Monday, February 26, 2018

Deborah the Judge

"Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time" (Judges 4:4).

During the time of the Judges, each tribe in Israel had its own government and its own judge. In a time of emergency, however, God would select a national judge to lead in the crisis, generally to drive out an invader after the people had repented of their sins. Deborah was one of the most remarkable of these.

It is in the Song of Deborah, Judges 5, that we find the most interesting information about this period. After a few introductory verses, Deborah states in verse 8: “When they chose new gods, war came to the city gates, and not a shield or spear was seen among forty thousand in Israel.” Who had chosen new gods? Israel. Israel had forsaken the Lord and begun to worship false gods, so the Lord brought in enemies against them to humble them. So intimidated were the Israelites that they hid their weapons. None of them would lift a finger to resist the terrorism and oppression of the invaders.

This was true until Deborah arose. She functioned as a “mother” for Israel (v. 7). She built up her children and led them against the enemy. God miraculously delivered Israel by means of a rainstorm, and the enemy commander fled to the tent of Jael, whose husband was in league with him. Jael welcomed the commander, gave him milk to drink, and put him to sleep. Then she took a tent peg and drove it through his temple into the ground. Deborah had prophesied that it would be a woman who would destroy the enemy, and so it came to pass.

The story of Deborah shows us that even when the leading people of the land fail to take action for God, the humble people can still do so, and God will bless their efforts.

Victory is not determined by might or numbers. Rather, it is dependent upon God’s providence as He uses obedient believers. God can raise up unexpected leaders among those least likely to exercise leadership skills. Read today of God using ordinary people like Ruth and Naomi to accomplish extraordinary results.