“Deborah a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time.” (Judges4:4)
Success in completing the tasks which God has assigned depends not upon one’s sex but upon faithful obedience. Women functioned as prophets in the Bible. People, men and women, are called to accomplish what God has set before them.
Deborah was such a spiritual leader. Miriam, sister of Moses, is represented as speaking by divine inspiration. Huldah, Noadiah, Isaiah’s wife, and Anna are called prophetesses. Deborah also judged the people, settling disputes and leading in political decisions. God inspired her to sing the song preserved in our Bibles as Judges 5. God continues to use women to minister to His people.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, You have given inspired prophets and prophetesses, to give us understanding of Your word and also to guide Your people in making good decisions, based on Your decrees and the Law. Let us recognize and listen to those You send to us, for understanding and instruction, and never disdain those You send to us. We seek Your wisdom at all times, and You used different people at varying times, to clarify our understanding of the prophets You allow to come and lead us physically and spiritually. It is in Jesus’ name we pray this. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“People who have failed are those who have never tried.”
“Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchrea because of a vow he had taken.” (Acts 18:18)
Priscilla’s level of leadership is indicated by the fact that she and her husband, Aquila, traveled with Paul in ministry. Christians gathered in Priscilla’s homes in Corinth and Ephesus. She was a great encouragement to other leaders. Paul gave her special greetings. Clearly she was a leader in her own right. It may be significant that her name precedes that of her husband at times.
“I commend to you our sister phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me. Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus.” (Romans16:1-3)
All Christian disciples, whether women or men, serve under the lordship of Christ. All have the same access to God in Christ. Women have always had a distinctive part in the ministry of Christian churches since the earliest days. In this passage Paul commended Phoebe as a servant of he church. “Servant” (Greek – diakonos) could refer to any kind of service, but it can be translated “deacon”. She served the church in a specific way, possibly as a woman deacon or deaconess. Paul referred to her in a quite different way than to Priscilla and Aquila, who were his fellow workers. Some Bible students think Phoebe carried Paul’s letter to Rome. Paul certainly appreciated her ministry and told the church at Rome to help her in any way possible. Whether or not her ministry was that of a deacon (a male’s ministry) or as a deaconess is unclear, but what is clear is that she was highly respected and considered a valuable servant.
Second Thought of the Day:
“In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.” (1st Timothy3:11)
The context may make use of the word “wives” appropriate, but the Greek word (gunaikas) means simply “women.” Since verses 12 & 13 refer to deacons again, some feel that the women referred to should be viewed as wives of deacons.
Others insist that “the women” could refer to deaconesses for female deacons. No matter how “the women” may be viewed, these women were active in ministry. Their qualifications are similar to those give for deacons. Women have continued to be active in Christian ministry. Paul stressed the manner of behavior that is appropriate for them. Today in many liturgical churches, the order of a deacon has been reinstated as an order, not to priesthood, but to a Permanent Order of Deacons and includes both men and women.