Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, now that Ehud was dead.2 So the Lord sold them into the hands of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. Sisera, the commander of his army, was based in Harosheth Haggoyim.3 Because he had nine hundred chariots fitted with iron and had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the Lord for help.
4 Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. 5 She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethelin the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided.
We have many examples of male leadership in the Bible, but Deborah is one example of strong female leadership. She was leading Israel at a time when the Israelites had failed to follow God, and so God allowed them to be vanquished by Jabin, king of the Canaanites. Some twenty years he had oppressed the Israelites with a heavy hand, so they cried out to God for help.
As the story goes, she gave a command from God that Barak, one of Israel’s military leaders, should take ten thousand men and meet Sisera, the commander of the Canaanite army. Lead them up to Mount Tabor and to the Kishon River, and there God would give them the victory. Barak was less than confident about this and said he would only go if Deborah went with him. Deborah agreed, but told him the glory would not be his, for Sisera would delivered into the hands of a woman. And that’s what happened. You’ll have to read the whole account, but indeed, a woman took down Sisera with a tent peg, and the people of Israel were led to victory over the Canaanites.
This is a theme we hear again and again in the Bible, because we are so slow to grasp it. God can do great things. Nothing is impossible for the Lord. When the Lord asks us to do something, God will provide the resources for it to happen. When we trust in God’s word, we may accomplish what God asks of us. Lord, help us get that and learn to really trust in you.
Lord, let me give you the glory. Let me trust you with every fiber of my being. Your power and strength are far beyond mine. Whatever you have given me today to do, let me do it, wholeheartedly and trusting in you. It is your strength that guides me, not mine. It is your power that goes before me, not mine. Thank you, Lord, for these examples that teach me and help me become the person you want me to be, through the grace of our savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.