July 21: Deborah – Judges 5
This summer, we are looking to the women of the Bible for encouragement, advice, and examples of living life full with God. In July and August, we’re reading the stories of Eve, Sarah, Hagar, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, Miriam, Zipporah, Deborah, Hannah, Abigail, Proverbs 31 woman, Gomer, Elizabeth, all the Marys, Martha, woman at the well, bleeding woman, adulterous woman, Canaanite woman, Lydia, Eunice, Priscilla, and the Titus 2 woman. Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). An example SOAP from our team is below today’s Bible reading. Comments are always welcome on our website for questions, discussion, and accountability.
Deborah – Judges 5
The Song of Deborah
On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song:
2 “When the princes in Israel take the lead,
when the people willingly offer themselves—
praise the Lord!
3 “Hear this, you kings! Listen, you rulers!
I, even I, will sing to the Lord;
I will praise the Lord, the God of Israel, in song.
4 “When you, Lord, went out from Seir,
when you marched from the land of Edom,
the earth shook, the heavens poured,
the clouds poured down water.
5 The mountains quaked before the Lord, the One of Sinai,
before the Lord, the God of Israel.
6 “In the days of Shamgar son of Anath,
in the days of Jael, the highways were abandoned;
travelers took to winding paths.
7 Villagers in Israel would not fight;
they held back until I, Deborah, arose,
until I arose, a mother in Israel.
8 God chose new leaders
when war came to the city gates,
but not a shield or spear was seen
among forty thousand in Israel.
9 My heart is with Israel’s princes,
with the willing volunteers among the people.
Praise the Lord!
10 “You who ride on white donkeys,
sitting on your saddle blankets,
and you who walk along the road,
consider 11 the voice of the singers at the watering places.
They recite the victories of the Lord,
the victories of his villagers in Israel.
“Then the people of the Lord
went down to the city gates.
12 ‘Wake up, wake up, Deborah!
Wake up, wake up, break out in song!
Take captive your captives, son of Abinoam.’
13 “The remnant of the nobles came down;
the people of the Lord came down to me against the mighty.
14 Some came from Ephraim, whose roots were in Amalek;
Benjamin was with the people who followed you.
From Makir captains came down,
from Zebulun those who bear a commander’s staff.
15 The princes of Issachar were with Deborah;
yes, Issachar was with Barak,
sent under his command into the valley.
In the districts of Reuben
there was much searching of heart.
16 Why did you stay among the sheep pens
to hear the whistling for the flocks?
In the districts of Reuben
there was much searching of heart.
17 Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan.
And Dan, why did he linger by the ships?
Asher remained on the coast
and stayed in his coves.
18 The people of Zebulun risked their very lives;
so did Naphtali on the terraced fields.
19 “Kings came, they fought,
the kings of Canaan fought.
At Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo,
they took no plunder of silver.
20 From the heavens the stars fought,
from their courses they fought against Sisera.
21 The river Kishon swept them away,
the age-old river, the river Kishon.
March on, my soul; be strong!
22 Then thundered the horses’ hooves—
galloping, galloping go his mighty steeds.
23 ‘Curse Meroz,’ said the angel of the Lord.
‘Curse its people bitterly,
because they did not come to help the Lord,
to help the Lord against the mighty.’
24 “Most blessed of women be Jael,
the wife of Heber the Kenite,
most blessed of tent-dwelling women.
25 He asked for water, and she gave him milk;
in a bowl fit for nobles she brought him curdled milk.
26 Her hand reached for the tent peg,
her right hand for the workman’s hammer.
She struck Sisera, she crushed his head,
she shattered and pierced his temple.
27 At her feet he sank,
he fell; there he lay.
At her feet he sank, he fell;
where he sank, there he fell—dead.
28 “Through the window peered Sisera’s mother;
behind the lattice she cried out,
‘Why is his chariot so long in coming?
Why is the clatter of his chariots delayed?’
29 The wisest of her ladies answer her;
indeed, she keeps saying to herself,
30 ‘Are they not finding and dividing the spoils:
a woman or two for each man,
colorful garments as plunder for Sisera,
colorful garments embroidered,
highly embroidered garments for my neck—
all this as plunder?’
31 “So may all your enemies perish, Lord!
But may all who love you be like the sun
when it rises in its strength.”
Then the land had peace forty years.
Driving Out the Canaanite Ways | Dyea Rowland
During the time of Judges, the Israelites refused to drive out the remaining Canaanites, thus taking on their morally corrupt worship, practices, and ways. It was a dark, just downright evil, and violent time. There were so many power-hungry people, which there still are, as the cycle continues. Many had turned away from the One True God and idolized their own false gods. Leaders would rise, which they still rise, as the cycle continues, like we see here with Deborah. This willing heart should challenge us to rise, to drive out the Canaanite ways not only in the world but more closely in our own lives.
You gave us a woman in a unique situation but not an impossible one, a woman who gives You all the credit, not led by any other standards than Yours, a woman who saw corruption and wanted it abolished, a woman who accomplished great things, because she was available due to her relationship in You. Let me be bold, confident, and willing to rise — to continue to drive out all of the heinous Canaanite ways all around me.
Father, I know the vicious cycle will continue until Jesus comes back. There are wise leaders waiting to rise, leaders who are willing to accomplish Your work. I want to be one of those leaders. I pray I focus on all that can be done and not the stuff I can’t do. In Jesus’ name…Amen.
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