JUDGES 4

Spend time in prayer and silence with God asking him to meet you and speak to you.

Bible Reading

Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, now that Ehud was 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 Ramah and 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 Abinoam from 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.

– Judges 4:1-10

Devotion

This is the only time during the period of the judges when the enemies of the Israelites came from within their land. The Israelites had not driven out all of the Canaanites. Therefore, the Canaanites had a chance to regroup and were attempting to regain their lost power. This incident would never have happened if the Israelites had obeyed God in the first place and driven all of the Canaanites from the land.

There are Biblical records of several women who held national leadership positions, and Deborah was an outstanding woman. God chose this very capable woman to lead Israel at a very difficult time.

As we go through the Bible, it is clear that God can choose anyone to fulfill his purpose; any color or race, young or old, man or woman.

Deborah was a woman who commanded respect, led people into battle, but, even more importantly, she influenced them to live for God after the dust settled and the battle was over. Deborah’s life both encourages and challenges us to be available to God and to others. Deborah exemplifies what a person can accomplish when God is in control.

The Big Question

How are you doing in the area of influencing your family and friends to live for God?

How is Deborah an inspiration to your life?

Is there an area of your life you can commit to be more available for God?

Conclude in prayer and silence, reflecting on what you’ve learned.