In the book of Judges, chapter 4, the Bible tells us that after the death of Ehud son of Gera, the Benjamite, who had delivered Israel from 18 years of oppression by the Moabites, the Israelites continued to do evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord turned them over into the hands of Jabin, king of Canaan.
Sisera, who was the chief commander of Jabin’s army, oppressed the Israelites heavily for 20 years. This was during the time when Deborah, wife of Lappidoth was leading Israel as a judge and a prophet.
The Lord told Deborah to tell Barak, son of Abinoam from Kadesh, to take 10 000 men of Naphtali and Zebulun to mount Tabor. The Lord promised to send Sisera there and to hand him over to Barak.
On hearing the word of the Lord, Barak agreed to do this, but on one condition — that Deborah would go with Him to this war. Deborah agreed, however, she warned Barak that, because of his way of approaching the matter, the Lord would give the victory to a woman.
Just as Deborah had predicted, the victory was given to a woman, Jael, wife of Heber the Kenite, who killed Sisera. Sisera had fled from the battle, seeing that his army was losing. He left his chariot and ran on foot, to the house of Jael to ask for refuge.
The Bible tells us that there was an alliance between Jabin king of Hazor and the house of Heber. Therefore, Sisera was certain that the woman Jael would obey him and hide him in her home.
However, the Lord used Jael to slay Sisera, giving victory to Israel. Jael knew that this man was the enemy of Israel. After pretending to care for him and give him the best hospitality, as Sisera lay asleep, tired from the war, Jael took a tent peg and hammer, and drove the peg through Sisera’s temple, straight into the ground. She killed Sisera, the principality.
Deborah and Barak together sang the song of victory. (Judges 5). In this song, Deborah celebrates the victory and commends the princes who led in the war, and the willingness of those who volunteered to fight. She also prays that the princes of Israel would start to take the lead.
It must have been difficult for a woman to gallop with horses and chariots in war, among men, while all other women were at home. However, Deborah had to do this by faith because she believed Him who sent her with the message to Barak.
As many of the clans of Israel were not willing to help Barak in this war, Deborah had to rise-up and step in. But she never desired that the victory should be given to a woman but rather wanted the princes to play their role and recieve the victory. She observed protocol and had to explain this to Barak before the war. She goes on to say: “My heart is with the princes of Israel, with the willing volunteers among the people, praise the Lord!” — Judges 5:9
The Deborahs must go up with the Baraks
Currently, our nation is at war. It’s not a war between genders, but a war between good and evil. It is not a war between tribes and nations of Africa. But it is a war on destiny — the destiny of the sons and daughters of Africa, the destiny of our nations. It is a war on family and God’s order. It is a war on God’s image and His will.
However, it has not appeared like that in the natural. We, the Church, have not helped in this revelation process either, seeing the level of hatred and bitterness that is being displayed, especially on social media. Every time one looks at the climate in a nation, one needs to start in the house of the Lord, to check the reaction towards that climate. Whether we become cold when the nation becomes cold, and hot when the nation becomes hot? Our reactions reveal whose we are, and who we serve.
Because it is the house of the Lord that is supposed to be God’s eyes, God’s voice and carry God’s will, mandate and Kingdom.
It is the house of the Lord that is supposed to align with God, and what He has said, and therefore stand in faith for the fulfilment of what He has said. It has been shocking to see how, we, the Church, the ones that are supposed to bring peace and solutions on the situations, but on the contrary, we are the ones who are trying to justify bloodshed.
We have joined the world in everything that the world does. We cry like the world. We shout like the world. We talk like the world. We act like the world. We reason like the world. Therefore, we spread the message of hopelessness, instead of hope.
However, God is at work, in the midst of all that is happening. The Baraks are still rising up, and going to war to change the status quo — and the Deborahs need to go up with them.
This is not a one-sided war. We are where we are now, because not all the clans have been willing to offer themselves voluntarily, to go with Barak to war, against the evil of gender-based violence and xenophobia. Therefore, the Deborahs are needed too.
Even if the current challenge we are facing, appears to be men’s fault, the army of God still needs the Deborahs and the Jaels in their midst. We need to be one. We need to be on the side of the Lord. Like Jael, who broke the alliance that her family (her in-laws) had with the enemy. She sided with God and brought down the stronghold.
We all need to play our part, and God will do the rest. Yes, indeed, there will be searching of hearts. God will not leave any stones unturned. He will judge righteously.
The kneeling kings who willingly offer themselves
At the beginning of August, as we were praying for the African continent, I had visions of a couple of nations, whose men (fathers, leaders, princes, kings) were harkening to the voice of the Lord, and they were refusing to do anything that was outside the will of the Father.
Before they would support anything that they heard from the pulpit, they would first go down on their knees to enquire from the Lord, if this was indeed His will. Every time they sought the will of God in a situation.
One of these nations was Lesotho. Certain deceptive voices were trying to bring messages in that nation. Messages that were contrary to the will of God for that nation, but the men in the land went down on their knees in unison, to ask God for His intervention and His will on every matter. When they did that, when they humbled themselves before God to seek His will, the keys of governmental authority (Isaiah 22:22) were released to them. These keys were blazing with fire. In a sense that, anyone who was against the will of God, would not be able to handle the keys.
In South Africa, the whole nation shook when our chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng knelt down in parliament and prayed, during the swearing-in of designated members of the national assembly. Again, the Christians were among those surprised. And yet, God was setting a holy trend, that can never be changed. He was revealing the path, His path — that He first takes the kings down on their knees, before he raises them up. This is going to be a norm in our continent, not a surprise. God’s eyes are on the kings that are after His own heart.
During a recent kingdom business mission to the DRC, organised by the World Economic Congress (WEC), one of the President Felix Tshisekedi’s brother, told us that many people in that nation had been surprised and concerned when they saw the president kneeling during prayer. They saw it as a sign of weakness because they did not know the holy truth or the ways of the Lord. Until such time that they will see the power of God manifest in that nation, God will continue to use this pattern in our continent, as He raises the Davids and the Josephs, who will lead the nations to their divine prophetic destinies, in righteousness and in justice.
The Church should lead the nations in this pattern. We should know that God raises up kings and deposes them (Isaiah 22:15-25). As we bow our hearts and our knees in repentance for the evil in our nations and seek the will of God, the Lord is answering our prayers and is healing our land and continent.
The dawning of a new era. Observing the current gateway
With the passing-on of the former State President of Zimbabwe, His excellency Robert Mugabe, the continent is not only experiencing a shift, but the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. Almost all the current African heads of states and former heads of states have confirmed that they will be attending the funeral, to pay their final respect to President Mugabe.
From South Africa, all three of our state presidents, that served after President Mandela, with the exception of President Khalima Motlanthe, are all going to the funeral. All these kings have put aside their differences and are coming together, to bid farewell to a fallen king.
This then calls for vigilance, observance and fervent prayer from the Church. In spite of the failures, setbacks, downfalls, and tragedies that Africa has faced before, this strategic gathering in Zimbabwe reveals that Africa is one.
And now, as a church, we need to pray that Africa will be one in God. Africa will be saved. Africa will honour the Lord. Africa will fulfil her destiny. Africa will prosper and will be in good health, even as her soul prospers. We need to observe this gateway and usher in God’s will and kingdom, through our prayers.
“In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. 24 In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. 25 The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.” — Isaiah 19:23-25