I Will Go With You
Judges 4:4-9 ESV
Judges 3:7 to Judges 16:31 (All the Judges of Israel)
Deuteronomy 34:1-4 (Moses died and was buried in Moab)
Deuteronomy 34:9 ESV
Joshua 1:1-2 ESV
Judges 2:6-8 ESV
Joshua 13:33 (Tribe of Levi was not given land)
Judges 2:10 ESV
Judges 2:11 ESV
Judges 4:16b ESV
I love Deborah’s story…for good reason.
I was named after Deborah.
Years ago I taught a Women’s Bible Study and one of my lovely friends named our group, ‘Deborah’s Warrior Princesses’. I loved that!
I loved the thought that the women in the group were women who fought for Jesus. The name made us feel like we were a merry band of women fighting for a common cause.
In Judges 4:4-9 we read, “Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. 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. 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. 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’?” 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.” 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.”
Deborah was the only female Judge in Israel. She was the only judge who was also referred to as a Prophet. She was also specifically described as the only judge who sat while the people of Israel came to her so she could pronounce judgement. Other judges were Gideon, Samson, Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibizan, Elon, and Abdon. There were six major judges and twelve judges in all (Judges 3:7 to 16:31). Deborah is considered to be a major judge of Israel.
To understand the context it might be helpful to go over the history back to the time of Moses who led the children of Israel out of Egypt. He led them in the wilderness for forty years. When Moses died he was buried in Moab (Deuteronomy 34:1-4).
In Deuteronomy 34:9 we are told, “And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him. So the people of Israel obeyed him and did as the Lord had commanded Moses.”
In Joshua 1:1-2, we learn, “After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel.”
When the land God promised Israel had been secured and the tribes of Israel each made their claim we read in Judges 2:6-8, “When Joshua dismissed the people, the people of Israel went each to his inheritance to take possession of the land. And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work that the Lord had done for Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of 110 years.” Note that the tribe of Levi (Moses’ tribe) was not given a portion of land because we are told in Joshua 13:33 that “the Lord God of Israel is their inheritance.”
In Judges 2:10 we learn that after a Joshua died, “all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.”
Also, after the death of Joshua, “the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals” (Judges 2:11).
In the period that followed, God raised up twelve judges to lead Israel. Deborah was one of those judges. In addition to being a judge and a prophet she was also a military leader, songwriter, and minstrel. She led Israel for 60 years (https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/people-cultures-in-the-bible/people-in-the-bible/deborah-in-the-bible/).
We are told in Judges 4:4-9 that Barak was a military commander who Deborah called on to lead an army of 10,000 soldiers from Israel from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun to Mount Tabor to fight Sisera, the General of Jabin’s Army.
Deborah knew God had promised Commander Barak that he would defeat Sisera of Jabin’s Army.
Still, Commander Barak told Deborah he would only go if Deborah accompanied him.
Deborah agreed, however she told Barak that if she went with him he would not receive the glory. Instead, the army of Sisera will be defeated by a woman.
Deborah was the Commander of the hour. She believed that God promised Israel would defeat Sisera who lead Jabin’s Army, and they did. Though Israel was no match for Sisera and his mighty chariots, “all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; not a man was left (Judges 4:16b).
God promised and against all odds, Deborah defeated Sisera.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Trust God
Is there a time when You were called on to trust God. Remember that God WAS faithful.
In God, Deborah