Women at War: Deborah, Part 2

Posted: July 28, 2009 in Uncategorized

We join our heroine in progress: Deborah gives the military commander, Barak, the word of the Lord: Prepare for battle, take 10,000 men and He will give you the win. Now, this battle is a head-to-head with Sisera and his 900 chariots. It’s a battle with the people of Canaan and their leader – Jabin – who has cruelly oppressed Israel for 20 years (Judges 4:3). You know WHY the oppression has been going on for two decades? Because the soldiers and the leaders are scared spitless of conflict. We’ll talk in a day or so about their shockingly spineless condition and their refusal to ever under any circumstances, you know, fight – but for today, just trust me: their courage shook like a bowl full of jelly.

Barak immediately says to Deborah, “Ten thousand men, huh? Great, but I’m not going unless YOU go!” Now either Barak really is a fraidy cat of epic proportions, or this is a “put up or shut up” kind of challenge he’s issued. “God spoke, huh? Okaaaay, how bout you go first, D?” I’m sure he also wanted the assurance of having the prophet and judge along for the ride, but I suspect something else is going on under the surface. And, oh man, how I love dear Deborah’s response here: “She said, ‘Of course I’ll go with you. But understand with an attitude like that, there’ll be no glory in it for you. God will use a woman’s hand to take care of Sisera.” (verse 9-10) No hesitation, no stop-and-pray, no shaking or quaking in her sandals…this woman is ready to see the heat of battle. She’s built a great office under that palm tree – but something tells me she’s been longing to see God in action and she knows that His real power is shown in places that aren’t nearly as safe as the the sweet spot beneath the cool tree. I love her immediate YES. I love her willingness to leave a great gig for one that is going to be tense and bloody. Brilliant.

In the movie, Beauty and the Beast, the crowd of villagers gathers to go after the Beast and their fearless leader, Gaston, utters one of my all-time favorite cinematic lines: “Light your torch, mount your horse, screw your courage to the sticking place….”

Maybe it’s time I find my courage and introduce it firmly to the sticking place. Maybe it’s time I listen to God and believe Him….believe that if He’s promised the battle, then it’s already mine. Maybe it’s time to show up.

Praise the Lord and here we go,


  1. Lila says:

    Thanks Bo – this has totally challenged me this morning! It’s what I needed!

  2. Susan from Nebraska says:

    Great commentary on Debroah!!! I love her courage and I too believe God is calling all of us to believe the Word when it says ‘be strong and of good courage’. Now is not the time to fall back and take second place but to step up and stand strong in the front row!!! He keeps giving us chances to take that place too. We might follow in the back for a while – as you know there are many back row people – but all of us will be challenged to take that front row seat and lead the crowd with a courage that only comes from trusting Him!
    Love you so much!! Can’t wait for that coffee when you get here.

  3. Forsaken College Daughter Who Wishes She Lived At Home Right Now says:

    Another Beauty and the Beast line I find fitting for all of this is sung by Belle after Gaston proposes:
    There must be more than this provincial life
    I want adventure in the great wide somewhere
    I want it more than I can tell
    And for once it might be grand
    To have someone understand
    I want so much more than they’ve got planned.

    While I believe that God sends us rest and peace to maintain our sanity and because he loves us, I also wonder at times if I really do want more than this provincial life. When was the last time a threw peace to the wind and asked for adventure, for something beyond my own plans. If I only ever strive for peace, will I ever find fulfillment? This is a rather central question for me of late and it’s muddled even more by, “Am I letting people steal my peace? Do I need to fight for it? Is that rebellion? Is this lack of peace my adventure?” Maybe it is time for me to screw my courage to the sticking place…maybe not…I honestly have no idea.

    Realizing I need to start looking for answers,

  4. bolovesjoe says:

    Tori – I so love the line, “If I only ever strive for peace, will I ever find fulfillment?” I wish I had answers. I mean, I have a couple, but they’re the generalistic, pat-you-on-the-head kind of answers that you already have. What I DO know is you didn’t sign up on this journey to stay safe OR to find peace – you signed up to do the will of your Father and He is in charge of what that looks like in every stage of your life. I will trust Him to speak clear direction to you, dear girl of my heart.

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