“Barak said to her, ‘If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.’
‘Certainly I will go with you,’ said Deborah. ‘But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.’ So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh.”
Do you ever help someone out and receive not even a thank you?
My mom is the ultimate helper. She thrives off giving her time and effort to other people even when she doesn’t want to. She’s a classic Enneagram 2 if you know what I mean.
She hosts all the holidays, takes care of her parents who are aging, and most of all put her kids first every single day.
The thing about my mom is she rarely receives a thank you. Most people don’t notice all that she does because she never does it in hopes of gaining glory for herself.
I’m honestly probably one of the guiltiest when it comes to forgetting to say thanks, yet she just keeps on serving.
One of my other favorite women is one that comes from the Bible: Deborah.
Deborah was the only female leader of Israel. She was the fourth Judge and a prophetess. She is one of my favorites to learn about in the Bible because I am a huge fan of strong women and what they can accomplish when they listen to God.
Not only was Deborah the God-anointed Judge of Israel, but she also, with the help of Barak, led an army of 10,000 against an army of 900 chariots.
This wasn’t an easy feat, but because she listened to God she knew that He was on her side. Because she listened to God, she faithfully led her troops into battle and defeated the enemy.
Right after the battle was won, we read Deborah’s reaction to it, which happens to be a victory song.
Judges 5:2-3: “When the princes in Israel take the lead, when the people willingly offer themselves — praise the LORD! Hear this, you kings! Listen, you rulers! I, even I, will sing to the LORD; I will praise the LORD, the God of Israel, in song.”
After winning an incredible battle Deborah didn’t start praising herself, but she praised God.
She didn’t give the win to herself, but she gave it to God.
She didn’t do a dance in the end zone, but she pointed her finger toward God.
Deborah simply listened to God, followed His instructions, and gave Him the glory when He fulfilled what He said He would.
Something cool about Deborah is the fact that she did not have to hear people cheering her on, or celebrating her win because she knew she had satisfied God and that’s all that mattered to her.
She put all of her confidence and trust in God so that she didn’t have to rely on people to cheer her on. The more you desire for God to approve of what you’re doing, the less you will care about what humans think.
Does your victory song glorify God or does it glorify you?
Frankly, I’m not like Deborah, and being like my mom is really hard for me.
If I do something cool, or commendable the first person I usually tell is my mom or dad.
Because I always know despite how “big” my accomplishment is, they will get excited for me.
Just like Deborah, my mom continuously does things and doesn’t instantly look for gratification from humans, and it’s a lesson we should all learn.
Right now I’m amidst a challenge with myself. Instead of praising my actions, or my own doing when something goes right, I am trying to praise God instead. This is hard for me because I’m such a goal-oriented person, but it is important because it not only makes me a more humble person but also places my confidence out of my hands and into God’s.
Just as Deborah said, “I will praise the LORD, the God of Israel, in song.”
Next time when you accomplish something, whether it was for yourself or for others, think about how Deborah would react.
Or if you’re like me and have a good example of present-day Deborah, think about how they would react.
Deborah serves as a reminder of what it looks like to praise God through all of her accomplishments because she knows it is not her doing, but His.
Thoughts For The Day
Do you struggle with always needing affirmation from humans?
Challenge: Do something nice for someone, and do it in secret. This will force you to not get credit or receive praise. Instead of commending yourself, give the glory to God.