by Gary Singleterry
Deborah was one of many women mentioned in the Bible whose life was worthy of great lessons. She served Israel as both a prophetess and a judge. The only thing we know about her personal life is the name of her husband, Lapidot. “She dwelt under the palm tree … and the Israelites came up to her for judgment.” Deborah did not inherit her position, but rather, earned it by her unswerving obedience to God.
During Deborah’s time, the valley in which she and her tribe lived was controlled by King Jabin of Hazor. Deborah, governed by God, summoned the warrior Barak to take ten thousand troops and confront Jabin’s general, Sisera, and his army’s nine hundred iron chariots, on Mount Tabor. Barak’s response to Deborah shows the high esteem in which she was held: “If you will go with me, I will go; if not I will not go.” She agreed to go with Barak, chiding him that it will be written that the enemy was defeated by a woman.
The battle took place during the rainy season. Sisera’s chariots quickly bogged down in the mud, and he and his army were eventually defeated by the Israeli army. Perhaps even more remarkable because she was a woman, Deborah held important positions in Israel, and carried them out with courage and confidence, undoubtedly the result of her trust in God and her obedience to Him. She accepted the mission God had given her and fulfilled it faithfully.