A woman as a judge of Israel!? Some commentators suggest that God chose Deborah as a kind of “plan B” because the right man wasn’t to be found. But our sovereign God’s plan never needs an alternate, or second choice. His will is always done! Let’s see how a woman was chosen to lead God’s people, and as a bonus, a woman courageously killed their enemy.
Read Judges 4:1-5
- Who was Deborah? Vs 4
- Was she married?
- Where did she live?
- How did she judge the people?
Read Judges 3:1-6
- What was happening with Israel during this time? Vs 1-2
- What was the result of their still having Canaanites and other peoples living among them? Vs 4 & 6
Read Judges 3:7-11
These verses give insight to why God raised up judges in Israel.
- Describe the cycle of behavior and God’s response. Vs 1-9
- What did Israel experience after a judge’s leadership? Vs 11
- What did Israel always do after this period of relative peace?
Read Judges 4:6-10
Who did God tell Deborah to summon, and who was he to fight against?
- Who would give the victory? Vs. 7
- What was Barak’s response to Deborah, and what did she do? Vs.8-9
- Why do you think Barak wanted Deborah with him? What does this tell us about Barak’s ability to act on a word of direction from God? What does that indicate about Deborah and how her leadership was viewed?
- Deborah tells Barak the victory would not be his. Who would the Lord use instead? Vs. 9
Read Judges 4:11-24
- God choses another woman, Jael – to defeat Israel’s oppressor. How did she do it?
- What did the people of Israel do that same day? Vs. 23-34 Note who made this happen.
Read Judges 5:1-31
Deborah was also a songwriter and performer. Her song details God’s deliverance.
- Who did she have sing with her? Vs. 1
- 6-7 details what life was like in Israel. How is it described?
- What does Deborah call herself in Vs. 7?
- Did she have the people’s support? Vs. 13
- Who does the angel of the Lord curse in Vs. 23 Why?
- She describes Jael’s bravery in Vs. 24-27 What does she call her?
- How many years of peace did Israel have after this event
Why do you think God chose Deborah? What are some of her qualities that would make her a good leader? How can we become “ready” to be used by God?