25/06/2017: W.A. Service | Berryl Wesson
Judges 4:1-16 (NIV)
1Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, now that Ehud was dead. 2 So the Lord sold them into the hands of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. Sisera, the commander of his army, was based in Harosheth Haggoyim. 3 Because he had nine hundred chariots fitted with iron and had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the Lord for help.
4 Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. 5 She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided. 6 She sent for 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.’”
8 Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”
9 “Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honour will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” So, Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 There Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali, and ten thousand men went up under his command. Deborah also went up with him.
11 Now Heber the Kenite had left the other Kenites, the descendants of Hobab, Moses’ brother-in-law, and pitched his tent by the great tree in Zaanannim near Kedesh.
12 When they told Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor, 13 Sisera summoned from Harosheth Haggoyim to the Kishon River all his men and his nine hundred chariots fitted with iron.
14 Then Deborah said to Barak, “Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?” So, Barak went down Mount Tabor, with ten thousand men following him. 15 At Barak’s advance, the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and army by the sword, and Sisera got down from his chariot and fled on foot.
16 Barak pursued the chariots and army as far as Harosheth Haggoyim, and all Sisera’s troops fell by the sword; not a man was left.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“During the period of the judges Israel went through cycles of turning away from God, suffering from oppression, crying out to the Lord, and being delivered by God through a human agent. On this occasion God’s agent was quite unusual for that time and place – a woman.
- Who is a woman that you admire as a leader?
- What made Deborah a leader in a man’s world? i.e. her ability to settle disputes, her courage, her military mind, her faith…?
- How do you think the Israelite men felt about the honour of the victory going to a woman?
- What quality of Deborah’s [leadership] would you most like to have? i.e. mediations skills, faith, confidence, boldness, inner strength…?
- Under what circumstances do you tend to drift away from the Lord? i.e. when you get too comfortable, too busy, when the pressure gets too great?
- What is keeping you from realising your [spiritual] potential more fully?
- If you had Deborah’s confidence what would you attempt to do?
- In what way have you experienced God’s deliverance? i.e. healing, peace, forgiveness, inner strength, provision of resources, spiritual growth through a crisis?”
 Study taken from the NIV Serendipity Bible: 1998: pg. 354: Zondervan Publishing House