Deborah reluctant warrior princess

Deborah reluctant warrior princess

Barak said to her [Deborah], “If you will go with me, I will go, but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” – Judges 4:8

Judges 4:3-14

 3 Then the people of Israel cried out to the LORD for help.

 4 Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, was a prophet who was judging Israel at that time.

 5 . . . the Israelites would go to her for judgment.

 6 One day she sent for Barak . . . She said to him, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, commands you: Call out 10,000 warriors from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun at Mount Tabor.

 7 And I will call out Sisera, commander of Jabin’s army, along with his chariots and warriors, to the Kishon River. There I will give you victory over him.”

 8 Barak told her, “I will go, but only if you go with me.”

 9 “Very well,” she replied, “I will go with you. But you will receive no honor in this venture, for the LORD’s victory over Sisera will be at the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh.

 14 Then Deborah said to Barak, “Get ready! This is the day the LORD will give you victory over Sisera, for the LORD is marching ahead of you.”

The remains of a powerful Viking – long thought to be a man – was in fact a real-life Xena Warrior Princess.

The lady war leader was buried in the mid-10th century along with deadly weapons and two horses, leading archaeologists and historians to assume she was a man, according to the findings published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. They were wrong!

“It’s actually a woman, somewhere over the age of 30 and fairly tall, too, measuring around [5 feet 6 inches] tall,” archaeologist Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson of Uppsala University, who conducted the study.

She was buried with all the weapons of war a warrior required: a sword, an ax, a spear, armor-piercing arrows, a battle knife, shields, and two horses. She also had a war-planning game in her lap. It may well have been used to try out battle tactics and strategies, which indicates she was a powerful military leader. Hedenstierna-Jonson asserted, “She’s most likely planned, led and taken part in battles.”

The discovery marks the first genetic proof that women were Viking warriors. Osteologist Anna Kjellström of Stockholm University noticed that the skeleton had fine cheekbones and feminine hip bones, researches said. They conducted DNA analysis and confirmed it was a female.

“This image of the male warrior in a patriarchal society was reinforced by research traditions and contemporary preconceptions. Hence, the biological sex of the individual was taken for granted,” said Hedenstierna-Jonson. The research was led by the Stockholm and Uppsala universities. (https://phys.org/news/2017-09-genetic-proof-women-viking-warriors.html)

The book of Judges is a historical book, covering the period between the time of Joshua and the time of Saul and David. During this period there were 15 judges or leaders that ruled over the nation of Israel. It was a truly topsy-turvy time. The judges were often a combination civic administrators, civil judges, and spiritual leaders. One of those judges was Deborah. As a judge, she held a position of authority that commanded respect.  

Judges 4:4-5

 4 Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, was a prophet who was judging Israel at that time.

 5 . . . the Israelites would go to her for judgment.

Deborah was not merely an administrator and judge; she was also a prophet. She frequently received messages from the Father. She then spoke in His behalf.

How did Deborah see herself (Judges 5:7)? She was “merely a mother in Israel, not a great warrior or even a prophetess, though she filled both of those roles. A mother is an unlikely leader of a successful revolutionary war” (Constable). Yet she becomes a reluctant warrior princess.

REFLECT & PRAY

There is an important lesson here which is true throughout the Scriptures. When men are unwilling or unable to do the task that the Father has in mind, He will prepare and raise up a woman in their place. This should inspire women of all ages to be faithful and available to perform any undertaking that the Father has for them. Consider Esther, Ruth, and Mary.

Father thank You that when You have a task to be done you will rise up and choose the perfect person to get the job done. May each child of the King aspire to be that person.

INSIGHT

Apparently, Barak was the commander-in-chief of Israel’s army at the time. Once Deborah received the message from the Father, she took the initiative and sent for Barak. She lays out the Father’s battle plan and promises ultimate victory.

Judges 4:6-7

 6 One day she sent for Barak son of Abinoam, who lived in Kedesh in the land of Naphtali. She said to him, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, commands you: call out 10,000 warriors from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun at Mount Tabor.

 7 And I will call out Sisera, commander of Jabin’s army, along with his chariots and warriors, to the Kishon River. There I will give you victory over him.”

How did Barak respond? He thought the plan sounded great. But he was very reluctant to lead the army into battle. I mean the opposition had 900 iron chariots. Even though victory was guaranteed he was intimidated. He was frightened, if not petrified. He made a rather peculiar and unusual request.

Judges 4:8 Barak told her, “I will go, but only if you go with me.”

Undoubtedly, Deborah was bemused and a tad shocked. At that time and place in history, going to war was man’s work. Women were not directly involved in battles. Israel was a male-dominated society.

Judges 4:9 “Very well,” she replied, “I will go with you. But you will receive no honor in this venture, for the LORD’s victory over Sisera will be at the hands of a woman.”

Deborah harshly confronts Barak for his cowardliness. What he asked for, shamed not only him, but also the entire army of Israel. Today she might say, “you are a disgrace and a wimp. But for the honor of the Father, and the safety of Israel, I will do it.”

When the men of Israel act like children, the Father treats them like children. He literally puts a mom in charge. What classic irony. So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh. And the rest is history.

Judges 4:14 Then Deborah said to Barak, “Get ready! This is the day the LORD will give you victory over Sisera, for the LORD is marching ahead of you.”

But there’s more.

The Hebrew word baraq, transliterated into English as Barak. Barak means lightning. While the Hebrew word devorah, is transliterated into English as Deborah. Deborah means bee. The enemy was not struck by lightning, but rather they were stung by a bee (apologies to Mohamed Ali).

\◠:◠/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: