The story of Deborah in the book of Judges has to be one of the great episodes of Biblical history in the entire Old Testament. Yet, the story of Deborah is to a great degree not about her, but about a man called Barak, Jael, Sisera and a tent peg.

Deborah is the only one of the Judges that seemed to be a judge. “She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment.” Judges 4:5

There was a great deal more to Deborah than being a judge of who was right or wrong in the daily spats and domestic conflicts in Israel. Verse 4 tells us “now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time.” Deborah, was a prophetess and it may well have been in that setting that she was judging Israel. Her directives and sage advice was based upon her connection to God and it was that connection that brought the people to her for pronouncements concerning their life situations.

A quick reading of Judges 4:6-9 introduces us to Barak, the man God chooses to rescue Israel out of the hands of Jabin king of Canaan and his mercenary general Sisera. Barak is another interesting character in this unfolding story. He is willing to go, raise the small army Deborah calls for him to do, but he will only go into battle if she comes with him. Some commentators believe that he is frightened and will only fight the enemy if he has her by his side.

I think there is more going on here than that. Barak wants Deborah to go with him because he wants the presence of God to be with him. He knows Deborah is a prophetess and speaks on behalf of God. Barak is a man who understands that whenever you take on a great undertaking you go in the power and strength of God if you wish to have success. He asked Deborah to come with him, not because of fear but because of his faith in the delivering power of God.

Deborah’s answer to his request is intriguing, “I will surely go with you; nevertheless, the road on which you are going will not lead to your glory, for the LORD will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Judges 4:9 Now here is where there is a bit of a twist in the story because we automatically think Deborah is talking about herself, but instead she is prophesizing about the woman Jael.

Now, Sisera, the general of the Canaanite army, heard about Barak’s little army coming to fight, he got out his invincible weapon, nine hundred iron chariots. Back in chapter One of Judges we see that the children of Israel wouldn’t fight the Canaanites because of their iron chariots, but now things are different and they face their greatest fear with trust in the power of God to deliver.

I love these words of Deborah as she prepares the army for war, “Up! For this is the day in which the LORD has given Sisera into your hand. Does not the LORD go out before you?” Judges 4:14 WOW! In this one verse we could spend two or three postings just going over the insights into God’s relationship with us and our response to His saving grace.

Regardless of where you stand in life and regardless of how many obstacles stand in your way we must first GET UP if we are going to see victory. The reason we have to get up out of our negative thinking and discouragement is because today is the day of our redemption. Any day that we make the break with our giving up attitude is a day of our redemption.

For some of you reading this post, today could be the day that everything in life changes, but you’ve got to get up, take the initiative and move forward. Just as Deborah was with Barak, so God is with you. Remember, the reason Barak was willing to follow Deborah’s command was because the little question, “Does not the Lord out before you?” is a game changer.

It is hard for us to see that God has already defeated the foes, fears, and discouragements in our lives when we are sitting down. It is only when we get up and follow the voice of God that we understand that victory has already been won for us.

It’s time we talk a bit about who Deborah is in our own life. I believe she is a type of Christ. She is a judge, a prophetess and in some sense the king of Israel. She is the voice of God giving directives to the people and leading them into battle against the great enemy of His people. She is the ultimate outsider, being a woman, who has no claim to the position of prophet and judge outside the fact she has been given that position by non-other than God Himself. Just as Jesus goes with us when we face opposition so Deborah goes with Barak to encourage, strengthen, and reveal God the Father’s directives to him.

It is imperative for us to remember that Barak had victory because Deborah was with him. I need to say something about these iron chariots because they represented Israel’s greatest fear. As foot soldiers they knew that the ranks of iron chariots pulled by mighty warhorses would crash through their formations and bring slaughter to them. The thought of being trampled, or driven over, or having the legs cut out from under you by the spinning blades attached to the wheels was more than enough to discourage the armies of Israel.

We can say that our problems and fears are our “iron chariots” and they keep us paralyzed with doubt and discouragement. However, when we remember that Jesus is with us we become open to His voice. “Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has given Sisera into our hand,” however, makes all the difference. If we are willing to get up, God will deliver us from our greatest fears that cruelly (see verse 3) oppress us.

What all happens next and the unexpected twist is the subject of our next blog. However, you don’t have to wait for me, it is all there in Judges chapter Four.

The story of Deborah in the book of Judges has to be one of the great episodes of Biblical history in the entire Old Testament. Yet, the story of Deborah is to a great degree not about her, but about a man called Barak, Jael, Sisera and a tent peg.

*  Many people around the globe are experiencing persecution for their faith in God, and many even unto death. They need our support and continuous prayers. Please take the time to read some of their stories at  http://thebeggardanced.com/nine-oclock-club/ there is much more on the internet but you have to search for it