Day 29

Deborah and Barak

Judges 4:1-24, Judges 5:1-31, Deuteronomy 20:1-4

BY Melanie Rainer

About ten years ago, my husband and I, newly married and eager to serve, volunteered to teach the preschoolers at our little church. Most Sundays were a blur of crayons and goldfish crackers, and our primary goal was for each child to take home a scribbled-on coloring sheet as proof that we tried to teach them something about Jesus.

But I remember one Sunday morning, we arrived to teach a lesson plan about Deborah, Barak, and Jael. I skimmed the story and shot a worried glance at my husband. We were supposed to teach this story? About a woman who drives a tent peg through the head of a military leader? To three-and-four-year olds? I had not had enough coffee for that.

I actually don’t remember what we did that day in class, but I don’t think we read the kids that part of the story. It’s the part of the story that most of us remember, because it’s wild and gruesome, though full of strong women. All of that is true, of course, but at its heart, the story of Deborah and Barak and Jael and Sisera is about God and having confidence in Him.

A lot can be said and unpacked about Barak and his trepidation, the seemingly impossible battle he faced, and how his attitude contrasted with Deborah’s, and later Jael’s. But this story offers us more than a study of human weakness overwhelmed by the glory and power of God; it offers us a picture of a woman, strong and wise, counted upon by the whole nation of Israel and chosen by God, who walked in obedience to Yahweh.

Deborah heard from God, shared His Word with Barak, and supported Barak as he reluctantly followed God’s order. Deborah rebuked him when necessary but still went with him into battle. And then, after the victory against Sisera’s army and Sisera’s gruesome death at the hands of Jael, Deborah and Barak sang of praise.

Their song is a rich poem, full of beauty and truth and focused on the glory of God—how He delivered His people and destroyed His enemies. Deborah was a woman inspired by God’s Word and His faithfulness to her people. She was unafraid because she knew that come what may, our God fights for those who trust in Him (Deuteronomy 20:3–4). May God’s Word so fuel us to stand for His truth, to support our brothers and sisters in faith, and to sing His glory for the rest of our earthly lives.

Post Comments (32)

32 thoughts on "Deborah and Barak"

  1. Tamara BL says:

    Thank you Angie for this different insight. I will keep this in mind!

  2. Neyda Morales says:

    Deborah has always been one of my favorite people in the Bible. One of the women I admire. She was a counselor, a mediator, a leader, a song writer, and a prophetess. The only woman judge mentioned in the Bible, might have been the only woman to judge Israel. Shows me that God can use anyone for his glory. I aspire to have her boldness, authority and faith !

  3. Ashley Thomas says:

    Does anyone else wonder what the songs described in the Bible sounded like? Music has always played a large role in my life. Each time songs or music are depicted in the Bible, I’m always wishing I could hear the tune.

    With that being said, I admire women who are strong in the Godly sense. They live their lives for God. They have courage with that strength, and they use it for God. They simply radiate His love. I strive to be one of those women, although I know I’m not there yet.

  4. Debi Copeland says:

    My namesake St. Deborah, oh to have her faith, wisdom and confidence. I pray I am In God’s will enough to become more like Him and St. Deborah .

  5. June says:

    One of my favorite parts about this study is reading all the comments. Some make me cry because I can so relate, others give me more perspective and others leave me with a confident, AMEN! I just love hearing and reading them all. I serve overseas with my family in a closed country. This study has been fresh and new and what I needed and to hear from so many likeminded women is a real treat!

  6. Cassie Harris says:

    Yes Angie! Amen!

  7. Bailey Braden says:

    Amen! ♡

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