Brave Women in the Bible: Deborah and Jael

Deborah went to war. That my friend is a kind of braveness that few of us have. I admire any woman who has joined the military. The amount of heart and sacrifice such an act takes humbles me. Deborah is really kind of God turning womanhood on its head. She was the current leader of Israel, the judge of  Israel. She was prophet, and she became a warrior.

There’s a lie circulating in the church that women should not hold a role of leadership. The role of leadership for a woman might be a harder climb but God does raise up who he chooses. I believe women can be effective ministers, teachers and speakers in the church. I have been blessed to know a few Methodist ministers who are women and very Godly and righteous in their teaching as well as my own life view has been changed by women such as Joyce Meyers, Beth Moore and Vivian Herbert. If God has called a women to do such things in your community we should support them, not make their jobs harder. Deborah is a great argument that woman can live out their purpose for God as a leader in many different fields. God is not sexist, he has a purpose for everyone. If you feel called to lead do not let stereotypes hold you back, God will give you the strength to do so.

Deborah’s story begins in chapter 4 of Judges. The Israelites were enslaved by Jabin, King of Canaan who reigned in Hazor. They had been under his rule for 20 years. It says in verse 3 that Jabin had nine hundred iron chariots. Deborah heard the Israelites plea to God for help and she sent word for Barak that God had commanded him to march on Mount Tabor with 10,000 men. God said he would draw out Jabin’s general, Sisera and all of the nine hundred chariots at the river of Kishon and “I will hand them over to you,” verse 7.

But after hearing all this Barak was afraid and told Deborah, “If you will go with me I will go, but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” Verse 8. Well Deborah said more than ok in the amplified version it says  Deborah replied “I will certainly go with you.” verse 8. She then predicts that the journey that Barak is about to take will not be for his honor or glory and that Sisera will be killed by a woman.

Deborah goes with Barak, fights, and everything happens the way God said it would. The nine hundred iron chariots met Barak’s ten thousand men at the river of Kishon. The lord confused Sisera’s army and Barak’s army was able to defeat them and Sisera got off his chariot and ran away to the tent of a woman named Jael. Sisera thought he was safe there because her husband and Jabin were at peace. Jael welcomed Sisera into her tent and covered him with a rug. Sisera asked for a drink of water but Jael said all she had was milk and gave that too him. Sisera, exhausted fell asleep and Jael took a hammer and a tent peg and “drove the peg though his temple, and it went into the ground.” verse 22.

Barak caught up  to Sisera and arrived at Jael’s tent and she showed him the dead Sisera. The chapter ends saying that eventually Israel destroyed Jabin. Deborah’s predictions all came true.

In Chapter 5 Deborah and  Barak sing a song praising and thanking God for the victory against Sisera and Jabin. In the song Deborah and Barak do not take credit for anything but give God all the glory. This is so important when we have victories in our lives to give God the glory.  God will use you more if you give him glory and stay humble.

In 1 Corinthians 1:28-29 NLT “God chose things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of the Lord.”  Having a thankful heart and giving God the glory when you see a win in your life will keep you from pride. Perhaps that was one of Deborah’s secrets to how she stayed so brave.



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