How many times have we thought, “I am only one, what can I do?” If we truly are one than yes, what can we do? If we are one with God on our side, than we are mightier than the best trained military.
Deborah (Judges 4, 5) was a judge in Israel. She has two chapters in the Bible dedicated to her story, just enough words to get a glimpse into her life. The Israelites had a pattern of sin, servitude, supplication, and salvation that went on for about 400 years. During this time God appointed various judges to save them from their servitude. They enjoyed peace in the land and then the attraction of the foreign gods and practices became like the fruit in the midst of the Garden of Eden, that one piece of fruit they were not supposed to eat. The Israelites knew what God expected of them. They also knew what the consequences were for their disobedience, and yet the allure of sin was so great a temptation.
During one of these times of servitude following their sinful indulgence, God brought Deborah onto the scene. She does not enter the scene with brute force like Samson did, but rather she becomes well known because of her wisdom. “She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment.” (Judges 4:5). This level of wisdom does not come through the service of worshipping idols, but rather through a close intimate relationship with God, the Creator of the world. In order to be wise, we must spend time with the Creator of wisdom.
Deborah summoned Barak and asked him to lead the Israelites against their enemies, yet Barak was unwilling to go unless Deborah went with him. As a general rule, a man asking a woman to go into battle with him might be considered a sign of weakness and be grounds for ridicule from other men. Yet, Deborah’s influence was so great, that Barak felt sure that going into battle without Deborah would be met with defeat.
Deborah willingly went with Barak into battle, though she did not fight, she provided encouragement to Barak and the soldiers. “And Deborah said to Barak, ‘Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has given Sisera into your hand. Does not the Lord go out before you?’” (Judges 4:14). That day Sisera and his army fell.
Deborah did not have anything special about her. She was a wife and a mother. Yet, she took what she had, a close walk with God, and allowed Him to use her in whatever way He saw fit. In Deborah and Barak’s song of praise to God for their victory over the Canaanites, Deborah called herself “a mother in Israel” (Judges 5:7). A mother is a bond in a family, and for Deborah as the mother in Israel she became the bond of the people.
Our first priority as women should be to spend time with God daily in His word and in prayer. As we seek His face and seek His wisdom, and as we willingly serve God the possibilities are endless. Deborah was a wife and a mother. Yet, she allowed God to use her to save His people out of servitude. What could you do, wife and mother?