Women of faith: Deborah

Deborah’s courageous faith teaches us to trust God when all seems lost.
An important component of faith is courage—trusting God’s strength when we have none. It takes faith with courage to hand over the controls to God. It takes faith with courage to trust God’s promises when all seems lost.

When all seemed lost for Israel, God awakened a woman with exceptional courage. Her name was Deborah.

Courageous faith trusts God when all seems lost

The situation could not have been much worse. After the glory days of Ehud, “the Israelites once again did evil in the eyes of the Lord” (Judges 4:1). They “chose new gods” (5:8). Morality and any semblance of civilized society crumbled to the point that “village life in Israel ceased” (5:7).

This provided Israel’s enemies with an opportunity. A Canaanite army led by Sisera attacked and soundly defeated Israel. Israel lost faith, lost the war, and lost heart.

Then the Lord told Deborah to do the impossible. He told her to instruct Barak, a soldier from Naphtali, to gather a small army and attack Sisera’s mobile army of 900 chariots!

Courageous faith trusts God when all seems lost. Deborah was certain that the victory would belong to Israel. She saw the conclusion before the event because she trusted what God had told her, even though it seemed impossible. She even predicted that God would give the honor for this victory to a woman.

Courageous faith follows God anywhere

It’s one thing to say “I believe nothing is impossible for God.” It’s another to follow God when he asks you to do the impossible.

Deborah did not hesitate to go to war with the army (4:10). She had no qualms about ordering the attack when it looked like a sure disaster. “Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?” (4:14).

The battle was a disaster, but not for Israel. “The heavens poured, the clouds poured down water” (5:4), rendering Sisera’s lethal weapons useless. Sisera’s warriors were swept away when the Lord marched against them.

Sisera fled on foot. But he met his doom when he underestimated the strength of another woman, Jael. “She shattered and pierced his temple. At her feet he sank, he fell . . . dead” (5:26,27). Through two courageous women, the Lord delivered Israel from cruel oppression.

Courageous faith marches on

It takes faith with courage to follow Jesus today—to speak against popular “new” gods, to love someone as Christ loved you, to follow Jesus into death.