Judges Chapters 4 & 5

Deborah:  A Lesson Is Affective Leadership


The Book of Judges is a book about Failure – It Chronicles the failure of God’s people thru 12 cycles in their History

A)The cycles had a re-occurring Pattern – Sin / oppressor- bondage / cry out / God would raise up a Deliverer – A judge


B) The People would walk with God until the Judge died – give themselves over to sin again – Cycle would start all over


C) Seen first 2 Judges – Othniel / Ehud – Spirit & the word 

1)   Ended last week talking about another man God was using at that time but who apparently wasn’t a Judge – Shagmar – Ox Goad


D) His life is an illustration of what God can do with a person who makes himself / herself available to God even though resources are limited

1)   Killed 600 men with an OX Goad – pointed wooden stick


Tonight we are going to be introduced to Judge #3 – Who was unique & from whom we can learn some awesome principles about leadership{v1-3

A)20yrs – finally cry out !!!  

              Chariot was the Military weapon of the day { Tank   


B) From an outward perception it looked like a pretty hopeless situation – Israel was out gunned & out manned –

1)   But if Israel would just trust the Lord he would deliver them from even the most impossible situation


C) Now to teach them THAT– God did a very unusual thing: He did not raise up a great warrior / An Othniel / Ehud or a Shamgar –

1)   Instead in this Militarily hopeless situation, He chose a woman to be the deliverer of his people.


D)See in those days it was a Patriarchal society – the men ruled

 It wasn’t like today where you Women Rule                Rd v.4-5

Now Deborah is the only woman in Biblical History who has a God given leadership role.

A)That immediately marks her out as a uniquely gifted individual- and she is a leader from which we can learn a great deal.


Someone once said: There are only 3 kinds of people- “Those who watch what is happening: those who scratch their heads and ask Hey what is happening?” and those who make things happen-


B)The ability to make things happen is the gift of leadership: Deborah was gifted by the Lord to be that type of leader


C) We know nothing about her background / her family accept she is married to this man named Lapidoth

1)   She also held the title of being one of only 3 women in the OT who carried the title Prophetess { Miram Moses Sister / Huldah – Josiah


D) Deborah likewise was a woman with this gift of Declaring the Mind & will of God to the People.


E) So Deborah was obviously an exceptional woman – one of only 3 Prophetesses in the OT /

1)   And the only woman that God ever raised up to the National leader of his people.


F) So it is not surprising that this Unique woman had some outstanding gifts as a leader – I want to point out those gifts as we go thru this Chapter


Consider Her Principles of leadership:

1)She saw a need and was committed to doing something about it !!!


Judges 5:6-7 "In the days of Shamgar, son of Anath, In the days of Jael,

The highways were deserted, And the travelers walked along the byways.   

Thieves were abundant and it was too dangerous to travel on the major roads & so people had to sneak around on back roads

7 Village life ceased, it ceased in Israel,{ No community

Until I, Deborah, arose, Arose a mother in Israel.

A)Deborah was a woman who refused to accept the status quo – she refused to believe that things would just always be this way


B) Hate more than anything is when someone sees a problem – but says that will never Change – always been that way always will be that way!


C) That wasn’t Deborah – she watched for 20yrs the state of life in Israel get worse & worse under the affliction of their oppressors the Canaanites

1)   And she set out to do something about it!!!


D) Obviously Deborah wasn’t the only one to see the Problem – but she was the only one to stand up and do something about it

John Gardener, former Cabinet minister under JFK made this very perceptive observation. He noted that 20th century institutions are caught in a savage crossfire between uncritical lovers and unloving critics – He points that love with out criticism brings stagnation and criticism without love brings destruction


E) You it is Easy to complain about Problems – But know this when God shows you a problem he wants you to be a part of the solution

1)   That is the mark of a leader- They become a part of the solution- that is what Deborah does


2) She enlisted help – v.6a Then she sent and called for Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali,

A)Deborah was a very realistic woman: Israel had a military Problem and she needed a military helper –


B) She wasn’t a General she wasn’t called to lead the people into battle so she found someone who was

1)   Another mark of a good leader is that he / she is aware of her personal talents and abilities, but is equally realistic about his/ her limitations

2)   So a leader recruits help & builds a team!!!!!

Now this is interesting for Barak – he is  a man who is going to be led by a woman

A)One of the things that we can learn in our service to the Lord is as his plan unfolds and he uses who he chooses to use


B) As it relates to his plan – one thing that he is always wanting to find out is will we work with the Leadership that he has called

1) This is a big test for Barak – will he listen to a WOMAN about War ? Will he follow her leadership or will he reject her because she is a woman


C) Men have you ever done that? – Ignored the advice of your wife about something – She is a woman what does she know about that – man stuff

1)   She might know more that you think { Gas line


God sometimes will raise up the least likely to test us to see if we will follow

A)Now Understand I am not talking about blindly following a leader who is  in error – Paul is very clear – Rebuke & remove yourself


B) But what I am talking about is that everyone of us in our ministries will come to a place where we see who God raises up

1)   Prone to think : Him? / Her? – And it will be a great test to our pride to see if we will submit to the leadership of who God has raised up


C) See the problem that everyone of us deals with is that we think that we are right – we know the best way for doing things

1)   Sometimes when someone else comes along – who has a different idea – we can’t distinguish DIFFERENT  from WRONG !!!


D) Joey: More experience in ministry: His ideas are a little unorthodox – Challenge to me – ok God – Deferred – Awesome – I learned

1)   Now we work together a couple of times a year – Blessing – He leads I help – I am always blessed


E) We will all face situations like that –

Barak was in that Place – it was a HUGE test for him – would he respond to the call of a woman – society ran by men

A)Well Barak Passes the test and responds to the call of God given thru Deborah


B) Also should note that it takes both Deborah’s and Barak’s to accomplish the purposes of the Lord

1)   She can’t lead an army into battle – she is not called to that – But Barak can’t lead the people – not his call


C) But what God wants to happen for his people only happens as they both do what he has called them to

1)   THE BODY : Many members different functions / giftings / do what God has called you to do!!!


3rd Aspect of her leadership:  She motivated her help: It seems that Barak was gifted as a warrior but was a bit fearful and uncertain

A)So Deborah sets out to Motivate him in 2 ways


#1 She sought to strengthen Barak with the Promise of God’s Presence  v. 6b She said to him, "Has not the LORD God of Israel commanded, 'Go and deploy troops at Mount Tabor; take with you ten thousand men of the sons of Naphtali and of the sons of Zebulun; 7 and against you I will deploy Sisera, the commander of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude at the River Kishon; and I will deliver him into your hand'?"


A)One of the greatest things we can do as leaders for people is to remind them of the Promises of God – especially that God will be with them!!!


B) The last thing I want to do is to send someone into the mission field or into a ministry situation having them relying upon their skills

1)Their training – their ingenuity or know How ! – But I want them to go knowing God is with them and he will be faithful to lead them


C) Deborah motivates Barak with the Promise of God’s presence

#2 She encourages Barak with her Presence

A)Now even though she gives Barak this promise he is still unsure about this v 8 And Barak said to her, "If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go!"


B) Now some people call Barak a wimp/ a sissy for saying this: I think that is an unfair characterization


C) One of the reasons that I think that is Barak is mentioned in Heb 11 the great Hall of faith – great exploits their faith in God

1)   I think that Barak recognized that God was moving through Deborah and he wanted her around for Assurance and Wisdom

2)   And he probably realized he would be more successful in getting the people to rally around him if Deborah was with him


D) This blesses me: Because I have faith – I believe in what the Lord can do but sometimes I have that unbelief –

1)   Like the Father who’s son was Demon possessed –Lord I believe but help my Unbelief


E) I can relate to that !!! – Lord I believe but help my unbelief

1)   Africa this month – national Conf. Brian & Jon Courson – they go I will go! { Timing was wrong – But so was my heart – Next year – In


So when Barak asks will you go with me – Deborah responds 9 So she said, "I will surely go with you; nevertheless there will be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for the LORD will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman." {Jael} Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh.

A)That is the mark of a good leader – Willingness to be flexible with those they are leading – { Help out – get involved  


B) In doing so she was an Encourager to Barak and the rest of the men building up their faith with her Presence



So Barak routes this Army of Sisera! How did he do it !!

A)God’s Strategy and God’s intervention – Strategy: Fight in the Mts difficult for Chariots


B) Intervention: Ch.5:21 21 The torrent of Kishon swept them away,

That ancient torrent, the torrent of Kishon. O my soul, march on in strength!


C) Kishon was a Creek bed in that Region that typically would be dry at that time of the year – But it became a torrent – mighty river

1) No Doubt because God – sent a storm – Chariots were handicapped


This is a reminder to us that God has infinite resources available for our victory even when we can’t see what they are a head of time

A)You & I never Know what is on the other side of an act of obedience / Barak didn’t know what God was going to do / How do it -


B) But he obeyed and God brings about a great VICTORY!!!!

1)   Being a Christian is the most exciting life in the World – because you never know what God is going to do !!!


C) War in Yugo – 1992/ 93 – Speak at a conf. W/ Another Pastor – Dangerous what should we do – American Embassy closed

1)   Americans were encouraged not to go there – This other Pastor was thinking we shouldn’t go – his leadership don’t go / his wife ….


D) My Wife { Who hates when I go anywhere – GO!!!} My leadership Go

CONSPIRACY -   Lets ask Pastor Chuck – Great time

1)   The day before the other Pastor – decided I am not going – Denise says You are !!!! – Ok – God blew my mind – road blocks – conf amazing


E) Step out in Obedience to God’s call – Watch what he will do!!!!




Now if I were Heber the Kenite I don’t know that I would sleep for a while – married to a woman like that – WOW !!!

A)Story is a great illustration of Romans 6 – Know Old man rendered in active – They were no longer under Sisereas control – Demanding


B) Reckon it to be so!!! – That is what she was doing w/ that Tent Peg Reckoning it to be so !!!  Nailing the Old Man – General

1)   Take That Sin & take the truth of God’s word & nail that thing – You have no power over me – set free in JC


C) Present your members as instruments of righteousness to God

1)   Jael does the righteous thing here – Takes care of Israel’s enemy


Read a story this week – Christian man – Homosexual tendencies yearnings – try to suppress / periodically give into them – married

A) Finally after yrs of going back and forth – secret life – he left his wife and kids to pursue a Homosexual lifestyle – Still be a Christian


B)Listen God’s word is clear: Those who Practice sin – walk in it live in it will not inherit the kingdom –

1)     Trying to Validate his lifestyle by saying I couldn’t help it


C) Listen if THAT IS TRUE  than Roman 6 is NOT !!!! – Old man has been rendered inactive – No power – Coach Clark / Rom 8 More than Conquerors

1)   Listen all of us are going to have fleshly tendencies toward areas of the flesh – Anger / Lust / Pride / - Always struggle never go away


D) But what the Bible makes clear is that in Christ we have been made more than conquerors through Him who loved us

1)   He has given us the means of the Victory – Nail the old man with the truth don’t give into the temptation -  James 4:7,8


James 4:7-8 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Ch. 5:9,10

The Leaders offered themselves even though they didn’t have weapons even though outnumbered they led by example

A)Those who road on donkeys– the rich & those who walked – the poor all coming together for the work – THE BODY – no Hierarchy


Rd v.11-16


V.15,16 Notes Here we see a Rebuke of those who didn’t come down

A)Deborah says Reuben had great resolve in his heart / great searchings


B) Here is the idea: They had great intentions – they were the type who would say: we really should get involved help out in the battle

1) Some day I am going to get in the middle of it – maybe Tomorrow


C) They had great resolve and great searchings – Wonderful committee meetings – but they never entered the Battle


D) What was required for that Hour was that they would enter the battle that was the need at Hand

1)   Not more people on the sidelines / Great Resolve – no Action !!


IS that You : Are you one who is always saying – I really should get involved more: Hear of a need – Should do that

A)This is a day when it is ALL HANDS ON DECK - Church described like a Basketball game: 40,000 in stands watching 10 guys on the floor


B) Life IS A VAPOR – Could be my last night – go out with a bang!!

Spend my life in the Purposes of God

1)   Needs all over the place – what do you want me to do Lord !!!


V. 17-23