By Pastora Monique Lopez-Ong
In the Book of Judges, we have learned the Israelites’ Cycle of Sin, which made God raise Judges to be their leaders. Today, we are about to open the story of the 4th Judge named Deborah. She’s a woman whom God called to be Israelites’ Judge. It is unusual for a woman to be a leader but Deborah trusted and embraced God’s call.
The story began when Israelites fell into sin and idolatry again. So the Lord gave them in the hands of King Jabin of Canaan who enslaved the Israelites for 20 years. Desperate and struggling, Israelites cried to the Lord for help. (Judges 4:1-3) King Jabin has a commander of his army named Sisera, he has nine hundred chariots fitted with iron, enough to defeat anyone by that time.
Now, Deborah, a prophet and wife of Lappidoth was leading Israel. They came up to her to have their disputes be decided. So she called Barak, son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “The LORD, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor. 7 I will lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.’”
Upon knowing this, Barak became hesitant and told Deborah that he will only go if Deborah will go with him. Deborah then said, “Certainly I will go with you, but because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the LORD will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.”
So Deborah and Barak went to with 10,000 men who went up in their command. The battle went on and Sisera, summoned his 900 chariots fitted with iron but the Lord has already given them by the hands of Barak. Sisera was forced to flee by his foot, which made him gone up to the tent of Jael, wife of Heber from the descendants of Hobab, Moses’ brother-in-law.
Jael went out to meet Sisera and gave him a glass of milk then let Sisera fall into sleep. When Sisera was asleep, Jael took a tent peg and hammer and drove it straight to Sisera’s temple and he died.
Just then Barak came by in pursuit of Sisera, and Jael went out to meet him. “Come,” she said, “I will show you the man you’re looking for.” So he went in with her, and there lay Sisera with the tent peg through his temple—dead. (Judges 4:22)
Sisera did fall into the hands of a woman just what Deborah told Barak. The lesson here is sometimes God is calling us to do something but we refuse to answer and obey. We are sometimes ruled over by our own fears and doubt. This very resistance to our callings makes us undeserving of every blessing that we could have got. To help you out, here are some points to embrace our own callings.
1. Step up in Faith – We don’t become a Christian just to look and observe what’s happening around us. As Christians, we should be the first ones who initiate that in the Name of Jesus anything could happen—that miracles exist in His Name. As Christians we are called to step up in our faith in Him, in His Name and in our faith we could be His medium to show His miracles.
2. Step out of the Normal and Usual – Romans 12:2(a) “2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Don’t be bothered if there are people laughing at your faith or mocking you when you praise, for these people are not against us but is against Jesus. We are called to step out of the norms of the world and make the Kingdom of God reign anywhere we are. Never stop doing what is pleasing to God.
3. Step Into His Will and Power – Believe and have faith in Him! And when you step in, be sure to (1) Hang on! Don’t lose hope on God even if you see no changes despite all your efforts to do what He has been telling you. (2) Dive in! Drench yourself in His power because if you’re still hesitant to soak in His power you’ll never experience His fullness. (3) Be empowered! Encourage yourself to step in and plug into God! Make Him your source of empowerment. Know that we are nothing when we’re apart from Him.