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Judges Chapter Four（ESV）
4 Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. 5 She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment. 6 She sent and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali and said to him, “Has not the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded you, ‘Go, gather your men at Mount Tabor, taking 10,000 from the people of Naphtali and the people of Zebulun. 7 And I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to meet you by the river Kishon with his chariots and his troops, and I will give him into your hand’?” 8 Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, I will go, but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” 9 And she said, “I will surely go with you. Nevertheless, the road on which you are going will not lead to your glory, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 And Barak called out Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh. And 10,000 men went up at his heels, and Deborah went up with him.
- Deborah served Israel as judge, prophet, spiritual leader, and guide during a period some two hundred years after the Israelites left Egypt for the Promised Land. In this story, we see a contrast between Deborah, a woman who is obedient to God, and Barak a man who lacks confidence and trust that God will be with him.
- In the opening chapters of Judges, women are respected; they even occupy positions of authority and leadership such as Deborah. However, as the book proceeds, the deteriorating conditions caused by the people’s disobedience increasingly lead to the victimization of women. Then, as now, the equitable treatment of women and all those without power is a major indicator of a people’s adherence to the justice and righteousness that God will.
Father, I thank You for no one can hinder Your work. You’ve chosen the weak and foolish of the world to accomplish great things for You. Help me not to reject Your calling lest I miss out on Your blessings.