OPENING PRAYER: Father, make me a Victor. Give me victory over all the wars around me.
MEMORY VERSE: “And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.” – Judges 4:4
BIBLE PASSAGE: Judges 4:1-22 KJV
1 And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, when Ehud was dead.
2 And the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose host was Sisera, which dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles.
3 And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel.
4 And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.
5 And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.
6 And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the LORD God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?
7 And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand.
8 And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go.
9 And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.
10 And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; and he went up with ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went up with him.
11 Now Heber the Kenite, which was of the children of Hobab the father in law of Moses, had severed himself from the Kenites, and pitched his tent unto the plain of Zaanaim, which is by Kedesh.
12 And they shewed Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to mount Tabor.
13 And Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people that were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles unto the river of Kishon.
14 And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which the LORD hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the LORD gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him.
15 And the LORD discomfited Sisera and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot, and fled away on his feet.
16 But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, unto Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword, and there was not a man left.
17 Howbeit Sisera fled away on his feet to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite: for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite.
18 And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And when he had turned in unto her into the tent, she covered him with a mantle.
19 And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him.
20 Again he said unto her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man doth come and enquire of thee, and say, Is there any man here? that thou shalt say, No.
21 Than Jael Heber’s wife took a nail of the tent, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.
22 And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will shew thee the man whom thou seekest. And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail was in his temples.
Deborah, the wife of a man called Lapidoth was a prophetess and a judge of Israel. She lived in the 12th century BC and held her court under a tree called “the palm of Deborah” in Ephraim. Deborah’s story is found in Judges, chapters 4 and 5. Her story emphasizes God’s willingness to use men and women alike.
TEXT REVIEW: Judges 4:1-22
Deborah was a wife, a prophetess a judge. Judges 4:1
Identify any five characters, lifestyles and achievements of Deborah.
- CHARACTER AND ACHIEVEMENT
- LESSONS FROM DEBORAH’S LIFE
LESSON OUTLINE1: CHARACTER AND ACHIEVEMENT
How can you describe Deborah from the biblical point of view?
i. She was a woman of faith with deep confidence in the Lord’s ability to give victory Judges 4:6-7, Psalm 118:9.
ii She was an open, fair and impartial judge. Judging under a palm tree was a Jewish or Robbie tradition that indicate fairness and openness Judges 4:5
iii She was a great leader who was willing to accompany a fearful Captain to the battlefront. Judges 4:9
iv. She understood her prophetic Calling and was directed to deliver the prophetic message without fear. Judges 4:7-9
How would you describe the tenure/administration of Deborah as a judge and prophet?
Very exceptional and successful because:
i. She combined the office of the executive with that of the judiciary and a prophetess with that of a wife. The feat which no other person attained in the Bible, Judges 4:4-9.
ii. She lead Israelites when the people were under the oppression of Jabin, the king of Canaan who ruled with iron hands for twenty years Judges 4:2-3.
iii. Her Administration witnessed unprecedented victory and liberation from all manners of oppression Judges 4:16
iv. Her administration witnessed dominion over the mighty
v. There was a unity of purpose among the arms of government as the military cooperated with the civilians to fight common enemies Judges 4:17-23.
vi. There was peace and prosperity during her administration Judges 4:23-24.
Describe Deborah’s attitude to victory and worship.
i. She attributed her victory to God, not gods or men Judges 5:3-5.
ii She was a worshiper and a songwriter/singer who gave praises to God. Judges 5:1,5
iii. She was a mother in Israel Judges 5:7
NOTE: There is no need for class Activity 1 because all students must have made meaningful contributions to attract 10marks.
LESSON OUTLINE 2: LESSONS FROM DEBORAH’S LIFE
What lessons can believers learn from the life of Deborah?
i. Absolute faith in God to take risks when people are afraid to take such risks (Judges 4:8-9)
ii. If God gives us assignments (responsibilities), He will give us the ability to execute them. (Judges 4:10,14).
iii. If God gives us an assignment and we turn it down, He will find an alternative person who will accomplish the assignment (Judges 4:16, 21-22).
iv. Whenever God’s work is done in His own way, there would be songs of praises and victory after such assignment (Judges 5:3-5)
v. God always used unlikely people or vessels to accomplish a great task. For instance, He used a woman and a “lent nail” to kill a warlord who had terrorised the land for twenty years. (Judges 4:21, 17; 1Corinthians 1:27).
vi. Whenever the power of God descends on weak vessels, such vessel becomes very strong. (Isaiah 61:1-3)
vii. Whether the horse or chariot is weak or strong, safety (victory) is of the Lord.
SUMMARY: Believers have so much to learn from a woman who would not accept fear, intimidation and other factors to limit her from leading God’s people to victory. Not waking to God’s service would limit the ability of God.
CONCLUSION: God is willing to use you if you make yourself available.
CLOSING PRAYER: Father, make me very strong for your assignments.
ASSIGNMENT: Mention five things that Deborah did that gave her victory and which if applied by our leaders today would give them excellent administration.
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