Today the discussion comes from Judges chapters 4 & 5. In the opening verses of Judges 4, we read about the Israelites crying out to God to deliver them from their oppression under the hand of Jabin king of Canaan. ‘And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord after Ehud died. And the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-hagoyim. Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, for he had 900 chariots of iron and he oppressed the people of Israel cruelly for twenty years.’ Judges 4:1-3
Of course, God being ever faithful does provide the Israelites with way of escape from this situation. In verses Judges 4:4-5, we are introduced to the judge of the time, Deborah. Deborah sat under a palm tree and the people would come to her for judgement.
The story continues with explaining how Deborah sent for Barak and questioned why he was not listening to the command of God to attack King Jabin’s army while reminding him that God promised to deliver the army captain, Sisera and his men to Barak. ‘And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go; but if thou wilt not go with me, I will not go. And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding, the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honor; for Jehovah will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh Judges 4:8-9 In this conversation between Barak and Deborah, there was a contrast. We don’t know why Barak was not willing to follow God’s command, but we read that Deborah does not hesitate to go when Barak made the request.
With her willingness to go with Barak onto the battlefield, Deborah showed great courage, bravery and faith in God. While Barak obviously struggled with trusting God would deliver, Deborah believed that God would keep His word. Later on we read, Deborah reminded Barak that God was keeping His word and delivering Sisera ‘And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which Jehovah hath delivered Sisera into thy hand; is not Jehovah gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him.’ Judges 4:14. The remainder of the story explains how Sisera, captain of the Jabin’s army was defeated. And Deborah proved correct in saying his death would be at the hand of a women. Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite took the opportunity of Sisera asleep in her tent to drive a tent peg into his temple and this resulted in the Israelites defeat over the Canaanites. ‘And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will show thee the man whom thou seekest. And he came unto her; and, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the tent-pin was in his temples. So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel. And the hand of the children of Israel prevailed more and more against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.” Judges 4:22-24
Deborah’s story provides a wonderful example of faith in God as well as tells another inspiring example of God caring for His followers. Deborah’s bravery, courage, and strength shine through in this story and shows why she deserves the title of women of faith.
Until next time