Deborah was a judge and prophetess of Israel, who led the people in the war against the king of Canaan. She summoned the people to battle and prophesied their victory over a very large army.
In Deborah’s time there was no king over Israel. The people were led by judges – influential people, used by God, who became political, spiritual and military leaders. When God raised up Deborah, the Israelites had turned away from God and were being oppressed by Jabin, king of Canaan ( Judges 4: 1-2 ).
Deborah was a prophetess and a wise woman . She sat under a date tree and the people came to her to resolve their questions ( Judges 4: 4-5 ).
See here: 3 leadership lessons we learned from Débora.
One day Deborah called a warrior named Barak and told him that God would give him victory over Jabin’s army. Barak insisted that Deborah go with her to the battle and she accepted but warned that it would be a woman who would kill the enemy army chief. They gathered ten thousand men from Israel and went to battle ( Judges 4: 6-7 ).
Jabin’s army was more powerful and had many chariots, which was a great advantage. But Deborah blessed Barak and God defeated this great army. The Israelites killed all enemy soldiers ( Judges 4: 14-15 ).
The commander of Jabin’s army, called Sisera, fled the battle and sought shelter from a woman named Jael. But while he slept in his tent, Jael drove a stake through his forehead with a hammer. When Barak arrived, Jael showed him his enemy, dead! – Judges 4: 21-22
King Jabin never recovered from that defeat and was eventually destroyed. After the great victory, Débora and Baraque sang, thanking God and remembering the most important moments of the battle. Then there was peace for forty years.
What does Deborah’s life teach us?
Deborah’s life teaches us that God sees more than appearances . In Deborah’s time, it was not normal for a woman to be a leader. But God did not reject Deborah as a woman. He made her the political and spiritual leader of the entire country! No matter who you are, God can use you to do great things ( 1 Corinthians 1: 27-29 ).
See also: what does God say about women?
Normally, whoever had military power was the one in charge. But Barak obeyed Deborah, because he recognized that she was a messenger from God. Deborah had God-given authority. Deborah followed God, and because of that, God used her to inspire the people to achieve victory.
Deborah was also married ( Judges 4: 4 ). This proves that having a family and working actively for God are not incompatible. Both men and women are called by God to form a family and contribute to the public ministry.