Read His Words Before Ours!
I took my seat beneath the palm tree. Its shade provided a bit of respite from the brilliant sun that would soon bake the ground around me. A slight breeze promised to be a welcome companion in the heat of the day, should it decide to stick around.
Another day fulfilling the mission the Lord has placed before me awaits. Already, those seeking help in settling their disputes climbed the hill to wait for the wisdom the Lord graciously pours out through me. My ability to discern His leading has become known throughout the land: I am Deborah, a prophetess. My dear husband, Lappidoth, has embraced the Lord’s touch upon me and supports my repeated trek to the palm tree. Each day sitting under the tree begins with prayer asking the Lord to impart His wisdom to me as I guide His people.
My arrival at this place of leadership can only be attributed to the Lord. Who was I, a woman living in the days of King Jabin of Canaan’s oppression, to serve as judge over Israel? Twenty years had passed thus far under King Jabin’s mighty hand, miserable years under his domination. Thankfully, hope seemed to ride the wind.
Recently, I awoke with an awareness of the Lord’s desire to speak to Barak son of Abinoam. I sent word requesting his presence and spent several days watching the horizon for his arrival. A peace and preparation for the conversation to come settled on me as I waited, and somehow I knew Barak would join me before the sun set.
Therefore, I was not surprised when, mid-day, I saw his small traveling caravan crest the hill in the distance. As he approached, I sent a messenger to bring him directly to me, rather than wait with others seeking wisdom. The Lord had a message for Barak and obedience urged me to speak to him immediately.
When Barak stood before me, I spoke the words burning within me.
“Hasn’t the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded you:
‘Go, deploy the troops on Mount Tabor,
and take with you ten thousand men from Naphtalites and Zebulunites?
Then I will lure Sisera commander of Jabin’s army, his chariots, and his infantry
at the Wadi Kishon to fight against you,
and I will hand him over to you.’” (Judges 4:6-7)
My words carried a peaceful authority. I didn’t condemn, but made my point with a question whose answer we both already knew. The Lord had summoned Barak to confirm he was hearing His voice. I prayed my tone would help imbue him with strength and confidence to believe the Lord had chosen him for such a time as this. My mother’s heart desired to see Barak rise up as the warrior the Lord was inviting, declaring, and commanding him to be.
Barak replied to me, “If you will go with me, I will go. But if you will not go with me, I will not go.” (Judges 4:8)
I looked at the man standing before me. The lines in his face were etched from time spent in the sun, and quite possibly from events he could no more erase from his mind’s eye than he could from his weathered skin. They spoke to me of a man who survived many hardships. However, his eyes communicated the fear of a young man longing to know he was not fighting alone.
I paused before replying, listening for the words and impression of the Lord’s heart to rise up within me. A yes but response solidified in my spirit and the words flowed freely from my mouth.
“I will gladly go with you,
but you will receive no honor on the road you are about to take,
because the Lord will sell Sisera to a woman.” (Judges 4:9)
I sensed I would not be said woman, but I also began to prepare my heart for all the Lord had in store. The Lord faithfully pours out His wisdom, discernment, and leading, but never had He painted the whole picture in one moment.
We journeyed to Mount Tabor and all the Lord prophesied came to pass. Sisera’s entire army lost their lives, and by the hand of Jael, wife of Heber the Kenite, Sisera met his ultimate demise. She used the tools in her hand to defeat Sisera and thereby fulfill the Lord’s word.
Barak and I declared the goodness of the Lord after He demonstrated His power and faithfulness to Israel once again. I found myself rejoicing over the mother’s heart the Lord had nurtured within me.
I was delighted by the way Barak embraced the command of the Lord to rally the troops, and the humility with which he accepted the Lord’s response to his request for my presence. Setting aside his pride, Barak accepted the reality of Sisera’s delivery into the hands of a woman, and praised the Lord.
Later, as I returned to my seat beneath the palm tree, my eyes scanned the faces of those waiting before me. A mother’s compassion rose within me and I spoke over them:
“Lord, may all your enemies perish as Sisera did.
But may those who love him be like the rising of the sun in its strength.” (Judges 5:31)
I motioned the first group forward and prayed for the Lord to encourage, empower, and edify them to complete all He has planned for each of them. For His glory.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!