5 Lessons to Learn from the Life of Deborah

Deborah in the Bible was one of the most influential women in the Old Testament. She was a prophetess, a warrior, a songwriter, and the only female judge to direct God’s people and lead Israel into battle against their enemies. The Song of Deborah and Barak (Judges 5) is one of the first examples of Hebrew poetry in the Bible.

5 Lessons to Learn from the Life of Deborah by Deborah Oyelade

But who was Deborah, and what can we learn from her leadership and character in the Bible?

Deborah’s story can be found in the fourth and fifth chapters of the book of Judges. There we learn that as the fifth judge, Deborah was called to deliver the Israelites from the Canaanites when the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin, king of Canaan, when they did evil in His sight (judges 4:1-2)

And despite Israel’s appetite for idolatry, in their cries and quest for deliverance, God sent them help in the form of the judges. The judges served as commanders who led Israel in battle against their adversaries and Deborah was one of these judges.

Deborah was married to Lapidoth. Actually, Deborah’s family background was not really known to us but the book of Judges tells us that Deborah came from the hill country of Ephraim between Bethel and Ramah. And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mount of Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgement (Judges 4:4-5).


Read: 6 Types of Nigerian Christians You Would find on a Bus 


Deborah lead Israel against the Canaanites, their king Jabin, and their military general Sisera, calling on a Jewish warrior named Barak, son of Abinoam to command Israel’s army. There are several key lessons we can learn from Deborah’s leadership and character.

1. Be Obedient

Among the judges of Israel, Deborah was unique. She was not only bold and assertive, she was obedient too. Deborah was not only a judge, She was also a wife, a warrior, a prophetess, and a songwriter, and in all things, she proved faithful and obedient to God. This teaches us that our ultimate call as God's creation is obedience. Although we have many roles to play in life (in our jobs, our relationships, or our families and much more) God is  calling us to be faithful and obedient in every aspect of our lives.

2. Be a good leader

Yes, Deborah called upon Barak to lead Israel’s army into battle, she was not trying to shake responsibility or leaving everything on Barak to solve. Even when Barak insisted Deborah accompany him,  Deborah committed to going. She was not trying to send him somewhere she was not willing to go herself, she knew that the Lord shall sell Sisera into her hand (judges 4:9).

Showing the great attribute of a good leader, Deborah led the way. She stepped up when called (Judges4:8) and did not hesitate to act. Deborah led by example and modeled courage, swift action, obedience, and a willingness to speak the truth, standing behind those she called to action.

This is teaching us to lead by example, we are not meant to follow the saying "do what I say, don't look at my attitude". We should let what we say commensurate with what we do.

3. Do not be afraid to follow God's Leading

Although Deborah’s courage was top-notch, her confidence did not come from her abilities or Israel’s army. Where Sisera trusted in the might of his army, Deborah trusted in God’s leadings, His power and provision. She believed that God was not only for Israel but had gone before them. That alone was the strength she needed to take action and motivate others to step out in faith as well.

From this, we should learn to set our eyes above. When God gives an assignment, He will always provide the resources needed to accomplish the task. Therefore, we should not be afraid to follow God's leading because He won't push us into a battle without a hope to overcome.

4. Be an Encouragement to Others

Deborah, she encouraged Barak to go for what the Lord has won already (the battle). Her words of encouragement to Barak gave Barak the strength to go down from Tabor with his ten thousand men. Deborah's word moved Barak and Barak's movement moved God to take Sisera into captivity for the children of Israel(judges 4:14).

If Deborah was not wise with words, Barak would have been discouraged, He would have faced the battle with lack of believe in what God can do through him. But Deborah's encouragement set him to action and he went down with the zeal that God has delivered Sisera into his hand.

From this, we should learn to encourage people with our words. Sometimes, we may not have the exact answer to someone's challenges but our words of encouragement could help the person to push through it with the belief that God will overcome the challenges.

5. Always be thankful. God Deserves our gratitude and Praise

After their victory over Sisera and the Canaanites, Deborah and Barak did not hesitate to return all glory, honor, and praise to the Lord (Judges 5). They acknowledged that, no matter what they or the army had done, God deserved the credit.

As a believer, we should not be wise in our own eyes, thinking everything we accomplish is by our own strength. If God was not there, we won't accomplish anything in the first place. Like Deborah and Barak, we are to acknowledge God in every process. Whether things go our way or not, giving thanks to God will make God look at our side and grant us what we need.

Now that we have looked into several key lessons to learn from Deborah's leadership and character, Which aspect of your life do you need to change to become like Deborah?

What do you need to start working on so as to be like Deborah? 

All the characters of Deborah can be imbibed by us too when we follow diligently, the word of God.

Dare to be a Deborah!

0/Post a Comment/Comments

Please drop a comment and use the Social Media Buttons below to share to friends and family.