Lesson Three

“Brave Leader”

Scripture Reference: Judges 4:1-24; 5:1-31

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Deborah means “a bee” – A honey bee to friends but a stinging bee to enemies.


(Judges 5:7) – Deborah, wife of Lapidoth, was a prophetess and judge of Israel. She had great leadership qualities and a great faith. Deborah was a divinely appointed deliverer and leader of Israel. She dwelt under a palm tree where the people of Israel came to ask for advice. Deborah was honored to be known as a “mother of Israel.” For twenty years, the Israelites were greatly oppressed by the Canaanites. The captain of the army of the enemy had 900 chariots of iron, and the Israelites felt they could not win against such strength. The Lord assured Deborah that He (the Lord) would win the victory for Israel. Deborah helped bring the nation from its despair and encouraged them to help themselves, because the Lord was on their side. She called Barak, the captain of the army to make plans for the battle. God had instructed them to go to battle with ten thousand men (Judges 4:6-7). Barak knew the value of Deborah’s counsel and asked her to go to war with the army of Israel. Deborah predicted that Sisera, captain of the Canaanite army, would be killed by a woman (Judges 4:8-9). Deborah was a wise and brave woman whose courage came from God.


(Judges 4:14-16) – “And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which the Lord hath delivered Sisera into thine hand.” Because of Deborah’s prophesy, the army of Israel went to battle against the wicked Sisera. The Lord fought the battle for the Israelites as Deborah prophesied. The Lord sent a bad storm (Judges 5:20-21). The flood waters turned the plain into a place of mud (Judges 5:4-5). Barak and the army of Israel pursued (chased) after the chariots of the Canaanites. Because of the mud, the chariots were stuck so Barak and his men caught the Canaanite soldiers and killed them all except for Sisera (Judges 4:17-22). Sisera ran from Barak and sought safety from a friend, Heber. Heber’s wife Jael, gave Sisera milk to drink and a place to rest. Sisera thought he was safe but while he slept, Jael took a large nail of the tent, and with a hammer drove the nail (tent pin) into Sisera’s temples (his head). The nail was so long that it went through the head and fastened into the ground. Sisera died. Barak, who was chasing Sisera, came to Jael’s tent. She showed him what she had done to Sisera, and Barak speared their lives. God defeated the army of Canaan as Deborah prophesied (Judges 23-24). We learn that God can fight our battles.


(Judges 5:2) – “Praise ye the Lord for the avenging (victory) of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves.” Not only was Deborah a prophetess, she was also a poetess. After the battle, Deborah and Barak sang praises to God. They rehearsed how God had won the victory for Israel for His glory and honor. They blessed Jael who had killed Sisera. It was a shame for a brave strong soldier to be killed by a woman, but this was God’s plan to defeat the enemy. Israel now had rest from the enemy for 40 years.

A Thought to Remember: Use your talents for the Lord! When we obey the Lord, He will give the victory for His glory and honor! “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Lesson to learn – Discuss how Deborah used Godly wisdom. Deborah was not a prophetess who preached, but prophesied the future for God. God used her to bring victory to His people. Discuss how women can be used in the ministry. One Godly woman can make a difference in the home and ministry. Who you are is more important that what you are! No one can replace you!