Welcome to the Women of the Bible video series: Deborah!! Each video in this 6 week series lasts 15 minutes and covers one woman of the Bible to whom we can relate today. Below is a transcription of the video. Enjoy!
Rachel Wojo: Thank you so much for joining us again today. My name is Rachel Wojo and this is my dear friend Jennifer Jackson. I am thrilled. We are on the second video for our series women who simply came to Jesus. We taught this series together at a conference. We taught about six women in the Bible and we’re so excited to review those with you today. Each week, we just teach a little excerpt from each of these examples about how God moved in our lives. Jennifer will be teaching today on the story of Deborah and I’m so excited to hear what you have to say. I know some of it, but I’m like, I can’t wait to hear it again and this is a lot of fun!
A Little Background
Jennifer Jackson: You know, I remember as a child being on my grandmother’s party line, so all the women in this little country town, you could listen to them and they were fellowshipping and talking and laughing. I think about the women of the Bible and they come to life to me and so I love reading about them and hearing their stories and thinking about how they actually mirror our lives. And they’re an example for us and so it’s a lot of fun to look at each of the characters and just dive in. And I wanted to start with Deborah today. I love Deborah. She’s one of the rare old testament women who really stands out. She was a judge of Israel and most of the judges were men. So she’s the only female judge.
Jennifer Jackson: She’s really a unique woman, a tower of strength. And so I wanted to you to see where we’re reading. Deborah is in chapter four Judges. And so I think we’ll just read. I’m going to start by just reading to give you a little bit of history with Deborah. It says that the King of Canaan had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for 20 years and they cried to the Lord for help. And so I’m gonna stop right there. And just think about the fact that the whole entire nation had been oppressed for 20 years. And I don’t know what you have going on in your life right now. You may have suffered something for a really, really long time. You may still be in the midst of that. Even cruel, cruel things have happened or just heartbreak over and over, and that’s the scene when when we learned about Deborah, the nation has been just oppressed and so she’s living in this and I can’t imagine how they needed someone of confidence to kind of encourage the entire nation.
Jennifer Jackson: And that’s what Deborah did. Yes, she had lots of pressures. I think about some of the pressures that we live under. For some women, you know, you’re racing out the door with your laptop, your high heels, you’re fighting traffic, you’re trying to get to work on time and then you have deadlines. You have projects that have to be turned in, presentations to make. Everything is on a time crunch. And then you know, others of us, maybe you’re nursing at the night shift. Maybe you are teaching little kids in school all day long and just, um, are at home. You know, maybe you’re home homeschooling or kids are taking care of your parents. I mean, the list is endless and the pressures just mount and the stress and the tension. And I think about Deborah, she was a tower of strength even though every day she faced so much pressure.
Coping with Stress and Pressure
Jennifer Jackson: And so how can we draw on God’s strength in the midst of all these responsibilities, all these weights, so many jobs to do. It seems endless. Just talking about it. I can feel my blood pressure rising because there’s so much to do. It just never stops. And that is Deborah. But she was a leader and um, I wrote down, you know, her main thing was as a judge, she was solving disputes. So they say that she judged under a palm tree;that was the nice thing. At least we have our coffee. Deborah was judging day and night and people were coming to her with conflicts and disputes and serious matters. And I’m in the midst of a lot of tension. And so Deborah, what she really did well was inspired people to action.
Jennifer Jackson: She inspired people to make a change, to come out of this situation where they were at. She was a peacemaker, so she helped them, you know, to to work together as a team. So let’s look a little bit more. I’m going to keep going. Canaan had cruelly repressed the Israelites for 20 years. Now, Deborah a prophet. So she was also called a prophet. She can see things ahead of time. She, she must have really had an ability to look, have a forward-looking perspective. She was the wife of Lapidoth who was leading Israel at the time. She held court under the palm of Deborah, between Rayma in Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided she sent for Barak and said to him, The Lord, the God of Israel commands you go take with you 10,000 men and lead them up to Mount Tabor.
Deborah’s Leadership Role
Jennifer Jackson: I will lead Sisera, the commander of the Army with his chariots and his troops to the Keshawn river and give him into your hands. And this is really good. Verse Eight, this is what barrick, her husband says to her, if you go with me, I will go, but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go. Certainly I will go with you, said Deborah. 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. So Deborah went with to Kadesh and as you know, they won the war. But wow, look at her here. I mean, she’s such an encourager and I think about, you know, even for me today, it’s an encouragement to have a friend. It’s encouraging to do this together online. It’s fun to read your Bible when you feel like “I’m not the only one reading my Bible today.”
Jennifer Jackson: We can do this together. And she, she told her husband, I’m going to go with you. And they did that together and then they celebrated together and realized she kind of takes the credit here at the end. But she was the one with the courage and you know, it inspires me to be a motivator of others to encourage them. And we can, with God’s help, we can be that strength to one another, even in a serious situations. Um, one more verse before we go on. If we look at Judges 5:2. I love this, it says: “On that day, Deborah and Barak. So here she is with her husband saying this song, when the princes in Israel take the lead, when the people willingly offer themselves, praise the Lord here this you king. Listen, you rulers, I will sing to the Lord. I will sing.
Deborah Purposefully Praised God
Jennifer Jackson: I will make music to the Lord, the God of Israel. Oh Lord, you went out from Sierra. You marched from the land of Eden. The Earth shook the heavens. Port the clouds for down water. The mountains quake before the Lord, the one of the Sinai before the Lord, the God of Israel. And it just keeps going. But I wanted you to see here is that Deborah praises the Lord. She had this shout of victory. She knew God was great. She knew he was the one that really strengthened her and gave her the courage to do this. And she gave him the praise for it. And sometimes when we’re in the darkest place, praise is the last thing on earth, we want to do here, and they just been through this dark battle and sometimes you just don’t feel like praising the Lord.
Choosing to Praise God
Jennifer Jackson: But if you can do that and force yourself and almost just choose it and begin to praise him. Think of things to thank him for. And she’s saying the earth shook, you know, she’s thinking of anything you can say, the sky is blue today, God, you know, anything you can think of just to praise him in. What it does is it gives you victory. And in the spiritual realm that we can see it’s, it’s fighting a battle for you. And God will help you to win that battle, but praises a real key. And Deborah understood that. And, and I love that. Um, so I also, I wanted you to know that Debra’s name means busy bee. And I thought that was really interesting. So I looked up the name of Deborah and it even says that, um, that, that was what her name and it meant busy bee.
If Your Middle Name is Busy Bee
Jennifer Jackson: And I thought, well, but she was busy about the Lord Business and she was busy doing what God had called her to do. And so I, when I realized that, I said, OK God, we have so many opportunities to be busy busy doing that and I love the be, you know, there’s just a thousand things. But how can we say, God, I want to be busy about your work. You know, what does he really want me to do today? Is there anyone you want me to meet? Is there a prayer you want me to pray? Is there a song you want me to sing, you know, somebody you want me to just to give a hug to you today, but just to ask ourselves that question, how can I be busy for you today? Deborah means busy. That was her name and she was known as that and it could have been a negative thing, right?
Deborah the Dedicated
Jennifer Jackson: But in God’s hands because she had given that gift to him that’s still set to him. It was a positive. I think so many times our weaknesses we feel like, oh, you know, such a bad thing, you know, whatever it is, but when we give it over to God, he takes those weaknesses and make them our strengths and that’s what he did with her. He did. It’s beautiful though. In our busy world, we can give it to him. OK, what else? So she was an upright judge. We knew that the importance of being upright, you know, especially the day and age that we live in. I love the fact that when they remember Deborah, they say she was an upright judge and that’s just an example to all of us to try to walk on or before God and before the people. She brought peace and that was part of her role is just to bring peace and there’s so much turmoil if we can try to bring peace, it just is helpful to anyone.
Ushering in Peace in a Chaotic World
Rachel Wojo: It’s helpful to our kids. So yes. So true. You know, and I, this just came to my mind, Jennifer, one of the things that it just seems like a small thing, but you can take positive action to usher in peace. That’s really good. And so like last night, one of the things I did was my little girls were down, but my big kids were still up. It just lit a candle right on the dining room table, turned off the lights. And when I sat down it was like an immediate signal, you know, I was working to usher in peace, you know, just saying a prayer and lighting that candle. It just seemed like the environment changed a little bit, you know, and I think there’s so many times we can do things like that that’s within our power and it seems like something small but it’s so significant, has a huge impact.
Jennifer Jackson: It works. And if we can relax as hard as that is and if we can choose to relax than our, our family can feel that peace. So good. Yeah, they really can. So, that’s what Debra did. She brought peace and I guess we have to ask herself, should I, is there any way I could bring peace at work today or is there any way I could bring peace at home today or maybe when I get home, you know, how could, how could we do that today? It’s a little prayer, Lord, show me if there’s anything I could do to bring peace. Um, sometimes the kids are fighting, you know, but if you make, don’t make a big deal out of it. It diffuses it. Have you ever had that happen? So, um, another thing is they believed that they would miraculously when the war and then they did.
There is Power in Believing God because HE is Powerful
Jennifer Jackson: So look at judges 5:20, see here it says from the heavens and the stars, they fought from the courses. They fought against Cicero. Um, it just, it’s just interesting to make. It goes on and on. It would take us a while to read all of this, but you should read judges five today. Such a powerful story. And I think about they, they just believed that they were going to win this war. And I don’t know if it had to do with some of her confidence and her courage as she led them, but they had this belief that God was going to fight it for them. And then they had peace and it says they had peace for many years. It says, 40 years. And so sometimes the investment we make today in a spiritual battle, in fighting for our family, fighting for our nation, doing the right thing, being upright.
Jennifer Jackson: It could last 40 years. This could last the next generation, you know, it just keeps going. And what she did lasted a really long time. And I love that. Um, the, and I guess the last thing I had was just about, the praising. And did you know that today it’s still one of Israel’s top 10 songs like modern day Israel, the little children learn in kindergarten, Deborah, song of victory. That’s how. Wow, isn’t that fun? So that’s really beautiful. And you know, I think about with Barak, her husband, she chose, instead of nagging him, which is easy to do, you know, I fall into that trap. I can easily fall into that trap and she didn’t do that. She tried to encourage him. If you go, I’ll go and maybe we could say, God, is there something I can encourage my husband to do sort of bugging him or nagging him or irritating him til he does this or that.
Jennifer Jackson: And I love that about her. She just inspired and I want to change my perspective instead of nagging to, you know, just to love and encourage and come alongside. Nagging is the easy thing to do and doesn’t really work. That doesn’t really work, but it just comes out. And then, you know, to make that sacrifice of praise and just choose to praise God. I love that. So that, that’s all I really had for Deborah. But I thought I might say a prayer for when I’m so weak. Lord, we thank you. We thank you for her confidence, her ability to praise you. And we choose to do that today. God, we just praise you, that we can be in your word. We praise you for one another, for our husbands, for our families that, , you will give us victory even over areas that had been dry for 20 years and suffering and the cruelty. Lord, we’ve seen so much pain and God, we are ready. We’re ready for a victory, for a change. And so would you give us confidence today? Would you give us the ability to be a peacemaker and our home in our, in our workplace? Everywhere we go, Lord, and we just want to say thank you and we praise you today. In Jesus name. Amen.
Rachel Wojo: Thank you so much. We’ll see you soon.
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By his grace,
Women of the Bible Video Series
Week 2: Deborah