Judges 4 — Deborah the Judge and Barak
Judges 5 — The Song of Deborah and Barak
Judges 6:1-10 — Midian Oppresses the People of Israel
Judges 6:11-40 — Gideon the Judge is Called and Asks for a Sign
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One Reply to “Feb 21 — Judges 4-6”
As a father of four daughters and the blessed to have a super-intelligent wife, the story of Deborah provides great encouragement for the women in my life. It’s remarkable that Deborah “leading Israel at that time” (Judges 4:4) would be chosen as judge and leader in a male-dominated culture. But apparently she lead with such humility that men not only listened to her wisdom, they followed her lead without reservation. Barak’s statement, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go” (Judges 4:8) can be read two opposing ways: he was weak or perhaps he had great respect for Deborah. The latter is apparently the case since Barak’s response is to follow her direction immediately, without reservation (Judges 4:10).
The Lord indeed delivered Sisera’s forces into the hands of the Israelites, “the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and army by the sword…” (Judges 4:14-17). Sisera himself fell as victim to Jael through her surreptitious acts of deception and execution as he slept in her tent (Judges 4:18-21). Deborah honored Jael’s actions in song (Judges 5:24-27), but Deborah asserts the strength of the Lord is the true deliverer of the Israelites. The result: “the land had peace forty years” (Judges 5:31b).
The story of Deborah (and Jael) in Israel’s history reminds us that God is not limited to who he chooses to lead his people and provides support for women in leadership positions. I wish there were more details of her leadership finesse for she must have been an amazing person, someone from whom we could all learn lessons of diplomacy. I’m thankful that God chose to highlight Deborah and give the women in my life a shining example to admire.