Who Should Go First?

I hated to see the African men trek ten steps ahead of women, who carried all the baggage and the children. So I investigated the origins of this custom. A long time ago the men carried weapons and  marched in front of the women and children to defend them against the enemies of neighboring tribes, wild lions or slave traders.   

This makes sense according to the Bible. “For the husband is head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.” Ephesians 5:23

On a narrow, twisted bush trail, someone must go first. All the others must walk single file behind him. One day I followed a man who carried a machete, who was on his way to his farm. He came across a deadly snake on the path and killed it. Thank God he went first.

Another time, I didn’t know the way to a village. Were it not for the man walking ahead of me, showing me the way, I’d have gotten lost.

The prophetess Deborah, the wife of lapping-dog, led Israel for a time. She called Barak to lead the army to Mount Tabor to fight off Sisera, who oppressed the Israelites.

Barak said. “If you go with me, then I will go. But if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.” 

Deborah answered, “Very well, but because of the way you are going about this, the honor will not be yours. For the Lord will hand Sisera over to a woman.” (Judges 4:9)

Towards the end of the battle, another women, “Jail with the nail,” lured Sisera into her tent, gave him a glass of millk and hammered his head to the ground with a tent peg. Since Barak didn’t take the lead in battle, he lost his honor. The women, Deborah and Jael saved the Israelites and are recognized in history as doing this.  

As God’s children we may want to do the right thing, but maybe the way we go about it doesn’t glorify the Lord. We may volunteer for a job, but ask someone else to go first or to do the hardest part for us. Or maybe we do it our way, instead of the way the Lord wants us to do it.

Do any of God’s creatures have two heads? Someone must lead the battle, speak for the others or go ahead of strangers to show the way. The rest of us should encourage them to do this.

When there’s danger, the one who has the weapon and knows how to use it should go first. Everything should be done in order, God’s way. 

Thanks for joining me today.

Have a great week.



About celestecharlene

I served as a medical missionary in West Africa for thirty years treating the sick and establishing health clinics in rural neglected areas.
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