Deborah, a prophetess, and the wife of Lapidoth judged Israel at that time. Like other judges, Deborah was not elected by the people of Israel or appointed by anyone. Who exalted her and made her greatly known? God raised her up to help His people as a judge and as a prophetess. Being the only female judge, she also had the gift of prophecy. Without written laws, her judgements came by direct inspiration from Almighty God Himself! What caused stress in Israel? Why did they cry out to God? King Jabin undoubtedly oppressed the people of Israel for twenty years! For them, and for us, life can become so stressful that even the most resistant hearts and minds will turn to God for answers. During Deborah’s reign as judge, farmers were terrorized while their harvests and livestock were stolen.
In our time, we could call troubles like these losing streaks. In this story we see Israel in twenty years of decline. Do we discover a leadership team in this passage of Scripture? Deborah and Barak, who was a leader of the tribes of Zebulon and Naphtali, trusted God. He recognized Deborah’s abilities, but without God’s guidance he did not intend to have been caught with ten-thousand men without help from God and without the prophetess. God responded and their mission was completed. Deborah did not seek credit for herself, but gave God all the glory and honor. Why not let this story encourage us to use any opportunity to serve the Lord and to give Him all the praise instead of inflating our own horns? With less disputes about the possession of land they needed, God’s people settled down to peaceful and prosperous living conditions. Like them, let us never forget the power of God as He continues to guide us when we seek Him!
Mrs. Gladys R. McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion. She is a native of Essex County, Va.