Making Decisions: What We Can Learn From the Woman Who Sat Under a Tree…

We all have decisions to make on a daily basis. Some decisions have less impact on the outcome of our day while some decisions are quite weighty and can seriously dictate the success of a matter in our lives.

If you’re a mom, auntie, grandmother, mentor, female founder, or visionary who desires to decide, lead, and execute with wisdom — KEEP READING…

Consider Deborah, a pivotal figure in Biblical history and notoriously known as the woman who sat under a tree.

Judges 4: 1 -7 (MSG)

1-3 The People of Israel kept right on doing evil in God’s sight. With Ehud (a former judge) dead, God sold them off to Jabin king of Canaan who ruled from Hazor. Sisera, who lived in Harosheth Haggoyim, was the commander of his army. The People of Israel cried out to God because he had cruelly oppressed them with his nine hundred iron chariots for twenty years.
4-5 Deborah was a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth. She was judge over Israel at that time. She held court under Deborah’s Palm (tree) between Ramah and Bethel in the hills of Ephraim. The People of Israel went to her in matters of justice.
6-7 She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “It has become clear that God, the God of Israel, commands you: Go to Mount Tabor and prepare for battle. Take ten companies of soldiers from Naphtali and Zebulun. I’ll take care of getting Sisera, the leader of Jabin’s army, to the Kishon River with all his chariots and troops. And I’ll make sure you win the battle.”

Most certainly, Deborah had a lot on her plate. She was a woman existing in patriarchal times, a family enthusiast, and a judge who had some major decisions to make. Her workspace under a tree was amidst God’s natural creation. And as a prophet, her major means of living and leadership influence was intentional prayer and purposeful time with the Lord.

Deborah’s concerns were at an all-time high as Israel was hard-pressed by cruel oppression day in and day out. She had important decisions to make that impacted the legacy of faith in which her people were called to. And if her people were to be free (as God desired), she would need to fiercely depend on the Lord.

There are a few things we can learn from how God used Deborah to decide, lead, and execute wisely.

*Deborah understood her God-given role. Her carefully cultivated gifting made room for her in the community. Surrendering to the “what and how” of God’s plan established Deborah and gave her the firm foundation she needed to be creative and innovative. Clearly, the tree in which she worked was unique. It was where God met her to help her speak/decree rulings and teachings to others and execute justice with mercy.

*Deborah understood God’s character. How easily she could have ignored the injustices of her time. However, her heart was rooted in who God is – someone who had fought for her people in previous generations to part the Red Sea, defeat evil enemies, and release them from the bondage of Pharaoh in Moses’ time. Although the current bondage and oppression of her time stemmed from a systematic approach to poor choices and outright sin, Deborah was in tune with what God truly desired for His people — FREEDOM to serve Him and Him alone.

*Deborah understood God’s voice. Basking in the Lord’s presence, time and time again, had helped her be in tune with how He was leading. Deborah said to the chosen military leader, It has become clear that God, the God of Israel, commands you: Go to Mount Tabor and prepare for battle.” She was sure, confident, and forward-thinking. Deborah could exist as such (even in the face of imperfect circumstances) because she was not moving forward alone, but with the Lord who was on her side.

And “success” followed according to Judges 4: 23-24.

On that day God subdued Jabin king of Canaan before the People of Israel. The People of Israel pressed harder and harder on Jabin king of Canaan until there was nothing left of him.”

Questions to Ponder

  1. What “role” do you think God has ultimately called you to? This could be a specific job or duty, but not necessarily. Think “bigger picture” such as community leader, teacher of at-risk children, advocate, prayer intercessor, economic empowerer, encourager of those in crisis, confidence booster, organizer of purposeful projects, creative visionary, ensurer of safety, faithful supporter, mission-minded mother, expressive artist, etc.
  2. How does God’s character come into play in your plans, decisions, etc.? What parts of Himself does He want to display through you even more? Comforter? Healer? Love? Instruction? Protector?
  3. How will you position yourself even more in the presence of God to hear His voice? What “tree” or unique spot will you find to meet with God to pray, study His Word, and meditate on His goodness?

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