The account of Deborah is found in Judges, chapters 4 and 5. Once again, the Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord. In response, God chastened them by permitting Jabin, king of Canaan, to oppress them. Jabin’s general, Sisera, with an army of 900 iron chariots oppressed Israel severely for 20 years. In response, the Israelites cried out to the Lord for deliverance.
The Lord hearkened to their cries and chose Deborah to deliver them. She was a prophetess. The Hebrew word means prophetess or inspired woman. She discharged all the special duties of a judge and was held in high regard by the people. She was a willing and devoted servant of his people and the Lord used her to rescue Israel. What a lesson here for all of God’s people. To be used in the Lord’s service and to accomplish things for him, full devotion of heart is essential!
By God’s direction, Deborah asked Barak to raise an army of 10,000 men and engage Jabin’s forces under Sisera’s. God assured Barak “I will give him into your hand” and save Israel. (Judges 4:7) Barak asked Deborah to go with him into the battle. She agreed to go with him but told Barak that because of this, the honor of victory would not be his, for the Lord would sell Sisera into the hands of a woman. (verse 9) With that assurance by Deborah of the Lord’s blessing and victory, Barak and his men found courage.
The Lord was faithful. He sent a storm, rendering Sisera’s chariots useless. Then, he threw Sisera’s army into confusion. Broken and routed, the Canaanites fled. Barak and the Israelites pursued them and victory was secured. All the army of Sisera fell by the sword. Not even one was left.—verse 16
Sisera fled away on foot and took refuge in the tent of Jael. After he laid down to rest, Jael took a tent peg and drove the peg into Sisera’s temple, killing him. Jael then showed Barak the man he was pursuing. That day, God subdued Jabin, the king of Canaan, before the sons of Israel and the land was undisturbed for forty years. Just as the Lord delivered Israel from their enemies, we can trust him to ultimately deliver us as well.