“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.”
The Lord spoke through Deborah to Barak and commanded him to lead 10,000 men to a specific place where God would give his enemy into his hands. Deborah was willing to go with Barak to be a source of encouragement for him when Barak told her he wouldn’t do it without her. When Barak obeyed God, all of the enemy had been killed except their leader, Sisera, who fled on foot.
Barak had been warned of the consequences of not accepting God’s command as it was without asking a woman to go with him. He was told that the honor would go, not to a man, but to a woman.
Deborah was not that woman. She had to deal with Barak, so running after a fugitive was not on her To Do List. I’ll share in next week’s blog post about which woman received the honor that Barak didn’t get.
Last year, I wrote about Deborah because she was a standout woman in the Bible. The verses about her showed she was available, obedient, and caring. Today, I want to focus on the boldness it took to do what she did.
Her goal was peace. She wanted to bring the disputes of the Israelites under control. They came to her at the Palm of Deborah where she held court. Can you imagine a shingle with her name on it nailed to the palm tree that gave her its shade? Maybe she had a gavel. Maybe there was a bailiff.
This woman knew about their enemy who had 900 chariots fitted with iron and who had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years. She had heard her people crying out to the Lord for help. So when the Lord answered their cries by commanding Barak to go into battle against their enemy, Deborah was sure there was a victory ahead of them. Whenever the Lord tells you he’ll give your enemy into your hands, there is certain victory ahead.
But Barak somehow was uneasy about going into battle without Deborah.
It made Deborah dig deep into her reserves of patience with the man, but she went with him to the place God had commanded. She had to remind him on the day of battle, “Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?”
This was an important win for Barak and his men. When he led his 10,000 men into battle, I’m sure Deborah watched him go and then let out a sigh of relief. She knew as long as Barak did what God commanded, her people would be spared. I can imagine that she was slightly annoyed that she had to go with him to make him do what he could’ve easily done without her.
Deborah was not some mousy little people pleaser. She was bold enough to stand up for what God said. How many in our day would stand up for God’s commands? How many of us would rather not stand out like that?
It took her guts and boldness to bring about the victory God had planned for her people. Can God use us like he used Deborah?
We’re not all judges, but we can all stand up for what we know God wants.