Deborah & Barak: The Vision And The Sword

After Joshua and his contemporary elders died
Israel started the cycle of faith and doubt
One day total compliance with God’s holy orders
The next, the impunity to rebel and flout
The commandments they were given from God’s mouth

At one of the low points of the yo-yo cycle
Israel was in rebellion frolicking with neighbouring idols
God was angered and sent an adversary to have them smothered
He was Jabin, King of Canaan and his army chief was Sisera
Together they subdued and oppressed Israel
For twenty years Israel was in panic, pain and hysteria

They cried out in anguish, God could not let them languish
God sent them a deliverer-her name was Deborah
She was a prophetess and judge of civil matters
Her court was beneath the palm tree
Here people obtained succor from injustice for free

God spoke to her by prophetic revelation
That Barak would be the man for Israel’s liberation
He would raise an army of ten thousand strong
They would take up positions at Mount Tabor
A ruse manoeuvre to whet the enemy’s ardour

The enemy thus lured into battle to crush a seeming
Rebellion, would be swiftly defeated and destroyed
Deborah summoned Barak and told him the mission
Told him tactics and the location his force would be deployed

Barak accepted to lead as long she assisted
She must go with them in the fight
She agreed thus being summarily enlisted

But in the kernel of her prophecy
Lay a difficult riddle-for God would defeat
The army led by Sisera but the general himself
Would die by the hand of a woman who was not battle-fit

Barak and Deborah led their men to the mount
A furious Sisera assembled his infantry in thousands
Supported by nine hundred chariots of iron and cavalry
This large army was humiliated, they capitulated
Their general fled on foot, that was only a deferral
His mortal fear would catch him at the rear

God had previously spoken through Deborah
That Sisera’s life would be taken by another
Thus the fleeing Sisera raced to a safe area
He turned in at the tent of Jael the wife of Heber
Weary and panting, he asked to rest while she stood sentry
Jael had welcomed him and offered milk after his entry

While he slept soundly, lost in weary, exhausted dreams
Jael drove a nail through his temples ensuring
Israel’s nightmare would not be recurring

Israel was saved in wartime by a unusual trio
Deborah who knew the right tactics but could not lead the fight
Barak who had the warrior’s passion but not prophetic vision
And Jael whose singular grace was to apply the ‘coup de grace’
Know then that in all of life’s puzzling situations
God can assemble a winning jigsaw from any ensemble

3 thoughts on “Deborah & Barak: The Vision And The Sword

  1. StupendousGrace July 23, 2015 / 6:45 pm

    “Israel was saved in wartime by an unsual trio…Know then that in all of life’s puzzling situations
    God can assemble a winning jigsaw from any ensemble.” That was so apt for me. The ways of God are truly past finding out. Thank you!


    • Ifeanyi Odilinye July 25, 2015 / 9:42 pm

      Yes . God moves in mysterious ways. He can use anything for His purpose…even an ass!


  2. Leslie August 3, 2015 / 12:14 am

    I recently discovered the riddle in this story of Deborah and Barak
    Thanks for pointing this out.


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