Meaning: A bee
Her Work: Deborah was a prophetess and a judge of Israel.
Her Character: Deborah was a wise woman who had a strong faith in God.
Her Sorrow: Israel was oppressed by the Canaanites.
Her Triumph: The defeat of Sisera and the Canaanite army.
Key Scriptures: Judges 4, 5
Deborah was a prophetess and a judge of Israel. She was the fourth judge of Israel and the only woman to hold the position of judge. As a prophetess, God used Deborah to communicate His will to His people. As a judge, her authority was considered by the Israelites as appointed by God. From the Bible, we know that she would sit under the Palm of Deborah. The various tribes would seek her to settle disputes, and her judgment was trusted.
Deborah was married to Lappidoth, who we don’t know much about. They lived near the border of Ephraim and Benjamin. Deborah was known as a wise leader. She was skilled at mediating, advising, and counseling. She was able to plan, direct, and delegate.
To set the stage of her story, Israel did evil in the sight of God, and God turned them over to the Canaanite king, Jabin. The people of Israel were severely oppressed by the commander of Jabin’s army, Sisera. This went on for twenty years, and the people finally called out to God for help.
God spoke to Deborah, and she sent for Barak. She instructed Barak to gather an army to battle against Sisera on Mount Tabor. She told Barak he would have victory. Barak requested that Deborah go with him. She agreed but told him the victory over Sisera would be at the hands of a woman. That woman was Jael, and her story was shared in Volume XII Issue I of the PCC Scroll.
Deborah went with Barak, and Sisera’s army was defeated and his oppression over Israelis in the north ended. It is important to note that Deborah’s presence gave Barak, who would be leading 10,000 men in battle, comfort. This showed that she inspired people to share her trust in God. Because of this, it is fitting to add the word warrior in the list of words used to describe her. Centuries before Joan of Arc rode in battle, Deborah paved the way.
After the battle, the “Ode of Deborah,” which is one of the oldest military songs in history, was composed. Deborah had called the people to battle, and they were led out of idolatry. After the battle, Israel lived in peace for 40 years. Deborah’s faith led to hope, freedom, and peace.
Deborah is a great example of what can be done when a person is engaged and focused. Her example teaches us to be available to God, as well as to serve other people. We see in her an example of a woman and leader focused on what she could do, and what she could do through God. God can accomplish much through a willing vessel.
Deborah stands out among the many distinguished Women of the Bible. She was rooted in a close, personal relationship with God. She was confident that God had chosen her to guide His people, regardless of her sex. She did not let her position as a woman or wife hinder her from serving God, and she was always careful to turn the praise back to Him. As women of God, we should strive, like Deborah, to be comfort and strength to those around us.