Read: Then Deborah said to Barak, “Go! This is the day the LORD has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the LORD gone ahead of you? Judges 4:14
Examine: Deborah the Bible was one of the most influential women in the Old Testament. She was a prophetess, a warrior, a songwriter, and the only female judge to shepherd God’s people and lead Israel into battle against their enemies.
Deborah judged and led Israel for 60 years. Her oversight covered approximately 20 years of national hardship before the Canaanite war and then peaceful aftermath of 40 years.
Deborah was one of the judges of Israel during a time of oppression. The Lord spoke through her as she held court under a tree called “the Palm of Deborah” in Ephraim. The Lord also used her to set her people free and defeat the king of Canaan. Deborah’s story is found in Judges, chapters 4 and 5.
When Deborah became judge, the Israelites had been subjugated for 20 years by Jabin, king of Canaan. The commander of Jabin’s army was named Sisera, and he had 900 iron chariots – formidable weapons against Israel’s foot soldiers (Judges 4:3). The Israelites were treated very cruelly by Sisera and his army, and Israel’s spirits were very low. Deborah describes the: “The highways were abandoned, and travelers kept to the byways. The villagers ceased in Israel; they ceased to be” (Judges 5:6-7). People feared to leave their homes; traveling was very dangerous.
God’s word comes through Deborah. The message is that Barak will lead the revolt against Sisera. Barak’s response is, “I’ll only go if Deborah goes with me” (Judges 4:8). Everyone is afraid of Sisera, including Barak. Deborah agrees to accompany Barak. (Judges 4:9).
When the time came for battle, God again spoke through Deborah, who prompted Barak to marshal his forces. The Israelites came against the army of Sisera, and God granted them victory. The mighty Sisera himself was brought. As the commander rested after the battle, a woman named Jael drove a tent peg through his head.
Application: The most unlikely leader, Deborah was faithful and courageous. We can see that God’s power is what matters, regardless of the instrument He chooses to use. Man or woman, strong or weak, confident or hesitant – all are strong when they are moved by God’s Spirit and filled with His strength. We can also see in Deborah a picture of God’s tender care for His people. As a mother cares for her children, so Deborah led and nurtured Israel (Judges 5:7).
Decision: Oh Lord! Help me to be like Deborah, a family person, a good leader, trustworthy, honest, blameless, and trustworthy to the Lord. Bold and courage to face tough situations.