Last week I reminded you that God is a master at choosing people time and time again who the world deems inappropriate. The Bible records so many people that you least expect to become ‘heroes of the faith’ who come from vey humble backgrounds. Over the past three weeks, we have witnessed God choosing brave and courageous men to lead Israel such as Joshua, Othniel and Ehud. They were victorious because of their military skills and how they trusted God in times of great danger. Today, we witness God at work through yet another ‘interesting’ choice – the choice of a woman named Deborah.
However, she was no ordinary woman. On the contrary, she was a ‘court judge’ who dealt with civil matters and adjudicated on legal issues. She was not a military warrior who would rescue Israel by defeating its opponents. She sent Barak, who led the military campaign under the power of God, to defeat their enemies. Israel were still slow learners in realizing the folly of their sin. Once again, following the death of their last leader, Ehud, they fell into complacency, indifference to God, sin, pain and sorrow. They needed rescuing once again. Enter Deborah and Barak! Deborah was serving as a judge in the civil court system, and despite the sin of Israel, she was exceedingly ‘godly’. Barak was a faithful and brave man but found leadership a challenge. It seems as though Barak needed the wisdom of Deborah! And together, under the leadership of the Lord, they were victorious against a nation that out powered them in many ways! This is an important matter to consider – Deborah and Barak worked together under the leadership of God and they defeated a very difficult and sadistic enemy!
The encouragement that I gain out of reading this section of Scripture is how God again uses people for His glory! All we need to do is trust Him, call out to Him and He will give us all the necessary tools to deal with the difficulties we find ourselves in. I love the way He chooses people to shame the wise and bring down the powerful. Sisera was an evil ruler and the nation was harsh on women. So God raised up Deborah, and another lady called Jael, to defeat this despot! Such irony! The truth that we must gain from this narrative surely is that God raises up people to become heroes of the faith and in turn become a blessing to His people! How blessed we are to have a God who loves us like He does! Imagine, giving us a Saviour like Jesus, so that we can become His children and enjoy an eternity living with Him! But not only this – we too can become heroes of the faith because He lives within us!