Thoroughly Equipped: In the Midst of the Chaos

Today’s reading includes Judges 4:1-5:31, Luke 22:35-53, Psalm 94:1-23, Proverbs 14:3-4.

Today’s assigned reading has us studying about Deborah, the only female Judge mentioned in the Bible. Honestly, I had never studied much about Deborah until recently.  But two days ago, on my birthday, I saw a blog post about Deborah on Facebook.  I actually didn’t read the post, but did see a comment underneath written by a mentor of mine.  She quoted a passage from the story which said, “In the midst of the chaos, Deborah arose.”  Those words came to my mind over and over throughout the day.  I found myself thinking constantly about those words: “In the midst of the chaos, Deborah arose.”  That night, I was enjoying all the birthday wishes on Facebook and stopped short when I read what an acquaintance of mine posted.  He obviously got me mixed up with someone else, but he posted, “Happy birthday, Debbie!”  Here I had been thinking about those words about Deborah all day and he called me Debbie.  I decided that maybe the Lord wanted me to study about Deborah, and two days later, that is the assigned reading.  I learned that she was a righteous judge, a warrior, and a prophet.  She had power and influence and yet we see that she only described herself as a mother.  There was a great battle going on and no one was doing anything—until Deborah arose.

Judges 5:7 says: 

Villagers in Israel would not fight;
    they held back until I, Deborah, arose,
    until I arose, a mother in Israel.


God called Deborah to arise.  But He didn’t call her to change who He had created her to be.  She was a mother.  She was motherly.  She was feminine.  She was a wife.  She saw herself as simply a mother.  But God!  When our extraordinary God steps in, He can take our ordinary lives and do something extraordinary in us and through us.

Are you ready to arise?  Are you ready to let God use you?

Isaiah 60:1-5 says:

“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
    and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
    and his glory appears over you.

 There is blessing in obedience.  I challenge you to arise and shine in this dark world.

As you read this text, I want to pretend you and I are together, maybe having a hot cup of coffee.  As you read my words, pretend I am speaking them just to you—friend to friend.  Listen as I speak the priestly blessing over you.  You know it.  May the Lord bless you and keep you, may the Lord shine upon you

For many, many years I have spoken this over my children when I put them to bed.  A couple of years ago I studied it out further and I saw that the verse after this tells us that saying this blessing is like putting the name of the Lord upon us.  I like that.

We just took our fourth child to college.  One of his last assignments in his English class as a high school senior was to write his parents a Thank you note.  Now, he probably wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t an assignment, but what he wrote will bless me the rest of my life.  He thanked us for our love and influence and he ended the letter blessing us with the same blessing we had spoken over him throughout his childhood.  And that is how I will end this text, speaking this into your life.

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

May the Lord make His face shine upon you.

May the Lord be gracious to you.

May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

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