Family Lessons 39: Deborah

1644 was a not a good time to be born in this country. It was certainly not a good time to be born at Adlington, near Chorley in Lancashire, as was my 10x great-grandmother, Deborah Breers. The year before, the Catholic Lord Molyneux made a dash from the north, taking prisoner Captain Edward Robinson and some of his troop who happened to be quartered at Chorley. Four years later, remnants of the Duke of Hamilton's Scottish force fleeing south from Oliver Cromwell 'at some places made some stands as if they would fight it out, as upon Chorley Moor and Standish Moor'. A number of Chorley people suffered from the sequestrations and confiscations made by the Parliamentary authorities to punish 'delinquents' (i.e. people who fought for the other side). What a place and time to be born and be raised. Yet her father John, my 11x great grandfather, called his little girl Deborah, an unusual name for a female of that century. Doubtless, the ancient Hebrew prophetess was his inspiration:

“In the days of Shamgar, son of Anath,

In the days of Jael,

The highways were deserted,

And the travellers walked along the byways.

Village life ceased, it ceased in Israel,

Until I, Deborah, arose.

Arose a mother in Israel.

(Judges 5:6-7)

Hebrew Deborah was born into difficult times of foreign invasion and pagan oppression. She was the one called by God to deliver Israel, at a time when feeble men were all atremble. I cannot tell if my Deborah was a great woman of God; she died in the very place she was born 44 years later. She did not deliver England from her civil wars, nor play a part in the Glorious Revolution in that year she died. Perchance she delivered and helped whom she could and achieved what good she might in the small circles in which she dwelt. Her 10x great-grandson sometimes considers his own insignificant life of limited attainment and partial service. Whether you are called to motherhood or warriorhood, on a national stage or a local setting, discharge the call as best you can.

Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Psalm 100:2

Image by Sue Rickhuss from Pixabay