Deborah lived around 1200 BC. She was the fourth and only female judge of Israel and came to prominence after Israel had been under enemy control for 20 years. She heard God’s voice distinctly and faithfully played her part in implementing the rescue of the Israelites from the servitude that lasted the 40 years of her reign. Her story is told in Judges 4 and 5.

Lessons from her life. * This prophetess knew God intimately and proclaimed His word (Jdg 4:6,7,9,14). Although it was a directive for others to implement, she did not belittle them when they were hesitant but instead supported and accompanied them to fulfil the task. Furthermore, she not only knew what to do but when – “Today….” She clearly heard from God and acted decisively. As often is the case, strategic leadership involves stepping out in faith to do the unexpected. Do I have confidence in God because of the close spiritual relationship I have with Him which results in me obediently doing what I believe God says?

* While it is uncertain if Deborah helped compose the jubilant victory song recognising the Lord’s enabling in defeating the enemy it is recorded she sang it (Jdg 5:1-31). He deserves the honour and glory for His intervention in our predicaments too, especially for defeating Satan on our behalf and granting us salvation (Jn 1:12; 1 Jn 3:8). Do I recognise His working on my behalf and give Him all the credit?

See also: hearing God’s voice, Judges of Israel.