Jael, Heber’s wife, picked up a tent peg and a hammer and went quietly to him while he lay fast asleep, exhausted. She drove the peg through his temple into the ground, and he died.

3 God Lessons from the Ladies

1. God and equips both men and women for leadership in his kingdom.


Word to the Ladies:

1. God has a on your life.

2. You need to take the in your relationship with God.

3. You can and flourish like this while respecting God’s design.


2. When men fail to , the people suffer.

Judges 5:2
When the princes in Israel take the lead, when the people willingly offer themselves — praise the Lord!
Judges 5:17
Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan. And Dan, why did he linger by the ships? Asher remained on the coast and stayed in his coves.

MAN PRINCIPLE: The greatest for men is not to do evil. It is to sit back and do nothing.

Judges 5:23
“Curse Meroz,” said the angel of the Lord. “Curse its people bitterly, because they did not come to help the Lord, to help the Lord against the mighty.”

3. God does his greatest work through acts of obedience.

PRINCIPLE: God doesn’t need our (he never has)… He only needs our availability!


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