Weekly poll #107: At what age did you have your first mammogram?

Introducing … Deborah

The book of Judges, Chapter 4, is where we find Deborah. While women leaders were uncommon in Israelite society, they were not unheard of.  Deborah is a story of a strong woman of God who listens to God and trusted in the Lord enough to have the courage to follow his commands.  She is the only woman judge, but not by any means the only prophetess in the Bible.

Deborah was a prophetess, but she was also a judge.  She would listen to disputes among her people and make a decision based on the facts.   She got a word from the Lord and called for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali.  She told him that the LORD was going to give over their enemy to them; all he had to do was take 10,000 men  of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor.  Barak would not go unless Deborah went, so because of his unbelief, the honor would not be his, but the LORD would deliver the enemy into the hands of a woman.  Barak got the men together as the LORD commanded.

Barak led the men up Mt. Tabor, and there Siscera, commander of the enemy army found out he was there and sent out all his men and 900 chariots.  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.  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.  Barak pursued the chariots and army as far as Harosheth Haggoyim, and all Sisera’s troops fell by the sword; not a man was left.  Sisera, meanwhile, fled on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, because there was an alliance between Jabin king of Hazor and the family of Heber the Kenite. He asked for a drink, and she gave him some milk.  He asked her to stand guard and to tell anyone that came by that he was not there.  As he slept, she took a tent peg and a hammer, and drove it through his temple, killing him.  Thus, the LORD’s prophesy came true.  The enemy was slain at the hand of a woman.

The Bible describes Deborah as “a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth”, but in Judges 5:7, she calls herself “a mother in Israel”.  She was not only the mother of her own children, but the “mother” to all in Israel who had forgotten who they were and who they served.   (The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob)

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Weekly poll #106: How long does it take you to fall asleep at night after making love?

Introducing … Leah and Rachel

Leah and Rachel were the daughters of Laban , who was Jacob’s uncle (Rebekkah’s brother)  Isaac was told  by his father to marry of his own family line and not to marry any of the Canaanite women.  Upon arrival at a well in Harran, he inquired about his uncle and it was pointed out that his daughter, Rachel, was coming with her sheep.  She was a shepherdess. Word got to Laban that his nephew had arrived and he greeted him and asked him to stay with them.  Jacob stayed with them and worked for his uncle for a month, when his uncle offered to pay him for what he had done.  Jacob asked for Rachel’s hand in marriage in exchange for working 7 more years.  The time seemed to fly since he loved her, but when the time came for him to receive Rachel as his wife, Laban deceived him and gave him Leah instead.  It was not custom to marry the younger daughter before the older.  The book of Genesis tells us that Rachel was very beautiful, but Leah had “weak eyes”.  In agreement to work 7 more years, Jacob finished Leah’s bridal week, then took Rachel as his wife.

This started the years of feuds between these two sisters.   Rachel was barren for the longest time, while her sister Leah bore 4 sons to Jacob right away, since the Lord saw that she was unloved by her husband.   Rachel gave Jacob her maid, Bilhah, as a wife to bear children through her.  Bilhah conceived and gave birth to 2 sons.  Leah wasn’t bearing more children, so she gave her maid Zilpah to Jacob to conceive children for her.  Zilpah bore Jacob 2 sons.  Jealousy continued, and Leah bore a 5th and 6th son and a daughter, Dinah.  Finally God opened up Rachel’s womb and she bore a son, Joseph.  Later, Rachel died during the birth of her final son, Benjamin.

To learn more about Rachel and Leah, you can find them in the book of Genesis 29-35; also Genesis 46 and 49.

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