WOMEN UNLIMITED

Deborah was one of the most outstanding examples of women unlimited in the bible, whose name means bee, feisty, fiery. God spoke to Deborah the judge, seer, prophetess who led and counseled the nation Israel; sitting under a palm tree guiding the people daily to advice the king of Israel. Teaming up with Barak she led her country to peace and freedom. The topic discusses Deborah as a strong woman who saved God’s people in ancient Israel. Among 16 other judges Deborah was the 4th and only female judge of pre-monarchic Israel in the Old Testament. This story appears twice, in the Book of Judges 4:14-18 and Song of Deborah in Judges 5 in a jubilant poem dated 1125 BC. Documented with similar details in Judges both tell about Israelite tribe’s triumph in battle. Deborah in battle helps people of Israel oppressed by king of Canaan to overcome enemies. 

Deborah the speaker of wisdom sent for Barak and encouraged him to gather an army together as the nation was under attack. Deborah tells Barak to go into battle against Sisera and his 900 chariots as God will give him victory but he insists Deborah goes with him in Judges 4-5. Barak the most able military general, mighty man of valour recognized and accepted Deborah’s Godly wisdom. Barak was afraid and he would not go to war against Sisera unless Deborah accompanies him. Deborah forewarned Barak that if she accompanies him to war Barak he must humble himself to allow women to take credit for this victory. So he asked this important role be led and directed by Deborah, to lead the nation as God ordained Deborah to lead them to victory. Deborah told Barak God said the victory on this occasion will be won only through women. 

Barak asked Deborah to lead the king and princes of Issachar to defend the nation. Victory will only be won through obedience to allow women to play active role in leadership through the help and wisdom of Deborah. Deborah wisely led the men into battle so in Judges 4:12-16 and 5:19-23 Sisera the enemy fled. Deborah drove the over-confident enemy’s iron-wheeled chariots onto marshy land and bogged them down. They became vulnerable, susceptible and stuck in the mad so could not escape anymore. God gave opportunity for Israelites to defeat enemy attacking them. The Israelite sling men and archers picked them off one by one. The enemy forces were routed, their troops slaughtered so the Israelites were jubilant. Sisera, the enemy general, fled from the battlefield towards the encampment of Jael the Kenite.

 

 Jael a woman, met Sisera who asked for milk to drink in Judges 4:17-24, 5:24-27. The enemy general Sisera hid in her tent after she fed him. He fell into exhausted sleep so Jael used a tent peg she drove through the side of his head and mallet to annihilate him. She was hailed as a national heroine by the pursuing Israelite forces led by Deborah and Barak. Sisera’s mother and attendants waited for her son to return but he was already dead by Jael’s hand in battle.Three strong women are featured in these two short chapters of Judges. It is imperative to follow their examples encouraging people to explore connections to God while building own relationship with the Creator, pursuing leadership roles within the global community, acting strong in the face of adversity doing great deeds.In Judges 5:28-30, the mother of Sisera is watched by Deborah and the women looking out of the window, who knew her grief and saw her through the lattice. Deborah stands out due to both her spiritual and civil leadership. She was the only woman who served as a judge during those extended years of turmoil. As a judge, God gave her the authority to render civil court decisions empowered as a judge and more than a conqueror in military skills  and strategies. Deborah was chosen to control the nation which usually did not count or include women and children. Deborah was the only female judge and the only judge to be called a prophet seer, Deborah is a decisive figure in the defeat of the Canaanites. Israel once again was vindicated by God from  enemies in victory.

So this female judge Deborah brought deliverance to the Israelites. Deborah the Judge’s victory is remembered so reminds all God chosen women to play equal roles as role models. Deborah stands out for her wisdom, courage and faith in maintaining Godly dignity by doing great exploits and greater works than women were expected to do.  God  made women to fulfill His Purpose and Destiny according to His Will. If the nation did not listen to Deborah there would have been tragic consequences. So women have important roles in leadership to point the nation to women’s  point of view and perspective often undermined, undervalued or ignored by macho men. Deborah is an excellent example to encourage women that the sky is the limit to accomplish goals for good success.

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