Deborah and Barak (Judges 4:1-9 NIV)

Back to school, back to internship, and back to devotional posts! Glad to be back on board with my blog 🙂 So without further ado, let’s get started!

deborah-barakDeborah

4 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, now that Ehud was dead. 2 So theLord 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.

~Judges 4:1-9 NIV

Deborah was a judge (or leader, you could say) of Isreal in the time of war and great sin. She lead God’s people through battles but also away from sin and back to God. Deborah is one of my favorite characters of the Bible,and not just because she is a woman, but because of her character. From the first time I read about her I feel in love with her story and her heart. She’s a great model to learn from, not only for women but for every Christian.

The first thing Deborah teaches us is that God can use anybody. Deborah’s reign was during a time were Isreal had turned to sin, but Deborah, faithful and just, was called by the Lord to lead His people. The fact that God chose a woman in this time period specifically was hugely significant. It was also probably about 1200 BC at this time, and we can assume that woman had very little rights during this age; it was probably very hard for Deborah to not only be a judge, but to be accepted as one by her people, especially the men of Isreal. Additionally, God called her during a time of men being leaders, but also a time of war, which was probably not thought as a “womanly subject”. However, Deborah proved to be the best one for the job, just as God called her to be.

With all this in mind, Deborah can remind us that God can use anyone at anytime, no matter how unlikely it seems. With God’s help we can overcome any opposition, beat the odds, and succeed if it is God’s call for us to do so. Young or old, man or woman, tall or short, poor or rich etc, never ever think that God can’t or won’t use you or give you a divine purpose.

Another thing we can learn from Deborah is humility. Knowing she was no warrior, Deborah reached for Barak for help on the battlefield. The fact that Deborah didn’t get over-confident on her “throne” (she wasn’t really on a throne, but you get my point) and reached for the help of a man. She was willing to admit when she wasn’t perfect and she wasn’t too prideful in the fact that she was a woman in power (like many feminist leaders and other women are today, I believe) to ask for a man’s help is hugely important and can remind us all to be humble and willing to ask for someone’s help.

Barak can also teach us to rely on God’s guidance and not the guidance of people. When Barak asked Deborah to go with him, we can not know for sure if he wanted her to come so her presence could give him some peace or confidence or not. But if so, why would Deborah prophesy that God would give the enemy to someone else? Instead of depending on God for peace and guidance, Barak turned to depend on Deborah instead, and then he missed out on the honor of bringing justice to his enemy with his own two hands. This can remind us that when we depend on people instead of God, we can miss all the opportunities God has in store for us. We miss out on a lot when we don’t follow in God’s footsteps, just like Barak did.

Overall, as we read God’s Word, we can learn from the people in it lessons to better ourselves and see what God is speaking into our lives. Deborah and Barak show us that anyone of us can be used by God as long as we remain humble and dependent on Him through our journeys.

Who do you personally learn more from today? Deborah or Barak?

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