Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, now that Ehudwas dead. So the Lord sold them into the hands of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. Sisera, the commander of his army, was based in Harosheth Haggoyim. Because he had nine hundred chariots fitted with iron and had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the Lord for help.
Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramahand Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided. She sent for Barak son of Abinoamfrom Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor. I will lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.’”
Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”
“Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh. There Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali, and ten thousand men went up under his command. Deborah also went up with him.
On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song.
“When the princes in Israel take the lead,
when the people willingly offer themselves—
praise the Lord!
“Hear this, you kings! Listen, you rulers!
I, even I, will sing to the Lord;
I will praise the Lord, the God of Israel, in song.
“When you, Lord, went outt from Seir,
when you marched from the land of Edom,
the earth shook, the heavens poured,
the clouds poured down water.
The mountains quaked before the Lord, the One of Sinai,
before the Lord, the God of Israel.
“In the days of Shamgar son of Anath,
in the days of Jael, the highways were abandoned;
travelers took to winding paths.
Villagers in Israel would not fight;
they held back until I, Deborah, arose,
until I arose, a mother in Israel.
God chose new leaders
when war came to the city gates,
but not a shield or spear was seen
among forty thousand in Israel.
My heart is with Israel’s princes,
with the willing volunteers among the people.
Praise the Lord!
Before we talk about Deborah and what made her a great woman of God, I’d like to mention the fact that this story opens with AGAIN…Again, the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord.
The Israelites continued to waver in their faith. Following God, then doing what was right in their eyes. They failed to remove all the Canaanites from their land, doing business with them proved to be profitable, so they didn’t want to let go. Over time the Canaanites increased in numbers, in their resources, and wanted to restore their power.
Was there a time when you wavered in your faith, holding on to part of your sin, thinking you could manage it? It’s like being on a diet and having M & M’s in the house; thinking you’re not going to eat any! It’s going to happen, you’re going to give in. When you recognize the sin God reveals in your life, from that point, with God’s help we are to work on removing it entirely! There is not a good justification or excuse for holding on to any part of our sin. When we knowingly sin, there are grave consequences for our actions. We could lose our promise land because we chose to be apart from God. Continually seek God, his wisdom, his grace, and his protection; God will answer your prayer.
The story of Deborah is an excellent example of how God often chooses to raise up unlikely men and women to lead his people. Deborah was a prophet, a wife, a leader. Deborah wore many hats, just as we all do today. The one thing we can all learn from her is that she knows how to wear them all well.
As a leader, Deborah didn’t have her own agenda, she had God’s. We are all leaders and influencers in some ways, we have our group, our family, our friends. In many situations in our lives what we can learn from Deborah is to put aside any personal agenda and listen for God’s direction; when it applies, let others know. Deborah had the ability to bring people together and encourage them to obey God. As a wife, a mother, a friend are we encouraging those around us to seek God for His direction and answers? In our groups, our activities and our plans, are we concerned for people or just the success of a situation? You may not realize, but there is always someone watching. We don’t have to be a judge or a political leader to make an impact. We just need to follow God’s plan and lead well.
Then, as Deborah did, when the victory is won, we remember to praise Him for what He has accomplished through us.
Dear heavenly Father, please help me to recognize any sin I am holding on to in my life and give me the strength to let it go. Father, help me to focus on your agenda for my life; you have what is best for me. Help me to be an example to those around me by being able to love them well, and by showing me how to gently and lovingly guide them to you. Father, I thank you and praise you in advance for how you are going to use me to help others. Amen.
Psalm 18:31-40. In what ways does this parallel Deborah’s battle against Sisera’s army?
In Deuteronomy 32:35 and Nahum 1:2-3, how can we be sure ungodly souls like Sisera have a tent peg in their future?
Psalm 47:8 reminds us that no matter who sits on any earthly throne, only One truly reigns.
Debra grew up going to church in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pa. The sun and beaches drew her to Florida at a young age. Wanting a better lifestyle for her 3 children, Debra moved them all to Clermont in 2004. Debra, along with daughter, Lorin, son-in-law Steel, daughter Jenna, and son-in-law Christian all currently reside in Clermont. Debra’s son Matt lives in PA with his wife, Crystal, and their daughters, Allie and Olivia. Debra loves her career as a full-time Realtor, has a very active lifestyle enjoying many outdoor activities, enjoys cooking, being creative, and loves serving as a Life Group Facilitator and Life Group Coordinator at the Real Life Clermont campus. Debra’s favorite pastime is getting together with family and friends doing just about anything.