Posted by: everynation | October 11, 2011

Lessons in the Life of the Judges: Deborah – A Mother in Israel

by Jim Laffoon

Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites came to her to have their disputes decided.

She sent for Barak, son of Abinoam, from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead the way to Mount Tabor. I will lure Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariot and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.’”       Judges 4:4-7

“In the days of Shamgar son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the roads were abandoned; travelers took to winding paths. Village life in Israel ceased, ceased until I, Deborah, arose, arose a mother in Israel.”       Judges 5:6-7

All of Israel had been cruelly oppressed for more than twenty years. Crushed repeatedly by the nine hundred iron chariots of Sisera, they had been reduced to an impoverished broken nation. The roads had been abandoned and normal life for many of the people had ceased. God, however, had not forgotten them.

In answer to their prayers, he raised up a leader. Her name was Deborah – a mother in Israel. Through her prophetic gifting and wise counsel, she challenged all of Israel to rise up and throw off the yoke of their oppressors.

Finally, because of her faith, an obscure warrior named Barak answered her call to lead the armies of Israel. Under their leadership, Sisera and his diabolical legions were utterly destroyed.

What lessons can we learn from this amazing story of how God used one woman to change a nation?

First, wherever you look in the body of Christ today, it is clear that God is calling women to rise up into their destiny. Whether they are students, professionals, or stay-at-home moms, God is calling them to take their place at the forefront of the spiritual battles that are defining our age.

Second, Deborah was a prophetess. If you are going to fully come into God’s unique purpose for your life, it is critical that you understand the gifts that He has given you. Whether your gift is evangelism, teaching, healing, or mercy, the understanding of how your gift operates is critical to your destiny.

Third, she was a mother. In an hour when much of society has denigrated motherhood, it is vital that you and I see its importance. Motherhood is at the very essence of God’s plan to change history, because he has given mothers the privilege of shaping the lives of their children in their most formative years.

It is typically the hand of a mother, not the hand of God, that carefully lays the initial blocks in a child’s spiritual foundation. These early moments in a child’s development cannot be minimized, because they will become the very foundation stones upon which the child’s whole life will rest.

Fourth, unlike some anointed women I have known, Deborah was secure enough in her anointing and her womanhood to understand and respect the role God had given men. Even though she was Israel’s prophetess, she realized that the responsibility of leading Israel’s armies belonged to a man.

Her acknowledgement of Barak’s leadership, despite his initial reluctance to obey God’s call, gives us a unique perspective on the role of women and men in ministry.

May your eyes be opened to the unique calling that God has placed on your life as you ponder these words today.

Jim Laffoon is part of the international leadership team of Every Nation and also serves on the pastoral staff of King’s Park International Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.  He travels extensively, teaching and ministering in the body of Christ.

Read the original post here.



  1. I was really encouraged by this post :-) Thank you for writing on this topic Ptr. Jim, and thank you Every Nation for reposting it!

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