During conquests in Canaan, Joshua, (the chosen leader who took Moses' role in leading the Israelites to possess the land God had given them) died, Israel's motivation and commitment to God slowly dwindled. Everyone was doing what was right in their own eyes. There was no guidance, government or unity.
An Angel of The Lord appeared to the people of Israel and announced that they had broken the covenant between God and themselves, by worshipping pagan demon-gods, and that He would not destroy the nations living in the promised land, but those nations would continue to be 'a thorn in their side'; because of his mercy, every time they cried to Him, He relented and helped them.
These days were disastrous, God had proved Himself to be faithful but the people proved to be unfaithful.
In this era of decay, a cycle of events repeated themselves of idol worship on behalf of the Israelites, then anguish, bringing a repentance and renewal of God's ways; this cycle lasted for approximately 400 years.
When the peoples lives were in misery, they would call out to God for help and God would soften and send gifted leaders called Judges, to guide His people back to Himself. These Leaders would settle the nations disputes, and especially pagan nation tyrants who continually dragged Israel into idolatry.
Israel had been suffering for 20 years under the oppression of the Canaanite people, the years of hardship were difficult and violent. Farmers were threatened and especially those who lived in little villages feared for their safety.
Deborah was the fourth person God raised up, and she was the only Judge of Israel that was also a prophet. She held court under 'The Palm of Deborah', as the place became known or called 'Deborah's Palm Tree'. She spoke for God and she led the people for God. She was also the spiritual leader of Israel for 40 years (1162 B.C.) and under her guidance, Barak, provided Israel's military leadership.
Deborah as a Judge was raised up by God in response to the cries of the people for help and in Deborah they saw a 'Mother of Israel". She had the character of a great leader, as well as the role of a wife to her husband and was very well respected by all. Although a women, she was chosen to lead by God standards and not human standards. Being Israel's Leader she was responsible to bring the people back to God.
She influenced the people to live for God. Wise leaders are rare, and Deborah honoured God with all the leadership skills He had bestowed upon her. She was a good mediator, a counselor, also she was a planner. It is said of her that no other Judge had the popularity and the authority of laws of God dwelling in them.
The insight and confidence that God gave this woman makes her one of the most outstanding women of history and as a woman, was placed in a very unique situation for the advancement of Israel's spiritual life and freedom.
As a woman she had intuition as well as wisdom, as well as being a noble woman of God.
Deborah was also endowed by God with a prophetic gift, which means she was able to discern the mind of God and His Will and pass it onto the people, knowing the outcome of a situation, given by revelation.
She was not a woman hungry for power, she was just willing to serve God enthusiastically, and always gave Him the credit. She never allowed herself to be encumbered by the fact that she was in the role of being a Judge, Ruler of Israel as well as being a woman and a wife. She took charge of situations as God directed.
Under Deborah's role as Judge and prophet, the Israelites won a great victory with the help of God over their Canaanites.
She was able to stir up Israel's concern about its low spiritual state, at the time when the people in the nation were feeling dejected and afraid; they had lost their hope of deliverance. The Canaanites terrorized the people.
Through words of prophecy from God and Divine Wisdom, she aroused the nation from despair and encouraged them to free themselves from bondage against big odds.
It was not within the power of the Israelites with an army of 10,000 men to defeat such an army with 100,000 fighting men and 900 iron chariots, some with razor sharp knives extending out from the centre of each wheel. Deborah was the best person for the task for God had chosen her to lead Israel.
God blessed Deborah for her trust in Him and the people recognized God's hand upon her; Balak, Israel's military leader refused to go into battle without her, as assurance that God did go with him and the people when they followed Deborah's orders to rebel against their enemies. She led the nation into battle.
A fearful hailstorm struck the land, their enemies were blinded by heavy rain and were ultimately overwhelmed by the flooding of a river. The Israelites again were delivered divinely from their cruel foes.
The Lord inspired Deborah's victory song of praise to Him. She was aware of the importance of praise and worship and after winning a great victory over the powerful, well-armed enemies she sang a special song to God to be remembered and sung by the people of Israel down through the years, as a reminder of God's goodness and deeds.
This song is known as one of the most beautiful poems ever written in any language. The Song of Deborah began a great celebration of victory and inspired praise and adoration to God.
Music and singing has always been a cherished and an enriched part of Israel's History and Culture. This song magnifies the Lord as The True Leader of Israel, and was ageless because of its dedication to God and her deeds were heroic. This Victory that the people shared brought belief and trust concerning God's selected people,and how He is always faithful.
Deborah had the confidence of the people and her work for God was not in vain. She had the people destroying heathen altars, building houses, repairing roads and plowing fields.
As a Judge of the people, Deborah dispensed righteousness, justice and mercy. She fulfilled her role successfully with God's help as 'Mother of Israel'. Her most precious gift was her trust in God as she translated revelation from God to the people for her heart was truly fixed upon Him.
Years later the people did go back to their bad habits of not being obedient to God's Word and not recognizing Him as The True Sovereign God and their King. And the cycle began again.
The Spirit of God alone elevated Deborah above the Leaders and Heroes before and after her. The position of Deborah in Israel is a two fold testimony to God-The wisdom of The Spirit of God is behind the might and truth as well as the enthusiasm and energy for God. No other person in this period was given the gifts that were strongly manifested by her.
Israel was a patriarchal society, but God used many women to carry out His purposes and still does today. History has shown in times of distress when men have despaired, women arose and saved their nation. A modern day woamn used by God as a Leader for delicate matters for their Nation was Golda Meir.
Deborah's life showed what can be accomplished when people allow God to work through them, to be continually in their lives.
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Created ,managed by Stefan Kreslin,Last updated August 2017