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365 Devotionals: The Promised Land

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22 AMP

The Seeds of Promise Devotional Series

Deborah: The Prophetess

“In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself”. John 1:1 AMP

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23rd Judges Chapter 4  Chapter 5 Deborah: The Prophetess

Devotional Reading: Joshua 4:1 AMP

But after Ehud died the Israelites again did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who dwelt in Harosheth-hagoiim [fortress or city of the nations]. Then the Israelites cried to the Lord, for [Jabin] had 900 chariots of iron and had severely oppressed the Israelites for twenty years.

Each time the Israelites did evil in His sight, God would remove His hedge of protection and allow them to be defeated in battle and sometimes taken captive by foreigners to their people – who would make slaves of them. However, after severe chastisement from God via their enemies – which often included death to many of their men of war and taking their women and children captive, the Israelites would humble themselves and cry out to God because of their oppressors. When God harkened to the Israelites’ cries, He would raise up a judge to deliver them.

Devotional Reading: Joshua 4:2-7 AMP

Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, judged Israel at that time.She sat under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites came up to her for judgment. And she sent and called Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in 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 men from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun? And I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to meet you at the river Kishon with his chariots and his multitude, and I will deliver him into your hand?]

Deborah was the fourth judge of the Israelites, after Othniel (1st), Ehud (2nd) and Shamgar (3rd); and one of only seven women to ever be recorded in the Bible as true prophetesses. She judged Israel for forty years (from 2654 until her death in 2694). Deborah was a wise, strong,  courageous, and God-fearing woman. She trusted in the Almighty God and was much respected by the entire Jewish nation. When the Israelites sinned in idolatry, Deborah remained true to God and His laws. She was a woman of character, the first woman chosen to judge God’s people. God sent Deborah to judge the Israelites after the death of the 3rd Prophet, Ehud – at which time the congregation of the Jews had forsaken the religion of their forefathers and began worshiping the idols of the surrounding peoples. Consequently, God allowed them to be subjected to the cruel oppression of Sisera, a general of Jabin, the King of Canaan, in the city of Hazor.

Deborah, whose name means, “bee,” was the wife of a man named, Lapidoth, whose name means, “torches.” They lived in the mountains of Ephraim, between Ramah and Beth-El. Situated under The Palm Tree of Deborah, outside of any tent but in the open air, Deborah judged the people and warned them to return to serving God and following after Him.

Devotional Reading: Joshua 4:8-10 AMP

And Barak said to her, If you will go with me, then 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 trip you take will not be for your glory, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. [Fulfilled in Judg. 4:22.] 10 And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh, and he went up with 10,000 men at his heels, and Deborah went up with him.

Barak recognized that he needed the help of God and wisdom of Deborah in order to defeat his enemies. His reluctance to go to battle as the Commander in Chief reflects the sentiment that all the men of Israel also feared the Canaanites. Because Barak relinquished his leadership to Deborah, she prophesied that the glory of the victory that day would belong to a woman.

Devotional Reading: Joshua 4:11-24 AMP

11 Now Heber the Kenite, of the descendants of Hobab, the father-in-law of Moses, had separated from the Kenites and encamped as far away as the oak in Zaanannim, which is near Kedesh. 12 When it was told Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor, 13 Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even 900 chariots of iron, and all the men who were with him from Harosheth-hagoiim to the river Kishon. 14 And Deborah said to Barak, Up! For this is the day when the Lord has given Sisera into your hand. Is not the Lord gone out before you? So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him. 15 And the Lord confused and terrified Sisera and all his chariot drivers and all his army before Barak with the sword. And Sisera alighted from his chariot and fled on foot. 16 But Barak pursued after the chariots and the army to Harosheth-hagoiim, and all the army of Sisera fell by the sword; not a man was left. 17 But Sisera fled on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. 18 And Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me; have no fear. So he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug.19 And he said to her, Give me, I pray you, a little water to drink for I am thirsty. And she opened a skin of milk and gave him a drink and covered him.20 And he said to her, Stand at the door of the tent, and if any man comes and asks you, Is there any man here? Tell him, No.21 But Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent pin and a hammer in her hand and went softly to him and drove the pin through his temple and into the ground; for he was in a deep sleep from weariness. So he died. 22 And behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him and said to him, Come, and I will show you the man you seek. And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the tent pin was in his temples. 23 God subdued on that day Jabin king of Canaan before the Israelites. 24 And the hand of the Israelites bore more and more upon Jabin king of Canaan until they had destroyed [him].

Jael comforted Sisera telling him not to fear; and when a deep sleep came upon him, she fulfilled the prophecy of Deborah that the glory of the battle would go to a woman. Jael cut off Sisera from His people and ended His reign of cruel oppression. Barak would later be called into Jael’s tent to find Sisera with a tent pin (a long nail) through his temple and into the ground.


Footnotes

Source: The Prophetess Deborah – http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/112050/jewish/The-Prophetess-Deborah.htm


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