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Day 15 | Deborah

Read Judges 4:1-24

Most Old Testament judges seem very different from our modern concept of judges. Rather than arbitrate between right and wrong, they were more likely to be military leaders, delivering Israel from some foreign oppressor. Deborah, the only woman judge, seems like our modern judges. People came to her for her wisdom and to settle disputes. Israel’s military leadership should have been provided by its top general, Barak, but Deborah led when Barak failed to do so.

Israel had forsaken God again, so the Lord sent the Canaanites to oppress His people and turn them back to Him. It appears that God commanded General Barak to lead the Israelites against the Canaanite army and their iron chariots led by Canaanite General Sisera (v6). But there were those iron chariots, and Barak was afraid. Deborah, as a prophetess, reminded Barak of his commission to lead, but he was unwilling unless Deborah accompanied him. Because of his lack of faith, the glory of the battle would not go to Barak but to God first and then to women (Deborah and Jael).

What do you do when someone in a position of leadership fails to lead? Deborah’s first step, moved by the Spirit of God, was to remind the positional leader of his responsibility. Still, Barak refused to move unless Deborah went with him. How many Godly women wish their men would lead as husbands and fathers? How many children wish their parents, either of them, would lead? How many Christians wish their shepherds would lead? Deborah’s example is first to remind and then to accompany the weak leader, leading alongside them. Remember that Deborah is not concerned about her glory or credit but rather about accomplishing God’s mission. Don’t ignore a failure to lead God’s people in the church, the family, or elsewhere, but honor the positional leader by accompanying them and reminding them that it is ultimately the Lord who is accompanying them.

Pray for 10 minutes