Scripture: Judges 4: 1-9 (NIV)
4 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, now that Ehud was dead.
2 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.
3 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.
4 Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading[a] Israel at that time.
5 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
6 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.
7 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.’”
8 Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”
9 “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.
10 There Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali, and ten thousand men went up under his command. Deborah also went up with him.
Verse 8 – again – “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”
Deborah’s story is contained in the 4th and 5th chapter of Judges
Despite Israel’s appetite for rebellion and idolatry, in their cries for deliverance.
- He sent help in the form of Judges
- Deborah’s people had been broken by the cruelty of their oppressors
- They were suffering the consequences of their own disobedience before God.
- Life had almost come to a standstill
- Trade and commerce had collapsed, outlaws had took over
- God called an ordinary woman to do extraordinary things!
Deborah was the 5th and only woman judge – called to deliver the Israelites from the Canaanites.
Deborah was the most influential women in the Old Testament
- She was a prophet,
- the only female judge
- An intercessor,
- military strategist and warrior
- Considered the Mother of Israel
- Songwriter and poet
- She governed God’s people with a mother’s heart, and a soldier’s strength
- She received her marching orders from the King of Glory to bring healing and deliverance to her generation.
- Deborah was called to become a spokeswoman for God, a divine commission that would lead the nation to victory.
But we have to ask ourselves – who was Deborah? What can be learn from her leadership, her character? Her role in how GOD called and used her for His work and for HIS glory?
Judges were often Prophets; They were instructed in Divine knowledge by the inspiration of the Spirit of GodThey learn to be strategic intercessor – developing a listening ear in the presence of the LORD. On many occasions, the judges also served as military commanders who led Israel in battle Deborah was one of those Judges and would serve for forty years.
She had a love and compassion for the people – mediating disputes and bringing order when needed. Deborah’s calling as a judge was not her only role; she was a wife, a prophet, songwriter, and in all things – she proved faithful.
Deborah was also a warrior, not just warrior but a worshiping warrior.
She found encouragement and strength in worship to be obedient to everything the Lord was asking her to do. If Deborah had never thought she could be used by GOD, she would not have experienced all the plans God had for her to deliver Israel.
She would not have had wisdom and revelation to judge disputes.
She would not have heard the Lord’s strategic battle plans as an intercessor.
She would not have brought healing and empowerment to the whole nation.
Let me encourage you – brothers and sisters
So often we’re afraid to step out of our comfort zones and become everything the Lord has called us to be. It’s a blessing the Lord doesn’t give us the whole plan in advance. But don’t let the enemy get in your head and tell you God will never use you to do great things!
I believe the Lord prepared Deborah in the secret place of her worship. This helped her grow in confidence in hearing God’s voice. She was able to discern when it was time to go into war. God had supernaturally implanted a “divine compass” in her, always guiding her in the right direction.
The Lord will do the same with us.
As we go deeper in relationship with God, He will guide us to clarity @ our calling for this season.
- A crucial verse in verse Judges 4:6
6 She sent for Barak ….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. The bible says that Deborah sends for Barak. She doesn’t ask him to come, she doesn’t plead. She simply sends for him with authority. Her authority didn’t come from her skill or title but from the God she served. When God calls you to something, when He lays something on your heart; it doesn’t matter what people think – your authority comes from God.
Though Deborah called Barak to lead Israel’s army into battle – and Barak insisted on Deborah accompanying Him. Barak wanted Deborah’s Faith to come with him. Know that…Deborah would not send him somewhere she was not willing to go herself. Like any good leader, Deborah led the way. She stepped up when called. She didn’t hesitate to act.
“It’s Time GO! Embrace Your Calling”
Do You Realize that being obedient to your call – can have an impact on others?
In Chapter 5 – Deborah states several times that she “AROSE” – she “AWAKES”
She knew if GOD empowered her, HE would equip her – it would be possible to do…
There’s a call on our lives to wake up- arise, do what GOD has called us to do
To ARISE, Deborah will confront the powers of darkness with the Power of God.
TO ARISE, Deborah will be voices for the voiceless..
Deborah pioneered women to be
- To stand….To endure
- To be valid
- To be proven
- To be fulfilled
- To be confirm
- To be stirred up
- To stand boldly in the call of GOD!
Deborah led by example and modeled courage, swift action, obedience, and a willingness to speak the truth
As a woman she would not be expected to be on the battlefield.
However, she did not allow cultural norms to hinder her leadership
Deborah’s confidence didn’t come from her abilities or Israel’s army
- Deborah trusted in God’s Power and Provision (Psalms 20:6)
6 “Now this I know: The LORD gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand.”
Know that God Elevates those HE Chooses
- God does not hesitate to raise up, equip, empower, and promote His Faithful servants. Deborah was a woman of God that had a sword in her hand and a song in her heart.
Is there deep within you, a song that’s been trying to arise? Even through the tears…
This song isn’t that your life is now easy; but the fact is that you know that God’s been at work in your life….
And a breakthrough is about to happen…
You can begin to sing a song of victory!
The Key to Deborah victory was not her ability but her availability.
Did you know that Deborah’s name means honeybee?
God is raising up women who have the sting of the bee, deadly to the enemy, yet they will speak sweet words of wisdom to those in need.
Remember, God doesn’t call the qualified, HE qualifies the called!
Deborah demonstrates the possibility of any women today who will allow the Spirit of God to fill and form her life for kingdom purposes.
“It’s Time to GO – Embrace Your Call!”