Israel’s leader at that time, the one who was responsible for bringing the people back to God was Deborah. (Judges 4:4)
Knowledge to Build On
There was a time in the history of the “stiff-necked” Israelites when The Lord allowed them to be conquered by King Jabin in Canaan. For twenty years, the King made their lives miserable. But, one day, they finally begged the Lord for help. That was when God sent Deborah.
Deborah became a well-known and well-respected individual among her people. Daily she sat beneath a palm tree in the mountains of Ephraim, giving wise counsel to her people while maintaining balance between her life as a judge and as a married woman.
Deborah was also a prophetess. Deborah proved to be, not only a faithful prophetic voice during a dark time in Israel, but a woman who knew the God she served, and who listened for His voice alone. She stood as a pillar among both men and women.
Life in the Now
Is there a Deborah in your life? I am so thankful to say that I sat under the ministry of a modern day Deborah for over 25 years. Sylvia Thompson, by name, gave wise counsel to many while sitting around her kitchen table. A biological mother of three, she became a spiritual mom to hundreds.
A licensed minister, Sylvia started preaching at a time when women preachers were not accepted in some denominations. Yet, she charged ahead, and was often described as a bit of a “fierybrand” when it came to preaching, leading home meetings, and retreats. However, she balanced her duties as a married woman to the love of her life, Bob, who was her “help-mate” in ministry for nearly four decades
As a prophet, she could be seen fidgeting, twitching her eyes, shuffling her feet as if she were gearing up for a race, and then it happened - - -she made her approach to the one the Lord had signaled out to her. “The Lord has a word for you, sister/brother.”
I have a notebook filled with “thus saith the Lord,” prophetic words from Sylvia, the preacher lady who was always dressed to kill in high heels, perfect makeup, fashionable jewelry, and oh yeah, nylon hose never went out of style in the “greatest generation.” Some of those words she spoke into my life have long come to pass and, without a doubt, the others will, too, because, well, like Deborah, Sylvia listed to His voice alone.
Sylvia went home to be with the Lord November 17, 2013, at 89 years of age. My friend, Elsa, and I visited her in her home two days before her death. Though her family said her eyes had been closed most of the day, she glanced up at us when each of us touched her. I was able to say one more time: “Thank you, Sylvia, for all you taught me, and the prophetic words you spoke into my life.” I’d like to think she heard me.
As she entered heaven’s gates, I can just see how the heavenly scene unfolded. Her prophetic colleagues rushed to the gates to meet her: Deborah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah. One would have thought she would have wanted to chat, at least ask Jeremiah about his dirty girdle she had often preached about.
But, no! Sylvia fidgeted, twitched her eyes, shuffled her feet, and said: “The Lord has a word for you brothers and sisters: “Get thee out of my way! I’m here to see Jesus!”
Sylvia stood as a pillar among both men and women. Indeed, she became all God created her to be!