Another winter is past and there’s an outburst of song in the newness of spring. With the rebirth of springtime in splendid attire, the blooms are adorned with colors in a flamboyant parade. Air is the sweetly scented companion to the rain, washing everything clean. All in preparation for the concert the birds in celebration sing.
It is wonderful how beautifully we can sing when we have triumphed over the enemy. Those taken out of harms way are no longer fearful of captivity, having tasted of deliverance. So like the song of the prophetess Deborah we can sing, “I, even I, will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel” (Judges 5:3).
Deborah’s story comes in the first part of the book of Judges. The self-described “mother of Israel” (v.7), a homemaker and wife, became a leader in the time of war. While busily fulfilling her duties at home she would also counsel and encourage the people. Rising within her was hot indignation at the oppression of her people. She felt a call not only to rise up, but also to wake up the people of God from their fear and complacency.
Sisera, the enemy, had an overwhelming military advantage – 900 chariots of iron and Israel had none. But through prayer and having a hearing ear to the words of encouragement spoken by Deborah, the people’s faith increased with her leadership. As a result, the adversary lost his army, his life, and his honor.
When leaders lead there is a renewed sense of strength. Through their leadership you are reminded that God is greater! God is mightier! Hope is restored, and the results will be courage to fight the enemy! Because of her personal dedication “the people willingly offered themselves” (v.2).
“They first gave their own selves to the Lord” ( 2 Cor. 8.5). This is always a precursor to victory. Personal consecration to the Lord’s work is the surest way to succeed in His service. When the people of God willingly offer themselves as instruments of righteousness in His hand, a song of triumph will will surely follow. Truly, this is the entrance to the way of success in His service.
Deborah’s name in the Hebrew literally means bee. She is a perfect example of a woman fulfilling the role of a homemaker, yet being the embodiment of a warrior. Described as a “bee” in peace and a “wasp” in war, she had the stature of nobility. Yet perhaps because of her femininity, she may have dressed in cotton and lace. What a lovely contrast to the courage to take action against the enemy.
There is something of a sting in this woman for evildoers that summoned Barak one of Israel’s most capable, although faint hearted, military men to “go.” Deborah convinced Barak that the Lord would deliver the enemy Sisera and his chariots into their hands. The general, displaying great trust in her spiritual insight and counsel, answered, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, then I will not go!”
Without wavering, brave hearted Deborah declared, “I will surely go with you; nevertheless there will be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman” (Judges 4:8,9). In one resolute moment she arose, believing firmly that she was armed with strength from God. She pressed her countrymen on to victory and for forty years the people prospered under her leadership. Deborah as a homemaker and wife had a hearing ear to God. She displayed strength in her leadership while having a servant’s heart.
The melody she sang was pitched highly in one clear note of VICTORY!
The rhythmical expression of her song encouraged her faith and then she inspired the nation to sing triumphantly.
What song do you sing? Do you sing with great jubilation? Would your song inspire a nation? Clearly, we can sing out a note of exultant cheer because the battle has been won!
“Every high thing must come down
Every stronghold shall be broken
You wear the Victor’s crown