When I was a young Christian woman, I hardly went a day without listening to Elisabeth Elliot’s godly advice on her Gateway to Joy radio ministry. She’s just one of those people who exudes confidence and wise counsel at every turn. I remember thinking, ‘This woman must have a direct line to God!’ Her direct line was a lifeline for me in the early years of my marriage and child rearing.
Many of you may be familiar with the story of her and her husband Jim Elliot, both made famous by his martyrdom on the Ecuadorian mission field in 1956. Elisabeth Elliot has chronicled their romance and life story in several of her books. After meeting and falling in love at Wheaton College, they delayed marriage for five years because Jim Elliot felt that God was directing him to go into the mission field alone. Elisabeth, his soul mate, was a strong, faithful, like-minded woman who would no doubt have been a great asset by his side. I imagine it must have been heart wrenching for him to leave this incredible woman behind. Eventually Jim said to Elisabeth, “Come with me”, and they were married. They served side by side in Ecuador until his death. She then continued on in the mission field, ministering to the very tribe responsible for killing her husband. Now 85 years old, her books and radio ministry have been a source of teaching for millions. Elisabeth Elliot is a remarkable woman.
In Judges we meet Deborah, another remarkable woman who seemed to have a direct line to God. ‘There’s a woman deliverer in Judges’, you ask? Yes, she was indeed unique and rare in patriarchal Israel. But if you look close at the story, I think you will find that her gender is but a small part of her overall legacy in the preservation of God’s people.
After Ehud’s death, Israel once again falls into sin and disobedience. Soon they are under the thumb of Jabin, a wicked Canaanite king and his military leader Sisera. Deborah calls forth her own military commander, Barak, and tells him that the Lord God of Israel has commanded him to take 10,000 Israelites and defeat the formidable Canaanite army that is equipped with 900 iron chariots. Barak’s answer may surprise you. “I’ll go if you go…but if you’re not going, I’m not going”, he says (Judges 4:8). Clearly, Deborah inspired confidence in Barak and he trusted her judgment. Her relationship with God made her a decisive, wise and fair judge over her people. Barak knew that God spoke to her and through her and he wisely wanted her right by his side in battle.
Are you inspired to be a Deborah for someone in your life? Just as important, do you have a battle partner like Deborah? You know what I mean, that person whose prays for you and those prayers always seem to be answered? That person you trust completely – known for their wise counsel? God in His mercy gives us relationships that bolster our faith and give us courage to go to battle when we need to. In this life it seems to be quite often.
Who is the person to who says to you, “I will surely go with you”.
“The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian. But the fact that I am a Christian does make me a different kind of woman.” – Elisabeth Eliot
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW
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