What Does Obedience Look Like?

Acts 5:29 – But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men…”

Deborah stepped up to lead in one of the darkest hours in the Old Testament. A Bible dictionary says, “Deborah judged Israel after Shamgar. When Deborah was raised as a judge, Israel had been oppressed by King Jabin of Canaan for 20 years (Judg 4:2–3).” (1)

The days of Judges were filled with ungodly men not leading as God commanded. Perhaps, God prefers to work through a godly, obedient woman rather than an ungodly, disobedient man. Thankfully, Deborah stepped up like a single mother does or as a vice president does when the president is gone. Deborah was strong, but she was not independent. She continually works closely with and through godly men, including Barak. 

1 Samuel 12:11 mentions Barak but not Deborah saying, “And the LORD sent Jerubbaal and Barak and Jephthah and Samuel and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and you lived in safety.” 

In Hebrews 11, which is a list of heroes of the faith in the Old Testament, Deborah is not mentioned, but Barak is mentioned in Hebrews 11:32-34, “And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.” 

Lastly, Deborah was obedient to God. God is free to call whomever He wishes, and He called and anointed Deborah, who was faithful to her God and His calling on her life. 

Read Deuteronomy 26:16-19, John 14:15, and Acts 5:29 to learn more about how important it is for God’s people to live in obedience to His Word. 

(1)   Brandon Grafius, “Deborah the Judge,” ed. John D. Barry et al., The Lexham Bible Dictionary(Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).

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