Read Judges 5
I wonder if Deborah had considered herself to be the woman to whom God would hand Israel’s victory. Was she surprised to hear of Jael’s brave courage and her victory-securing role in the battle against Jabin and Sisera?
If I were Deborah, I believe would have expected that glory to be mine. After all, Deborah had been Israel’s leader even before God called Barak to battle. She’d been the one the people had turned to for wisdom and judgment, even as they lived under Jabin’s oppression for all those years.
But God’s choice in Deborah proved good and strong after the battle ended and all was said and done. He knew the woman He’d chosen, and I have to believe He liked her humility most of all.
We don’t find much in the Scripture about this woman, Deborah. But if we read between the lines, we can know this for sure: she was a woman who looked for God’s hand, not seeking glory for herself, and willing to celebrate His victory at every turn.
Deborah knew whose battle she fought. She knew who really led the Israelites. She knew she was but an instrument chosen by God for His own purpose. Not hers.
That’s how she could sing with Barak at the end of the battle against Jabin and Sisera. It’s how she could dance in victory, remembering the days before God had called her to lead. (See v6.)
Deborah had no problem praising the Almighty God for those who’d offered themselves for God’s use in the battle. It was not her they served. It was God.
“March on, my soul, with might” (v21)!
“So may all your enemies perish, O LORD! But your friends be like the sun as he rises in his might” (v31).
Are we willing to see ourselves like Deborah saw herself? To view ourselves as God’s servants, and His alone? Happy to celebrate the victory we know comes only from Him? Delighted to highlight other servants of Almighty God rather than ourselves?
It was a victory in itself that God’s people would obey. That they would listen to His call and bravely work together to rout Sisera and Jabin and claim victory for themselves. Sure Jael was brave. And Deborah and Barak led the army into battle. But, really, the victory was the LORD’s alone. That’s why Deborah and Barak sang the song of victory.
It’s how you and I can live singing even today. Humble and aware of whose hand holds real life. True deliverance. It’s all God’s to give.