Cheerleader for the Israelites

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.- Hebrews 12:1

My church does a “Running With The Giants” series every year. Stories of women (and men) whose accomplishments and achievements have earned them a historic place in  the Bible’s very own “Hall of Faith” mentioned in Hebrews Chapter 11.

Some of the Bible’s heroes are well known such as Sarah and Rahab, while others not so much; like this week’s leading lady Deborah.

image-3A woman of remarkable knowledge, wisdom, and faith.  She was guided by the Holy Spirit in her gift of prophecy and had a very respected and influential role in the community as judge.

In the Book of Joshua (chapter 24) he reminds the Israelite’s of God’s faithfulness. Encouraging them to continue to serve the Lord and throw away the idols of their ancestors. The Israelite’s agree and a promise is made. Joshua and the elders die and the Israelite’s go back on their promise.

During this time God raised up the judges to lead the people. 

Now Deborah, a prophet the wife of Lappidoth was leading Israel at that time.”  Judges 4:4

She was an encouragement to the people of Israel who showed tremendous bravery when faced with a tough situation.

In verse 6 Deborah sends word to Barak to prepare his army for battle against Sisera and his men and promises them victory. Having not much of an army and not a well stocked arsenal of weapons Barak agrees to go to battle only if Deborah goes with him.

Barak could have prayed for more weapons or more soldiers but instead he requested Deborah go with him into battle.  Maybe he felt having her with him would make him fight better. It wasn’t unusual for one to take what they held dearest to them into battle with. Deborah replies, “Certainly I will go with you…”

For the sake of this blog post our story ends here, but I encourage you to continue reading the remaining chapter for a surprise twist at the end. Hint: “…But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.”joshua-1-9

Two qualities that we can learn from her.


Deborah encourages Barak and together victory falls into their hands. She does not remind him that his army is few or that his weapons did not compare to his opponent.

Today we are surrounded by negativity. Turn on the TV or surf the internet. Let’s be someone who encourages and not someone who points out the failures of others.

  2.  BE BRAVE:

She was a judge and prophetess not a warrior. Judges 5:17 Villagers in Israel would not fight; they held back until I, Deborah, arose,  until I arose, a mother in Israel.

When I think of bravery I think of the men and women who risk their life for us every day. The military men and women on the front lines risking their lives for our freedom. The men and women in blue who respond to  a call for help or a firefighter who battles the rising smoke and flames.

But what about everyday bravery that men and women face: A  rough patch in your marriage, rough season at work, recovery process,  or the death of a loved one.

You can be brave because you are loved beyond measure and you are the daughter (or son) of the most high God! The power to be all these things lives inside you.

Life is a struggle. It’s not all about mountain tops, mountain tops, mountain tops and heaven. Some days you find yourself at your lowest in the valley. But let me remind you that fruit doesn’t grow on mountain tops. Fruit grows in the valley.3

Church of the Highlands, Running With The Giants, Part 7, DEBORAH by Holly Wagner, May 15, 2016


IMG_7571Tonya Masoner is a part-time legal assistant and full-time school custodian. She enjoys thrift shopping, pizza Sunday’s and binge watching Netflix. She loves telling people-“God’s got a sense of humor… I don’t even drink coffee.” Her Breath on Paper bio can be found here.

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