Read Judges 4.
Deborah was the only woman judge of Israel. That was an exception for God. Lot of us could be used by God if we would present ourselves to him. Let him use you. God’s people went away from him. He judged them and at times that judgment came through captivity. They cried to him and he would raise up a leader to help. This time God allowed Jabin, King of Canaan was their oppressor. Jabin’s captain was Sisera. After 20 years of oppression, Israel cried out to God; they could have called sooner but didn’t. God sent Deborah.
Deborah summoned Barak, reminding him to take 10,000 soldiers so they could be delivered. Barak wouldn’t go without Deborah. She represented God to the people. I believe he thought if the people saw her they would see God’s approval. In verse 9 Deborah said I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh. Barak thought she referred to herself but she was not the woman the verse is talking about.
Jabin had chariots of iron, but they were no match for God Almighty. Israel won the battle. Sisera ran and went to the tent of another woman named Jael. He thought he’d be safe there. She told him to go in. He asked for water; she gave him milk. He trusted her, but while he slept Jael took a tent stake and drove it into his temple pinning him to the ground. Israel prevailed and had rest for 40 years. I want us to see some truths in this story.
What kind of faith do you have? Great faith? Strong faith? Deborah believed God. Her faith was strong. Barak’s faith was weak. He wouldn’t go to battle if Deborah didn’t go with him. Faith will drive out fear. All of us have a measure of faith. Barak’s increased with use. Use yours. It will get stronger. Faith can grow. Faith in God will cause us to do great things for God. Too many people have more faith in their fellow man than they do in God. Barak did. Why can’t we just obey God and trust him?
We need each other. Israel’s success depended on each one doing their job. Victory was the result. If the local church is to be anything for the glory of God, it will be because we work together. No individual Christian can function effectively by himself. My right arm won’t work severed from my body. A little splinter hurts. Something in your eye hurts. These affect the whole body. We need each other. How effective would a football team be if all its members were quarterbacks? Each is needed to do their job to win the game. In a spiritual sense, if I decided I wasn’t going to do anything if I could be the song leader you’d not have a message. My function is to preach. Be glad God called you to do something. Fulfill that function. Every job is important.
How can we help each other? Greet one another. Someone needs that. Be a help. Accept each other. We’re all different. We all have things about us that others don’t like, but we should accept each other. We bear–or tolerate–each other. Encourage one another. Don’t put others down. Build up; don’t tear down.
God’s use of Deborah was an honor to women, an exception to the order of the Bible. Headship belongs to the man. Why did God use a woman? No man was available. God chose Deborah. Both heroes of this story are women. It was a slap in the face to the men of Israel.
Be an Isaiah. When God asked who he could use, Isaiah said “here am I; send me.” The Lord is looking for good men to preach the Word and call sin, sin. He’s looking for men to lead their homes. It’s still your responsibility. God needs it if this church is to be effective. Teenagers need to give in to the strength of the Lord. Adults need to help the younger. And all of us need to fulfil the Commission to reach the lost. Will you say “here am I, Lord” and let him use you? You’ll be surprised what God will do.