Project Description


A Word To Women

Deborah, a prophetess and judge, lived in the period when Israel had taken possession of the Promised Land, but before the advent of kings. It was a turbulent time, marked by cycles of backsliding and persecution followed by repentance and peace. ‘Deborah’ means “bee”, and identifies a busy, patriotic woman whose sting delivered the Lord’s people from their enemies.

Deborah was married to Lapidoth who was happy to support his wife in the remarkable ministry to which the Lord had called her. The people of Israel came to Deborah for help with spiritual and other problems. As a prophetess she was inspired to provide wise instruction in the whole counsel of God. As a judge, she was in effect the ruler (under God) in Israel.

There is no record that Deborah and Lapidoth were blessed with children. However Deborah describes herself as “a mother in Israel” (Judges 5:7). Sometimes the Lord sees fit to withhold things from His people, be it children, health, wealth or whatever. Some grow bitter in such circumstances, feeling life is unfair, and that God has failed them. It reminds us of when Satan spoke to Eve in the Garden, implying that by forbidding mankind to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God was withholding something good from them. Eve, believing the devil’s lie, later discovered that God did know best. Like Deborah, we can be used to bless others as we accept God’s will and experience His sufficient grace and His perfect strength
(2 Corinthians 12:9).
Deborah was a woman of great courage. Led by the Lord, she summoned Barak to gather an army to battle the Canaanites. The odds were against Israel. Sisera, the enemy captain, had an army of 100,000 and 900 iron chariots. Barak had 10,000 men and no chariots! It is not surprising that Barak was afraid. He refused to go unless Deborah went with him. Certain of God’s will, Deborah went with Barak to the field of conflict. Victory was sure, for the Lord was on Israel’s side. Israel’s army thoroughly routed the Canaanites. Sisera abandoned his chariot and fled, only to die at the hand of Jael, as prophesied by Deborah (Judges 4:9). Deborah had faith and triumphed. Women can encourage and strengthen the faith of others, including men. Priscilla was able to help her husband Aquila to expound the way of God more perfectly to Apollos (Acts 18:26). The little maid was used to see her master, Naaman, healed and won to the Lord.

Deborah, like Miriam, was inspired to write a song of praise to honour the Lord for the victory He had given. It exalts the Lord, finishing with the wonderful words, “So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord: but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might”. It is a prayer that reveals the spiritual heart of a woman who sought to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.

The defeat of Sisera was enough to keep the enemies of Israel at bay for forty years. Deborah was able to sit under the palm tree in Mount Ephraim and continue her role as prophetess in a land that was at rest. She was undoubtedly a woman of strength and leadership, but always in obedience to her Lord and Saviour.

Mrs Olive Maxwell.