In the Fullness of the Promise
Female Promise Seekers Series: “Prophetess Deborah, 1st Female Judge”
It’s commonly stated that women are the “weaker sex”, however, women are mighty in many ways. It’s a relief to know that God isn’t prejudice in that way. In God’s mind women are just as valuable as men. When it comes to being chosen and used by God, faith is the requirement. That person must have at least a measure of faith.
Today, I’m shining a spotlight on the only female judge recorded in the Bible, Deborah, Israel’s fifth judge. In the Book of Judges, Deborah is described as a mighty combination of judge, intercessor, prophetess, mother of Israel, and military strategist. Deborah broke outside of her culture, not out of rebellion, but in obedience to God to set her people free.
Her name means “honeybee or bee” and bees are known to sting when an enemy tries to attack them. In the biblical record we can see the sting that Deborah delivered to Israel’s enemy by God’s hand.
“Never Underestimate the Power of God Behind a Woman”
Israel had an enemy, Sisera, who was the commander of the army of Jabin, king of Canaan, who had terrorized Israel for 20 years. Deborah summons Barak and told him it was God’s will that he lead her forces against the mighty warrior and terrorist, Sisera; (Judg. 4; 5:1; Heb. 11:32). Barak accepted on one condition that Deborah accompany him, and if not he wouldn’t go. Like Israel, Barak was afraid of Sisera, and many of the towns people were so afraid to even come out of their homes.
In light of the matter, Deborah accepted Barak’s request, and she prophesied that the victory belonged to a woman. She told Barak that God was going to give Sisera into the hands of a female; (Judg. 4:9).
Deborah and Barak’s army consisted of only 10,000 while Sisera had a multitude of fighters and 900 chariots of iron which were formidable weapons against Israel’s foot soldiers. But God was with Israel and that made all the difference in the battle.
After the battle, not a single man of Sisera’s army survived, besides Sisera who fled on foot. He took refuge in the tent of Heber the Kenite; and his wife, Jael drove a tent peg through Siseras’ temple, killing him; (4:21).
Moral of the Story
The message is clear, regardless of the instruments that God chooses to use, He makes them strong and enables them to accomplish His will by His Spirit. God can and will use anyone who is available to Him. He made it known through Prophetess Deborah that a woman is well able to fight and win against His enemies regardless of the size or quantity of those who oppose Him. It may appear as though the enemy is fighting against us (flesh and blood), but the battle is spiritual and the battle belongs to the Lord.
God made it clear to Sisera through Deborah’s prophecy, that the battle would be given to a woman. This decision did not depend on whether Sisera agreed to fight or not. The outcome of the battle was revealed to Deborah by Jehovah, her God. It was a fixed fight, the battle was already won! Jesus won at the cross and we too have the victory in His Name. The Name of Jesus is above every name. The name of Jesus is a strong tower, an ever-present help in the time of trouble. Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess, that Jesus is LORD to the glory of God. All power and authority belongs to Him.
Facts of the Matter
- Know who you are in Christ Jesus. (1 Pet. 2:9.)
- Get into agreement with God. (Matt. 6:10.)
- Listen and be obedient to the call. (1 Sam. 3:8.)
- Trust and believe that God is with you. (Deut. 31:6.)
- Have faith in God to see you through to the end of the battle. (Jude 1:20.)
- Love God and serve Him. (Ex. 23:25; Deut. 6:13.)
- We have the victory through Christ Jesus. (Ex. 15:2.)
Deborah’s prophecy was fulfilled, Sisera was killed by a woman, and Israel was freed from their enemy’s threats forever. God subdued Jabin king of the Canaan before the Israelites. Mission completed! The victory belongs to Jesus!
Sources: Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary; The Holy Bible; Biblehub.com; Got Questions.org
Photograph: Noire 3000 Bible, by James C. Lewis