*Some call it a quiet time. We call it a Vision Quest. This is a simple Bible study to help you along your journey of discovering God’s purpose for your life.
Women leaders in Israel were rare. Deborah made small, daily decisions to listen to God and built a reputation for being a courageous and spiritual woman who was free to influence others.
Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, now that Ehud was dead. 2 So the Lord sold them into the hands of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. Sisera, the commander of his army, was based in Harosheth Haggoyim. 3 Because he had nine hundred chariots fitted with iron and had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the Lord for help.
4 Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. 5 She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided. 6 She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor. 7 I will lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.’”
8 Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”
9 “Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 There Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali, and ten thousand men went up under his command. Deborah also went up with him.
The commander of the army respected Deborah so much he would only go to battle if she came! What quality do you think Deborah had that made Barak want her to come into battle with him?
What influence do you have on the people around you? Do you inspire courage in people around you or pass on worry and anxiety?
11 Now Heber the Kenite had left the other Kenites, the descendants of Hobab, Moses’ brother-in-law, and pitched his tent by the great tree in Zaanannim near Kedesh.
12 When they told Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor, 13 Sisera summoned from Harosheth Haggoyim to the Kishon River all his men and his nine hundred chariots fitted with iron.
14 Then Deborah said to Barak, “Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?” So Barak went down Mount Tabor, with ten thousand men following him. 15 At Barak’s advance, the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and army by the sword, and Sisera got down from his chariot and fled on foot.
16 Barak pursued the chariots and army as far as Harosheth Haggoyim, and all Sisera’s troops fell by the sword; not a man was left.
God defeated the army that the Israelites thought they could never beat. What does this teach you about God’s power?
When God calls you to fight a battle that seems too big for you, he has the power to beat it.
On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song:
2 “When the princes in Israel take the lead,
when the people willingly offer themselves—
praise the Lord!
3 “Hear this, you kings! Listen, you rulers!
I, even I, will sing to[a] the Lord;
I will praise the Lord, the God of Israel, in song.
4 “When you, Lord, went out from Seir,
when you marched from the land of Edom,
the earth shook, the heavens poured,
the clouds poured down water.
5 The mountains quaked before the Lord, the One of Sinai,
before the Lord, the God of Israel.
6 “In the days of Shamgar son of Anath,
in the days of Jael, the highways were abandoned;
travelers took to winding paths.
7 Villagers in Israel would not fight;
they held back until I, Deborah, arose,
until I arose, a mother in Israel.
8 God chose new leaders
when war came to the city gates,
but not a shield or spear was seen
among forty thousand in Israel.
9 My heart is with Israel’s princes,
with the willing volunteers among the people.
Praise the Lord!
Deborah is described as a “mother” in Israel. Mothers are powerful and God respects women and their influence.
What qualities of a mother do you think relate to leadership?
How can you have a more nurturing, caring heart for the people around you? Who has God put in your life for you to be a spiritual parent to?
10 “You who ride on white donkeys,
sitting on your saddle blankets,
and you who walk along the road,
consider 11 the voice of the singers at the watering places.
They recite the victories of the Lord,
the victories of his villagers in Israel.
“Then the people of the Lord
went down to the city gates.
12 ‘Wake up, wake up, Deborah!
Wake up, wake up, break out in song!
Take captive your captives, son of Abinoam.’
13 “The remnant of the nobles came down;
the people of the Lord came down to me against the mighty.
14 Some came from Ephraim, whose roots were in Amalek;
Benjamin was with the people who followed you.
From Makir captains came down,
from Zebulun those who bear a commander’s[b] staff.
15 The princes of Issachar were with Deborah;
yes, Issachar was with Barak,
sent under his command into the valley.
In the districts of Reuben
there was much searching of heart.
16 Why did you stay among the sheep pens[c]
to hear the whistling for the flocks?
In the districts of Reuben
there was much searching of heart.
17 Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan.
And Dan, why did he linger by the ships?
Asher remained on the coast
and stayed in his coves.
18 The people of Zebulun risked their very lives;
so did Naphtali on the terraced fields.
19 “Kings came, they fought,
the kings of Canaan fought.
At Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo,
they took no plunder of silver.
20 From the heavens the stars fought,
from their courses they fought against Sisera.
21 The river Kishon swept them away,
the age-old river, the river Kishon.
March on, my soul; be strong!
22 Then thundered the horses’ hooves—
galloping, galloping go his mighty steeds.
23 ‘Curse Meroz,’ said the angel of the Lord.
‘Curse its people bitterly,
because they did not come to help the Lord,
to help the Lord against the mighty.’
Deborah says “March on, my soul, with courage!” As a woman who listened to God and cared more for others than for herself, Deborah became known for her courage.
What can you learn from Deborah and how she became courage?
Courage Challenge: Choose to obey one scripture today and practice listening to God. Decide to do something that requires courage.