Moment of Transformation:
Let those who love Him be like the sun when it comes out in full strength. Judges 5:31 NKJV
Deborah the prophet governed Israel during the reign of Jabin, a Canaanite king who was very cruel to the children of Israel. Life in the villages was harsh. The people were plundered and fled to the fortified cities for protection. Then the Lord raised up Deborah, who was like a loving mother to Israel. God sent a message through her to Barak that he should prepare to meet Sisera, Jabin’s general, in battle.
Barak knew the scattered, disheartened, and unarmed condition of the Hebrews, and the strength and skill of their enemies. Although he had been designated by the Lord Himself as the one chosen to deliver Israel, and had received the assurance that God would go with him and subdue their enemies, yet he was timid and distrustful. He accepted the message from Deborah as the word of God, but he had little confidence in Israel, and feared that they would not obey his call. He refused to engage in such a doubtful undertaking unless Deborah would accompany him, and thus support his efforts by her influence and counsel. Deborah consented, but assured him that because of his lack of faith, the victory gained should not bring honor to him; for Sisera would be betrayed into the hands of a woman.
The Israelites had established themselves in a strong position in the mountains, to await a favorable opportunity for an attack. Encouraged by Deborah’s assurance that the very day had come for signal victory, Barak led his army down into the open plain, and boldly made a charge upon the enemy. The God of battle fought for Israel, and neither skill in warfare, nor superiority of numbers and equipment, could withstand them. The hosts of Sisera were panic-stricken; in their terror they sought only how they might escape. Vast numbers were slain, and the strength of the invading army was utterly destroyed. The Israelites acted with courage and promptness; but God alone could have discomfited the enemy, and the victory could be ascribed to Him alone.
Deborah celebrated the triumph of Israel in a most sublime and impassioned song. She ascribed to God all the glory of their deliverance, and bade the people praise Him for His wonderful works. She called upon the kings and princes of surrounding nations to hear what God had wrought for Israel, and to take warning not to do them harm. She showed that honor and power belong to God, and not to men, or to their idols. She portrayed the awful exhibitions of divine power and majesty displayed at Sinai. She set before Israel their helpless and distressed condition, under the oppression of their enemies, and related in glowing language the history of their deliverance.
Ellen G. White, Daughters of God, p. 36-38
Quote of the Day “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” Meister Eckhart
Did You Know?
Judges 5 retells the account of the Israelites’ victory over Sisera in poetic form. The account begins by ascribing the “song” to Deborah and Barak, but the subsequent pronouns referring to the singer are first-person singular (Judg 5:3). In this song, Deborah is clearly identified as the judge and savior of Israel, while Barak’s role is minimized.
Deborah plays a number of vital leadership roles. As a judge, she is involved in military activity as are those other judges whom the Lord raised up “to deliver Israel.” But also, uniquely among the judges, Deborah renders “judgment,” or legal decisions, as she sits “under the palm of Deborah.” In addition, she is the only figure in Judges who is called a prophet. That designation may be related to the song attributed to her in ch. 5, for poetic outbursts recounting Yahweh’s saving (or punitive) powers are frequently related to the activity of prophets, who mediate God’s word to the people. Deborah also bears the title “mother in Israel” (Judg. 5:7), perhaps because she gives wise counsel to those who seek her help (cf. 2 Sam. 20:19). More likely, “mother” is the honorific title for a female authority figure or protector in a family or the larger community, just as “father” is for a male authority (cf. 1 Sam. 24:11; Isa. 22:21).
Carol Meyers, “Deborah,” ed. David Noel Freedman, Allen C. Myers, and Astrid B. Beck, Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2000), 331–332.
How can you develop a prayer life of gratitude for the daily blessings in your life?
This Week’s Homework