PCC Scroll, Volume XIII Issue I: Editor’s Corner

Near the end of his life and ministry, in the second letter to Timothy, Paul said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” – 2 Timothy 4:7 ESV. Paul was able to write these words because he knew in his heart that he had kept his fight regardless of how difficult his life became.

Can you imagine how some of our most inspirational Bible heroes’ stories would have ended if they had given up and not stayed in their fight?

In this issue’s “Word of the Quarter,” we highlight David’s battle against the Amalekites. If he had given up and succumbed to his grief and distress, he would not have sought after God. He would not have been given the instruction to pursue and recover all. What would have happened to the Israeli children and women the Amalekites had captured?

In this issue’s “Women of the Bible,” we highlight Deborah. How many more years would the children of Israel have suffered under the hands of the Canaanite general, Sisera, if Barak had not waged war under Deborah’s command. And remember Deborah’s actions were needed for Jael to accomplish her destiny.

In this issue’s “Men of the Bible,” we highlight Elijah. In him, we have a clear example of someone who retreated from their fight. Elijah felt afraid, depressed, and abandoned. He wanted to die, but God provided for him. God sent a message to Elijah using the weather and still Elijah struggled. In the end, God confronted the emotions that were holding Elijah back. He was able to reengage. Imagine if he had not. Who would have performed Elijah’s assignments, and who would have mentored Elisha?

And finally, what would have happened to all of us had Christ disengaged from the injustice of the Cross?

In these examples, we see many things. They illustrate how we are interconnected. If Deborah had not completed her assignment, Jael’s assignment would have been compromised. They also illustrate the importance of pressing through our emotions. Had David succumbed to his grief and had Elijah continued in his, their futures works would not have been done.

I understand the desire to give up and give in. But we are not just fighting for ourselves. We are also fighting for our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are one body, and God gave us our skills and talents to serve others. Do you have a book you want to write? There is someone out there who needs to read your words. Do you have a song in your heart? There is someone out there who needs to hear your melody.

At the end of our days, will we be able to make the same testimony as Paul? Will we fight the good fight? Will we finish the race? Will we keep the faith? You have so much to offer and there is someone in desperate need of what you have to give. Until the end, stay engaged and fight your battle.

PCC Scroll, Volume XIII Issue I: Women of the Bible

Name: Deborah
Meaning: A bee
Her Work: Deborah was a prophetess and a judge of Israel.
Her Character: Deborah was a wise woman who had a strong faith in God.
Her Sorrow: Israel was oppressed by the Canaanites.
Her Triumph: The defeat of Sisera and the Canaanite army.
Key Scriptures: Judges 4, 5

Deborah was a prophetess and a judge of Israel. She was the fourth judge of Israel and the only woman to hold the position of judge. As a prophetess, God used Deborah to communicate His will to His people. As a judge, her authority was considered by the Israelites as appointed by God. From the Bible, we know that she would sit under the Palm of Deborah. The various tribes would seek her to settle disputes, and her judgment was trusted.

Deborah was married to Lappidoth, who we don’t know much about. They lived near the border of Ephraim and Benjamin. Deborah was known as a wise leader. She was skilled at mediating, advising, and counseling. She was able to plan, direct, and delegate.

To set the stage of her story, Israel did evil in the sight of God, and God turned them over to the Canaanite king, Jabin. The people of Israel were severely oppressed by the commander of Jabin’s army, Sisera. This went on for twenty years, and the people finally called out to God for help.

God spoke to Deborah, and she sent for Barak. She instructed Barak to gather an army to battle against Sisera on Mount Tabor. She told Barak he would have victory. Barak requested that Deborah go with him. She agreed but told him the victory over Sisera would be at the hands of a woman. That woman was Jael, and her story was shared in Volume XII Issue I of the PCC Scroll.

Deborah went with Barak, and Sisera’s army was defeated and his oppression over Israelis in the north ended. It is important to note that Deborah’s presence gave Barak, who would be leading 10,000 men in battle, comfort. This showed that she inspired people to share her trust in God. Because of this, it is fitting to add the word warrior in the list of words used to describe her. Centuries before Joan of Arc rode in battle, Deborah paved the way.

After the battle, the “Ode of Deborah,” which is one of the oldest military songs in history, was composed. Deborah had called the people to battle, and they were led out of idolatry. After the battle, Israel lived in peace for 40 years. Deborah’s faith led to hope, freedom, and peace.

Deborah is a great example of what can be done when a person is engaged and focused. Her example teaches us to be available to God, as well as to serve other people. We see in her an example of a woman and leader focused on what she could do, and what she could do through God. God can accomplish much through a willing vessel.

Deborah stands out among the many distinguished Women of the Bible. She was rooted in a close, personal relationship with God. She was confident that God had chosen her to guide His people, regardless of her sex. She did not let her position as a woman or wife hinder her from serving God, and she was always careful to turn the praise back to Him. As women of God, we should strive, like Deborah, to be comfort and strength to those around us.

PCC Scroll, Volume XIII Issue I: Word of the Quarter

As the old saying goes, “When it rains, it pours.” Have you ever had a season where one challenging event after another happened? You had just recovered from one battle, and the next one began. You looked to God and pleaded, ‘Please no more.’

These are the times when life can feel overwhelming. And it’s quite easy to want to disengage from the fight and tend to your wounds.

In 1 Samuel 30, we see David facing a challenging situation. From the scripture, we learn that the Amalekites had invaded the land. They captured the wives and children of David and his men. They burned the city. They took the spoils.

When David and his men arrived, they found a city devastated. They discovered that their wives and children were missing. They were overwhelmed by their grief, and David and his men wept until they could not weep anymore.

In verse six of the King James Version, it says that David was distressed. He was mourning the capture of his wives and people. And, in their grief, his men spoke of stoning him. David had every right to be overwhelmed. This is the place where many would disengage or give up hope. But, in the same verse, it says, “But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.”

This is important because David shifted his focus from his grief and distress to God. In verse eight, David inquired to God as to what he should do. Should he pursue the Amalekites? If he did, would he overtake them?

God’s response was, “Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.” After this confirmation, David pursued his enemy, smote them, and recovered what was stolen.

Although this is an example of a military battle, we can use it as an analogy to the battles we face as Christians. There are times when we, like David, are greatly distressed and grieved. At this point, it is quite easy to want to disengage and focus on our grief or on the opinions and comments of others. But this is the time when we need to seek God and ask for our battle plans.

We encourage you to be like David. Get away from things that hold you back and distract you. Close off the voices of those murmuring against you. Focus and inquire after God. Stay in the fight, wait for God’s command, and you will pursue and recover all.

And remember you have another example, in Job, of a person who lost everything. After all he lost (family, health, and property), it would have been easy for Job to give up and disengage. But regardless of what he saw, how he felt, and the comments from his friends, Job kept his focus on God. And Job was blessed even greater.

We admonish you to never lose hope in or focus on God. God will keep the promises He made to you. Despite what you see, or don’t see, stay in the fight. When you see yourself falling or holding back, remind yourself to stay in the fight. For you shall pursue and recover all.