Deborah: a Prophet with a Message

Verlyn Verbrugge

READ : Judges 4 and 5

Barak said to [Deborah], “If you will go with me, I will go; but if you will not go

with me, I will not go.” (4:8 NRSV)

In the ancient world, no one went to war without first consulting their gods. Only if
the diviners and soothsayers were convinced that the omens were right did they give
approval to the generals to fight.

That is why Barak refused to go to battle without Deborah, not that she was a diviner,
but because she was a prophet in touch with the Lord. Although a woman, she was the only
person Barak knew to whom the Lord was revealing his will.

The battle plan Deborah advised seemed like suicide: rush down Mount Tabor and attack
Sisera with his nine hundred fearsome chariots in the Megiddo plain. But Barak obeyed
God’s word through Deborah, and the Israelites won. How so? The Lord sent a ferocious
rainstorm that overflowed the Kishon River and immobilized Sisera’s chariots in the mud
(Judges 5:4-5). His armies fled on foot in a panic.

We must listen to God’s Word in order to succeed in life. That word today can come
through the printed page. It can come through a man’s voice. It can come from the lips of
a woman. Regardless of where it comes from, we must listen . . . and obey.


Lord, your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I promise to

listen, and obey. Amen.