I’m sure a lot of us heard about about Deborah, or read her story in the book of Judges in the Old Testament. I pray that this blog post would give you more insight and a deeper look into this lovely character.
Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time. And she would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim. (Judges 4:4-5)
Although it would appear that the Bible in these two verses is introducing Deborah, the Bible is actually giving a beautiful detailed description of the New Testament Church.
Why does Deborah represent the Church? and how could I learn from her?
There are three beautiful contemplations that I would love to share with you.
First, the name Deborah (דְבוֹרָה) means “bee”. The bible uses the bee as a representation to the Church. It was said, “Your lips, O my spouse, drip as the honeycomb. Honey and milk are under your tongue” (Song of Solomon 4:11), and who is the spouse other than Jesus’ bride, the Church?! Also in the Deutro-canonical Books, “The bee is small among flying things but her fruit has the chiefest sweetness.” (Sirach 11:3). Gregory of Nyssa wrote a lovely contemplation about that point.
We are the New Testament Church, we should be like bees. Although weak, they fly in gardens feeding on nectar to create honey. Same with us, we should fly in the gardens of spiritual edification and feed on its nectar full of wisdom to produce honey that brings the chiefest sweetness to all who taste it. (Paraphrased)
Second, she is the wife of Lapidoth (לַפִּידוֹת), which means “torch”. I know who my torch is! Jesus! He said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12 & 9:5). So not only does Deborah represent the Church by being a bee, but she’s also the torch‘s bride!
Third, she would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim. Doesn’t Deborah remind you with the bride of the Song of Songs who said, “I sat down in his shade with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste” (Song of Solomon 2:3). The palm tree of Deborah is actually the cross. The palm tree held her name, just like the cross; the cross was made for YOU, YOUR name was on it, but Jesus took YOUR place and died for YOUR sin.
Another beautiful thing is that the palm tree was between Ramah (The high places) and Bethel (House of God) in the mountains of Ephraim (Increasing fruit). Our daily quiet time is the time when we sit down under the cross daily where we rise to the high places above all materialistic thoughts and enter into the House of God and enjoy our private time in His presence, as a bride enjoys her private time with her groom. These minutes we spend with Him yield increasing fruit that we taste and give to others. Unlike the fruit that Eve tasted and gave to Adam, this fruit carries sweetness and life to all who eat of it.
To conclude, I pray that we all become bees that earnestly seek spiritual edification and bring sweetness to others. This will only happen if our quiet times would be a daily habit that would help us rise above our materialistic needs and taste the beauty of being in His presence. Only then, will we be able to give others to taste what we tasted and loved.