February 12, 2024

Strengthening Their Faith

Devotion for the week...

Today we're going to consider another of the many women of wisdom whose stories were recorded in the Bible for us.

In the days of the book of Judges, the Israelites were prone to a cycle of following God for a time under the leadership of a person called a judge, then when that person died, they abandoned Him and suffered oppression because of their evil actions. Eventually they would cry out to the Lord for deliverance and He would again send them a judge, beginning the cycle all over again. Only one woman is recorded in the Bible as a judge, and she is our woman of wisdom for today. 

"Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, was a prophet who was judging Israel at that time. She would sit under the Palm of Deborah, between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites would go to her for judgment" (Judges 4:4-5). We aren’t told much about Deborah, but we know the Israelites respected her and would come to her when they needed to hear from God. She was truly a woman of wisdom!

"One day she sent for Barak son of Abinoam, who lived in Kedesh in the land of Naphtali. She said to him, 'This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: Call out 10,000 warriors from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun at Mount Tabor. And I will call out Sisera, commander of Jabin’s army, along with his chariots and warriors, to the Kishon River. There I will give you victory over him.'" (v. 6-7). Sisera had "ruthlessly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years" (v. 3), so gaining victory over him would be a big victory, indeed, and now Deborah was telling Barak to head out to battle with the assurance, straight from God Himself, that he would win. 

Barak’s response? "I will go, but only if you go with me" (v.8). 

God was going to go with him; why did he need Deborah? What was she going to do in the battle? She could contribute nothing to the battle. She wasn’t a warrior or a military leader, she was a prophet and a judge, but still Barak trusted her more than he trusted God.

Deborah didn’t hesitate, though. "'Very well,' she replied, 'I will go with you. But you will receive no honor in this venture, for the Lord’s victory over Sisera will be at the hands of a woman.' So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh. At Kedesh, Barak called together the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali, and 10,000 warriors went up with him. Deborah also went with him" (vv. 9-10).

Deborah didn’t have to go. It wasn’t her job and it wasn’t her battle. She knew, though, that if she refused there probably wouldn’t be a battle because Barak wouldn’t be able to go without her. She went, not because she could do anything in the battle, but because Barak needed her support. His faith in God, whom He couldn’t see, wasn’t strong enough to carry him through; he needed Deborah so he knew he wasn’t alone as he went out to fight. Maybe she represented God to him, or maybe he just trusted in her word more than His. We can’t know which it was, but he needed her, so she went with him.
Whose faith might be strengthened by our presence, so they don’t feel alone as they go out to fight their battles | DevotedQuilter.com
Who needs us today? Who can we stand alongside and support, even if we think they don’t need us? Whose faith might be strengthened by our presence, so they don’t feel alone as they go out to fight their battles?

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