Israel had been cruelly oppressed for more than twenty years. Crushed repeatedly by the nine hundred iron chariots of Sisera, they had been reduced to an impoverished broken nation. The roads had been abandoned and normal life for many of the people had ceased. God, however, had not forgotten them.
In answer to their prayers, he raised up a leader. Her name was Deborah – a mother in Israel. Through her prophetic gifting and wise counsel, she challenged all of Israel to rise up and throw off the yoke of their oppressors.
Finally, because of her faith, an obscure warrior named Barak answered her call to lead the armies of Israel. Under their leadership, Sisera and his diabolical legions were utterly destroyed.
What lessons can we learn from this amazing story of how God used one woman to change a nation?
- wherever you look in the body of Christ today, it is clear that God is calling women to rise up into their destiny. Whether they are students, professionals, or stay-at-home moms, God is calling them to take their place at the forefront of the spiritual battles that are harassing this age.
- Deborah was a prophetess. If you are going to fully come into God’s unique purpose for your life, it is critical that you understand the gifts that He has given you. Whether your gift is evangelism, teaching, healing, or mercy, the understanding of how your gift operates is critical to your destiny.
- she was a mother. In an hour when much of society has denigrated motherhood, it is vital that you and I see its importance. Motherhood is at the very essence of God’s plan to change history, because he has given mothers the privilege of shaping the lives of their children in their most formative years.
It is typically the hand of a mother, not the hand of God, that carefully lays the initial blocks in a child’s spiritual foundation. These early moments in a child’s development cannot be minimized, because they will become the very foundation stones upon which the child’s whole life will rest.
- Unlike some anointed women I have known, Deborah was secure enough in her anointing and her womanhood to understand and respect the role God had given men. Even though she was Israel’s prophetess, she realized that the responsibility of leading Israel’s armies belonged to a man.
Her acknowledgement of Barak’s leadership, despite his initial reluctance to obey God’s call, gives us a unique perspective on the role of women and men in ministry.
May your eyes be opened to the unique calling that God has placed on your life as you ponder these words today.
Many lessons can be learned from the life of Deborah. She acknowledged that her strength came from the Lord. Rather than taking pride in her own abilities, she relied on God for wisdom and leadership ability.
She used her abilities to serve. She showed no selfishness in the use of her God-given abilities to judge Israel or to prophecy. Rather, she focused on helping the people of Israel improve their lives, honor God, and find freedom from their oppressors.
Deborah offers a bold and powerful role model for women today. Deborah had courage to face the enemy, even after 20 years of oppression. Her courage was contagious, and Barak was able to fulfill his God-given duty with Deborah’s support. Her courage became encouragement.
Though the Bible’s record of Deborah’s life is brief, her impact was great. Her leadership and obedience to God’s Word resulted in a changed nation for an entire generation. Those who study her life will find a role model of godly faith, boldness, wisdom, and worship.
God can accomplish great things through people who are willing to be led by him
Wise leaders surround themselves with the right people
She was concerned about people, not just her success
Whenever people praised her she acknowledged that all the glory belongs to God.
Culled from Jim Lafoon and Dillon Burroughs.
Arranged and edited by Adedokun Shalom.