Pastor Thomas Smith   -  

“My heart is toward the governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless ye the LORD.”¬†Judges 5:9

The time of the Judges was the period after the death of Joshua and before Saul became the first king of Israel. During this era, when God’s people would stray far from His ways, the Lord would raise up leaders to deliver His backsliding people. Deborah was such a leader, and the Bible records the song of Deborah that was sung after God subdued their enemies. It included these words, “My heart is toward the governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless ye the LORD.”

She recognized the leaders, or governors, who gave themselves to their cause. Her song also indicates there were many who did not engage in the battle, as is the case in many contests. She was grateful to the leaders and to God for those who were willing to get involved. There is such a need for good and godly leaders. We should thank the Lord for leaders who are out front, leading us in the battles of life. Whether in the home or the church, they are making a great contribution.

I have been encouraged many times by the testimony of younger Christian men expressing their indebtedness to older spiritual leaders, particularly those who serve as examples to the generations that are following. Sometimes we forget that others are watching us. Growing believers need to be able to see the consistency and courageous service of those who are stronger and more mature in the Lord.

Deborah mentioned the fact that these governors offered themselves willingly “among the people.” They were not better than the people, or removed from the people, but were among the people. Some of us have seen when this was not the case. Older Christians, who should be leading by example, sometimes take the attitude that they have “served their time,” and thus leave the spiritual battles to the younger and more zealous. We should reject this line of reasoning as being unbiblical.

This would be a good time to join Deborah in thanking the Lord for the leaders that have been used to encourage us in our spiritual growth and service. Where would we be without the faithful and dedicated service of mature leaders? All of us are to be engaged in the Lord’s work. Some are followers and some as leaders, but all are servants of the Lord. “Bless ye the LORD” for every soldier in the fight.