Dec. 19. Deborah, Israel’s Woman Judge

Judg. 4:1-5:31

The trend of following years of peace with years of rebellion continued. God allowed Jabin, king of Canaan to oppress the Israelites for a period of twenty years. During that time a woman prophetess named Deborah was the judge of Israel.

Israel had been ordered by God to assemble an army of ten thousand men to engage Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army of well equipped men in battle. Deborah called for Barak to lead that army. For whatever reason, he refused to go unless she would go with him. With the woman, Deborah by Barak’s side they went and, “The Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army with the edge of the sword before Barak…” All of Sisera’s army was killed, but he escaped to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, a descendant of Moses’ father-in-law. She took him in BUT as the tired warrior slept, she drove a tent peg into his temple. “So on that day God subdued Jabin king of Canaan…”

Deborah and Barak celebrated their victory with a song of praise to God. That song depicted the many ways that God had helped them to gain victory over their enemy, the king of Canaan. It ended with a mother’s cry for the return of her son from battle.