"Deborah" by Ferdinand Max Bredt
TO CHEW ON: "And Barak said to her, 'If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go!' Judges 4:8
We read here of a rare time when a woman led Israel. Deborah was their judge. Her wisdom attracted the children of Israel to come to her for counsel and justice (Judges 4:5).
She was also a visionary who called for Barak to deploy troops and go to battle against Jabin.
Barak was willing to go. But he wanted Deborah to go with him. Was this a lack of faith on his part, or wise realism? Even my Bible's notes differ on what his reluctance to go without Deborah meant. The footnotes to Judges attribute this to a lack of faith. But I like the interpretation expressed in the sidebar article "A Woman Essential to Victory":
"Barak, a great man of faith (Hebrews 11:32) is a classic study in the wisdom of a man's acknowledgment of the potential power of a woman's contribution to a goal. Because of Deborah's godly and skillful leadership traits, Barak (as commander of Israel's armies) would not go into this battle without her, even when told that he would not get full honour for the victory (Judges 4:9). His priority was the welfare of the nation, and he knew that their combined efforts would ensure success as each brought their distinctive, God-given strengths to the challenge" - Jane Hansen, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 319.
Doesn't Barak's reaction help us recognize our own desire to be led by people—men or women—in whose lives God's presence and power is evident? Such anointed leaders are God's gifts to us as individuals and the church.
PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for the godly men and women who are the leaders in my life and my church. Help me to follow their lead and respect them as Your gift to me. May I be experience Your anointing as I lead in my small way. Amen.
MORE: Deborah in art
Local artist Donna Smallenberg's painting of Deborah is popular as a poster.
She has also used this painting and others as e-cards. Check them out!
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.