|Volume 20 Number 5 May 2018||
Gary C. Hampton
Desperate times call for a mother. Israel began doing evil again after the death of Ehud who helped them overthrow the Moabite oppressors. The Lord allowed Jabin, king of Canaan, to conquer them under the leadership of his general, Sisera. Israel cried out to God for deliverance (Judges 4:1-3).
The inspired penman painted a desperate picture when he wrote, “The highways were deserted, And the travelers walked along the byways. Village life ceased, it ceased in Israel” (Judges 5:6b-7a). Sisera’s army covered a vast area and prospects seemed bleak, “Until I, Deborah, arose, Arose a mother in Israel” (Judges 4:13; 5:7b).
Part of her power arose from the fact that she demonstrated faith. She was a prophetess who spoke for God. She was a judge who settled disputes the lower courts could not (Judges 4:4-5; Deuteronomy 17:8-9).
Deborah was also a mother who was an encourager. She relayed God’s command for Barak to go fight the armies of Sisera. Barak hesitated, even saying he would not go unless she went with him. Deborah went with him, though she told him a woman would get the glory for the victory. “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?’” (Judges 4:6-14).
“The Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army.” He killed Sisera by the hand of Jael and subdued Jabin, king of Canaan (Judges 4:15-24). She proclaimed that the kings of Canaan took no spoil from the people of God (Judges 5:19-21). The closing words of Deborah’s song give all the glory to God. “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” (Judges 5:31).
Let us thank God for mothers who demonstrate faith in desperate times. Rejoice in their continuing encouragement in doing what is right. Join them in giving glory to God for His remarkable care.
The Value of Mothers
A study reported that if the typical stay-at-home mom in the US were paid for her work, she would earn $138,095 a year. The study listed 10 jobs as comprising a mother’s main work, which were housekeeper, cook, daycare center teacher, laundry machine operator, van driver, facilities manager, janitor, computer operator, chief executive officer and psychologist. A mother who holds a full-time job outside the home would earn an additional $85,939 for the work she does at home, in addition to the salary she receives for her job.
In reality, what mothers are worth, whether they stay at home or also have an outside the home job as well, is beyond estimate. Hopefully mothers view the work they do in the home as more than just a “job,” but as the greatest labor of love. The bond between a mother and her children is special indeed, in which she is willing to place their needs above her own, to provide for them not only when they are not able to provide for themselves, but to love and to care for them throughout the number of her days. It is the highest calling, then, when Paul asked Titus to remind mothers to love their children and be workers at home (Titus 2:4-5).
In addition to the physical and emotional care they provide in the home, there is the spiritual influence mothers offer their children. Who can put a price tag on one’s soul? Scripture reminds us of how important a mother’s instruction is to her children. The writer of Proverbs spoke of the consequences that come to the child who refuses to obey his mother (Proverbs 30:17). Paul exhorted children to “obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1), and he reminded Timothy of the faith that was instilled in him by his mother and his grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5). Jesus was submissive to both Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:51), and He showed His love and appreciation for her in providing for her welfare when He was on the cross (John 19:26-27). A godly mother, like the virtuous woman of Proverbs, is “far more precious than jewels” (Proverbs 31:10).
In our culture, there are many demands placed upon mothers, which have to do with the needs of her family as well as her own needs. It is not easy providing for other’s needs, much less considering her needs. Thank God for mothers who love and care enough to see that their children have what they need, especially for life in Christ. Salvation is a gift beyond measure, a gift that gives forever. May we, whether in memory or in their presence, accord our mothers the love and respect they are due. May we offer them the care they need, through time, which we can offer. May we offer the greatest gift possible, that which creates the greatest joy in a mother’s heart, by loving God and being faithful Christians, sharing in a mother’s hope. “Let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God” (1 Timothy 5:4).