Deborah was not a girlie girl, though she liked looking pretty. It was just that she didn’t care to join the other women chatting about babies & meals & complaining about husbands. Deborah enjoyed her beloved husband, creating a pleasant abode, and managing her spirited children.
Nevertheless, she knew there were many exciting ways to spend an afternoon. There were hillsides, beckoning with multi-hued wildflowers, mesmerizing butterflies, and outcroppings on which to sit, imagining. There were long walks by the sea, spent pondering the questions of life. There were hours passed under the grape arbor, sitting out of view, listening to the men discuss village affairs and the Scriptures.
Deborah loved studying the Scriptures. She became so in tune with God’s ways that she became known as a prophetess. Villagers came to her with questions to ask and problems to solve. She would sit for many hours under a palm tree in hill country, listening intently. Knowledge about her God-given gift spread throughout the countryside.
One day, the elders asked Deborah, “Won’t you become Judge over us?”
After lengthy consultation with her husband, Lappidoth, Deborah accepted. Her life became extremely busy, but oh-so-fulfilling! Deborah knew she had been created for such a challenge as this. As she settled into her role, God’s Spirit moved in her heart, whispering this message:
“My people suffer at the hands of wicked King Jabin. Obey my command. Assemble ten thousand warriors from Naphtali. I will lure Jabin’s army and his commander Sisera to the riverside. There, I will give my people victory.”
Deborah immediately summoned Barak of Naphtali to tell him of God’s plan. Barak agreed to be commander of an army, but refused to go into battle unless Deborah came with him.
“Very well,” Deborah agreed, “but know this, your choice will bring no honor to you. The Lord God’s victory will come at the hands of a woman.”
Ten thousand warriors marched with Barak. Deborah was by his side. As the battle raged, Deborah told Barak, “Get ready! Today you will have victory, for the Lord God is marching ahead of you.”
Barak led his warriors down the rocky slopes of the mountain into battle with Sisera. The Lord caused Barak’s army to triumph. But, Sisera escaped.
Sisera ran into the countryside where he found the tent of Jael whose family was friendly with King Jabin. Jael welcomed Sisera, saying. “Come in, come in, do not be afraid.”
Sisera asked for water and commanded Jael to stand guard outside the tent. Exhausted, Sisera fell asleep. Jael, knowing Sisera was VERY evil decided she should make sure he could not hurt any more people. When Barak came looking for Sisera, Jael showed him what she had done.
Then the people of the land honored Jael. Deborah and Barak created a song of bountiful praise to God singing, “May those who love you rise like the sun at full strength.”
Deborah’s obedience, faithfulness, and bravery caused God to give Deborah’s country, Israel, peace for forty years.