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The Most Interesting Mom in the World
Judges 4-5
Skip Heitzig

Jump To: Worship | Message

Judges 4 (NKJV™)
1 When Ehud was dead, the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD.
2 So the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who dwelt in Harosheth Hagoyim.
3 And the children of Israel cried out to the LORD; for Jabin had nine hundred chariots of iron, and for twenty years he harshly oppressed the children of Israel.
4 Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time.
5 And she would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim. And the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.
6 Then she sent and called for Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali, and said to him, "Has not the LORD God of Israel commanded, 'Go and deploy troops at Mount Tabor; take with you ten thousand men of the sons of Naphtali and of the sons of Zebulun;
7 'and against you I will deploy Sisera, the commander of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude at the River Kishon; and I will deliver him into your hand'?"
8 And Barak said to her, "If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go!"
9 So she said, "I will surely go with you; nevertheless there will be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for the LORD will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman." Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh.
10 And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; he went up with ten thousand men under his command, and Deborah went up with him.
11 Now Heber the Kenite, of the children of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses, had separated himself from the Kenites and pitched his tent near the terebinth tree at Zaanaim, which is beside Kedesh.
12 And they reported to Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor.
13 So Sisera gathered together all his chariots, nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people who were with him, from Harosheth Hagoyim to the River Kishon.
14 Then Deborah said to Barak, "Up! For this is the day in which the LORD has delivered Sisera into your hand. Has not the LORD gone out before you?" So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him.
15 And the LORD routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army with the edge of the sword before Barak; and Sisera alighted from his chariot and fled away on foot.
16 But Barak pursued the chariots and the army as far as Harosheth Hagoyim, and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; not a man was left.
17 However, Sisera had fled away on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite; for there was peace between Jabin king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite.
18 And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, "Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me; do not fear." And when he had turned aside with her into the tent, she covered him with a blanket.
19 Then he said to her, "Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty." So she opened a jug of milk, gave him a drink, and covered him.
20 And he said to her, "Stand at the door of the tent, and if any man comes and inquires of you, and says, 'Is there any man here?' you shall say, 'No.'"
21 Then Jael, Heber's wife, took a tent peg and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple, and it went down into the ground; for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.
22 And then, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said to him, "Come, I will show you the man whom you seek." And when he went into her tent, there lay Sisera, dead with the peg in his temple.
23 So on that day God subdued Jabin king of Canaan in the presence of the children of Israel.
24 And the hand of the children of Israel grew stronger and stronger against Jabin king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.
Judges 5 (NKJV™)
1 Then Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam sang on that day, saying:
2 "When leaders lead in Israel, When the people willingly offer themselves, Bless the LORD!
3 "Hear, O kings! Give ear, O princes! I, even I, will sing to the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel.
4 "LORD, when You went out from Seir, When You marched from the field of Edom, The earth trembled and the heavens poured, The clouds also poured water;
5 The mountains gushed before the LORD, This Sinai, before the LORD God of Israel.
6 "In the days of Shamgar, son of Anath, In the days of Jael, The highways were deserted, And the travelers walked along the byways.
7 Village life ceased, it ceased in Israel, Until I, Deborah, arose, Arose a mother in Israel.
8 They chose new gods; Then there was war in the gates; Not a shield or spear was seen among forty thousand in Israel.
9 My heart is with the rulers of Israel Who offered themselves willingly with the people. Bless the LORD!
10 "Speak, you who ride on white donkeys, Who sit in judges' attire, And who walk along the road.
11 Far from the noise of the archers, among the watering places, There they shall recount the righteous acts of the LORD, The righteous acts for His villagers in Israel; Then the people of the LORD shall go down to the gates.
12 "Awake, awake, Deborah! Awake, awake, sing a song! Arise, Barak, and lead your captives away, O son of Abinoam!
13 "Then the survivors came down, the people against the nobles; The LORD came down for me against the mighty.
14 From Ephraim were those whose roots were in Amalek. After you, Benjamin, with your peoples, From Machir rulers came down, And from Zebulun those who bear the recruiter's staff.
15 And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah; As Issachar, so was Barak Sent into the valley under his command; Among the divisions of Reuben There were great resolves of heart.
16 Why did you sit among the sheepfolds, To hear the pipings for the flocks? The divisions of Reuben have great searchings of heart.
17 Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan, And why did Dan remain on ships? Asher continued at the seashore, And stayed by his inlets.
18 Zebulun is a people who jeopardized their lives to the point of death, Naphtali also, on the heights of the battlefield.
19 "The kings came and fought, Then the kings of Canaan fought In Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo; They took no spoils of silver.
20 They fought from the heavens; The stars from their courses fought against Sisera.
21 The torrent of Kishon swept them away, That ancient torrent, the torrent of Kishon. O my soul, march on in strength!
22 Then the horses' hooves pounded, The galloping, galloping of his steeds.
23 'Curse Meroz,' said the angel of the LORD, 'Curse its inhabitants bitterly, Because they did not come to the help of the LORD, To the help of the LORD against the mighty.'
24 "Most blessed among women is Jael, The wife of Heber the Kenite; Blessed is she among women in tents.
25 He asked for water, she gave milk; She brought out cream in a lordly bowl.
26 She stretched her hand to the tent peg, Her right hand to the workmen's hammer; She pounded Sisera, she pierced his head, She split and struck through his temple.
27 At her feet he sank, he fell, he lay still; At her feet he sank, he fell; Where he sank, there he fell dead.
28 "The mother of Sisera looked through the window, And cried out through the lattice, 'Why is his chariot so long in coming? Why tarries the clatter of his chariots?'
29 Her wisest ladies answered her, Yes, she answered herself,
30 'Are they not finding and dividing the spoil: To every man a girl or two; For Sisera, plunder of dyed garments, Plunder of garments embroidered and dyed, Two pieces of dyed embroidery for the neck of the looter?'
31 "Thus let all Your enemies perish, O LORD! But let those who love Him be like the sun When it comes out in full strength." So the land had rest for forty years.

New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Mother's Day Messages

First celebrated in a church in 1908, Mother’s Day quickly became a national observance. On this day we give honor to those unique women we call our mothers. But perhaps the most unusual mom ever was one from the pages of the Old Testament named Deborah. Her interesting blend of personality and giftedness not only impacted her own family but her nation as well. Notice five characteristics of this most interesting mom in the world.

A mother's love is an example of God's great and sacrificing love for us. For many people, moms shaped their lives and brought them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. This collection of messages focuses on these important women, who hold a special place in the heart of God.

Outline

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  1. She Was a Prophetess (Judges 4:4)

  2. She Was a Wife (Judges 4:4)

  3. She Was a Leader (Judges 4:5)

  4. She Was a Mother (Judges 5:7)

  5. She Was a Warrior (Judges 4:6-10)

Study Guide

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Connect Recap Notes: May 13, 2018
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "The Most Interesting Mom in the World"
Text: Judges 4-5

Path

First celebrated in a church in 1908, Mother's Day quickly became a national observance. On this day we give honor to those unique women we call our mothers. But perhaps the most unusual mom ever was one from the pages of the Old Testament named Deborah. Her interesting blend of personality and giftedness not only impacted her own family but her nation as well. Notice five characteristics of this most interesting mom in the world.
  1. She Was a Prophetess (Judges 4:4)
  2. She Was a Wife (Judges 4:4)
  3. She Was a Leader (Judges 4:5)
  4. She Was a Mother (Judges 5:7)
  5. She Was a Warrior (Judges 4:6-10)
Points

She Was a Prophetess (Judges 4:4)
  • Deborah was the only woman in Scripture who was a national leader in Israel.
  • She was among a distinguished and limited number of prophetesses, including Miriam, Moses' sister (see Exodus 16), Huldah (see 2 Kings 22), Isaiah's wife (see Isaiah 8:3), Anna (see Luke 2), and Phillip's four daughters (see Acts 21).
  • The role of a prophet was to hear from God, then speak for God. Priests represented people to God; Prophets represented God to the people. Prophets were vital in getting God's message to the people.
  • A prophet's message could be predictive (foretelling the future) or declarative (forth-telling or speaking God's will now).
  • Deborah was a spiritual woman with a spiritual influence. She heard from God and spoke for God.
  • Probe: God used prophets throughout history. "If God were to speak through a person today, it would be in 100% complete agreement with what God has already said in the Bible."1 Rather than looking for new prophetic revelations from God, we should go back to His Word and look at the prophecies that He has already given. Discuss a New Testament understanding of a prophet. Look up 1 Corinthians 12:10, Romans 12:6, and Ephesians 4:11.
She Was a Wife (Judges 4:4)
  • Deborah was the wife of Lapidoth before she became a leader in Israel.
  • Deborah was a prominent hero. As such, her name eclipsed her husband's, but she honored God by honoring the covenant she made with Lapidoth.
  • For today's mothers, you may have a career and be very competent, but don't let that usurp the home. What you model to your children in marriage will stay with them for life, including how you speak to your husband, your attitude, and your commitment. The two greatest gifts women can give to their kids are to love God and love their spouses.
  • Probe: What are the key characteristics of a godly wife? Read Proverbs 31:10-31. One source proposes these ten virtues: faith, marriage, mothering, health, service, finances, industry, homemaking, time, and beauty.2 Do you agree? What might you add or delete?
She Was a Leader (Judges 4:4-5)
  • Deborah was a judge, not in the legal sense of adjudicating the rule of law, nor in terms of having a critical spirit. The Hebrew word for judge is shaphat. A judge governed, ruled, lead, avenged, defended, and delivered.
  • God appointed judges to help Israel get out of the cycle of sin (see Judges 2:16-19)—rebellion, retribution, repentance, restoration.
  • Other than Samuel, Deborah was the only person in Scripture who was both a judge and prophet.
  • Probe: Discuss the characteristics of a godly leader. See Proverbs 16.3 John Stott said, "The authority by which the Christian leader leads is not power but love, not force but example, not coercion but reasoned persuasion. Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who humble themselves to serve."4 Do you agree?
She Was a Mother (Judges 5:6-7)
  • Scholars are unsure if Deborah was literally a mother or figuratively a mother to the nation of Israel (a matriarch, a female leader). Her husband is mentioned in Scripture, but not children.
  • Either way, a family and a nation need to experience love. A Jewish proverb states, "God could not be everywhere, and therefore He made mothers." A Scottish proverb says, "An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy."
  • Probe: Share some favorite memories of your mother. How did her influence shape you either for good or for ill?
She was a Warrior (Judges 4:6-10)
  • Terror had reigned for twenty years; the Canaanites were continually attacking Israel. Deborah told Barak to obey God and fight and he responded, "If you will go with me, then I will go" (v.8). And she did. Deborah was a strong, brave woman committed to God's glory.
  • Golda Meir said, "No nation is greater than its mothers, for they are the makers of men." Deborah made Barak into a man.
  • Probe: Some see a conflict between being a woman and a warrior, though Deborah is both. What characteristic do you define in a woman-warrior?
Practice

Connect Up: The Lord is largely described using male characteristics, but He has female qualities as well. Discuss these verses: Genesis 1:27, Numbers 11:12, Psalm 131:2, Isaiah 42:14 and 49:15, Hosea 11:3-4 and 13:8, Matthew 23:37, John 16:21-22.

Connect In: God has used prophets in the church, but we must be on guard against false prophets. "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1, NIV). 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 reminds us, "Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good." How is the church to test the words of people who claim to speak for God?

Connect Out: Pray for women—mothers, wives, and singles—as well as for women who are unbelievers.

1"Are there prophets in the church today?," Got Questions Ministries, https://www.gotquestions.org/prophets-today.html, accessed 05/13/18.
2Melissa Ringstaff, "The Ten Virtues of the Proverbs 31 Woman", 2001, http://avirtuouswoman.org/10-virtues-of-the-proverbs-31-woman/, accessed 05/13/18.
3Brent Rinehart, "Nine Essential Qualities of a Godly Leader," May 14, 2015, https://www.crosswalk.com/family/career/9-essential-qualities-of-a-godly-leader.html, accessed 05/13/18.
4John R. W. Stott, "Decisive Issues Facing Christians Today," Fleming H Revell Co, February 1, 1996.

Additional Messages in this Series

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Date Title   Watch Listen Notes Share Save Buy
5/11/1986
completed
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A Mother's Prayer
Luke 1:39-56
Skip Heitzig
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A Mother's Prayer - Luke 1:39-56 from our study Mother's Day Messages with Skip Heitzig from Calvary Albuquerque.
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5/13/2007
completed
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A Hero In Your Own Home!
Proverbs 31:10-31
Skip Heitzig
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This summer portends to be the year of the Super-Hero: Spiderman, The Transformers and the Fantastic Four all are making their reappearance to save the day! But there's another hero we honor today (or should we say heroine). In fact she probably already cooked you breakfast this morning! It’s the woman of the home—Mom! Today we pay tribute to this unique individual who helped to transform our lives.
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5/10/2015
completed
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How Moms Can Change the World
2 Timothy 1:3-7
Skip Heitzig
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Timothy demonstrated genuine faith and loyalty to the Lord, and Paul the apostle credited these traits to how Timothy was raised by his mom and grandmother. As we examine Paul's second letter to Timothy, we discover three important ways that moms can invest in their children so they will fear the Lord and desire to serve Him with their lives.
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5/8/2016
completed
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Marks of a Great Mother
1 Samuel 1
Skip Heitzig
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Today we pay a special tribute to those unique individuals we call our mothers. They have given us life on this earth, and their influence has transformed our lives. We will consider a woman from the Old Testament who became the mother of the prophet Samuel. Her name is Hannah and her name means favor or grace. Despite difficult circumstances, Hannah was shown favor by God. Let’s glean some insight from this wonderful woman as we honor our own moms today.
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There are 4 additional messages in this series.