January 10 - Deborah

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January 10 - Deborah

Judges 4:1, “And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord …”

This will be a familiar theme for the Israelites.  However, this time, Deborah was judging Israel.  She was not only their leader, but a prophetess.  Judges 4:5 says that she used to sit under a palm tree and the people of Israel would come to her there for judgment.

The Israelites had been sold by the Lord to Jabin, king of Canaan.  His commander was Sisera.  He had been oppressing the people of Israel cruelly for twenty years (Judges 4:3).

Deborah summoned Barak and reminded him that the Lord had commanded him to take 10,000 men from the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali and battle Sisera.  Barak replied that he wasn’t going without her.  With her there, he would be glad to go.  She agreed, he gathered the 10,000 men and off they went off to Mount Tabor to do battle.

She encouraged Barak, telling him that the Lord would go before them and with those words, the army attacked and killed every member of Sisera’s army. Then, they went after Jabin and destroyed him as well.

There is a song in Judges 5 of Deborah and Barak.  While there is great praise for those who engaged in battle, Judges 5:16-23 names those of the tribes who stood by doing nothing.  “They did not come to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.” (Judges 5:23)

“And the land had rest for forty years” (Judges 5:31).

Women in the Old Testament may have been seen as property and not given a lot of respect, but those whom the Lord called to do His will were given great power and honor.

Deborah heard the Lord and through her, Israel walked again with the Lord and found peace.