Oh, those Israelites…they just couldn’t seem to get their act together and KEEP it together. They tended to follow this cycle of being sinful, then oppressed, then repentant, then delivered, then obedient. This time around their rebellion against God’s laws resulted in the unpleasant consequence of being under the rule of a king who harshly oppressed them for twenty years. In that regard, they had quite a bit to cry out about! This particular king was very powerful from a military standpoint. It probably appeared to the Israelites that they would never escape from under his cruel leadership. Because, as they so often did, they forgot that they had something more powerful than iron chariots—they had the Almighty God on their side!
Ehud, the previous judge, had died, and Deborah now served as judge. She is the only female judge mentioned in the Book of Judges. This traditionally was a role held by men. But we must surmise that this woman had proven herself to be wise, faithful, and unflinching. She was a Godly influence on the Israelites. We can all use a “Deborah” in our lives, and we should strive to be a “Deborah” to others—wise in the ways of the LORD, faithful to His teachings, and willing to speak up when direction is needed. We’ll look at more of the story tomorrow.