Morning:  Psalm 143; 147:12-20

Evening:  Psalm 81; 116

First Reading:  Judges 4:4-23

Second Reading:  Acts 1:15-26

Gospel Reading:  Matt. 27:55-66

Selected Text:  Judges 4:4-2  Deborah Delivers Israel

The story of Deborah serves a couple of important purposes…

1. It demonstrates that women were more than capable of leading Israel.

2. It shows that a woman is capable of leading an army that is wholly comprised of men.

3. It allows that a woman may fill the offices of judge, prophet, and deliverer.

It is of interest to note that the status and integrity of the male Judges of Israel are not at all associated with their spouses; that is to say that their wives are not mentioned as a contributing factor to their strength and valor.  In the case of Deborah, her legitimacy is established as being the wife of Lapidoth (v. 4) and that she appointed Barak to lead the army against Sisera.

Barak and Deborah are “hand in hand” in this military campaign.  Barak refuses to go to war unless Deborah is with him (v. 8-9).  It is not Barak that kills Sisera but another woman Jael, a Kenite (v. 21) thus demonstrating the efficacy women on the field of battle.

This history, along with those on Sarah (Gen. 12-18), Miram (Ex. 2:1-10, 15:19-21) and the wise woman of Tekoa (2 Sam. 14:1-20), reveal the ingenuity and strength of women in various dire situations.

Deborah’s leadership abilities parallel those of Samuel.  Both had permanent places where people consulted them for decisions on cases brought (v. 4, cf. 1 Sam. 7:15-17).  Both went to battle with their troops (v. 6, cf. 1 Sam. 7:8).  Deborah appoints Barak to general the army (v. 6) against Sisera.  Samuel appoints Saul to lead against the Philistines (1 Sam. 10:1).

Craig Randolph