What are some synonyms or descriptions for meaning of the word courage?
willing to stand up for what you believe
What do courageous people look like? Short? Tall? Handsome?
Could be any of these
Today we want to look at how ordinary people can rise to great courage
challenged by an urgent need
responding to a worthy cause
or obeying God's call!!
3.1 Be a Spiritual Leader
List important roles that the woman Deborah fulfills, according to these verses.
Judges 4:4-7 (NIV) Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time.  She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites came to her to have their disputes decided.  She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, "The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: 'Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead the way to Mount Tabor.  I will lure Sisera, the commander of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.' "
What roles do you see Deborah taking?
leader of Israel
acting as a judge
challenging national leadership to defend Israel
Verse 4 uses the word "leader" to describe Deborah … what other evidence do you see of her leadership?
people trusted her to judge disputes
when she sent for a general, he came
she assumed the authority to tell the general what he ought to be doing
What characteristics are necessary for leaders now as well as then?
people trust you
insight into the heart of a problem
willing to go before … not just point the way
a visionary, able/willing to dream big
What additional characteristics or attributes are need for spiritual leadership?
What kind of leadership roles do all of us have in one way or another
as parents or grandparents, aunts, uncles
as Christian role models to young people
in various responsibilities or assignments we take in various church organizations (SS class, deacons, committees, music ministry, etc.)
3.2 Agree to Stand with Others
Listen for Barak's answer to Deborah's challenge.
Judges 4:8-10 (NIV) Barak said to her, "If you go with me, I will go; but if you don't go with me, I won't go."  "Very well," Deborah said, "I will go with you. But because of the way you are going about this, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will hand Sisera over to a woman." So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh,  where he summoned Zebulun and Naphtali. Ten thousand men followed him, and Deborah also went with him.
Read between the lines, imagine the body language in this conversation. How do you think they looked and sounded?
Why do you think Barak was reluctant? Why do you think he needed Deborah when had the promise of God's help?
lack of faith
wanted someone else along to take the blame in case it went bad
maybe realized that Deborah's leadership reputation would be a helpful plus for the soldiers willing to follow them
Why does a task seem easier with someone standing with you?
they can "watch your back" (both literally and figuratively)
share ideas, work off each other's ideas
In addition to prayer, how can we stand with others who serve God with courage?
communicate your faith in them
offer helpful ideas
spend time with them in the task they are doing
financial support is often appropriate and appreciated
3.3 Encourage Faith in God
Listen for words or phrases which would encourage Barak.
Judges 4:14-16 (NIV) Then Deborah said to Barak, "Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?" So Barak went down Mount Tabor, followed by ten thousand men.  At Barak's advance, the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and army by the sword, and Sisera abandoned his chariot and fled on foot.  But Barak pursued the chariots and army as far as Harosheth Haggoyim. All the troops of Sisera fell by the sword; not a man was left.
What did Deborah say to encourage Barak?
This is the day God has given Sisera into your hands
The Lord has gone ahead of you
Note that it was God that was responsible for the victory.
hat was the extent of their victory?
God routed Sisera and all his chariots by the sword
Sisera ran away from the battle
all the troops of Sisera fell by the sword
not one enemy left!
Why do we sometimes need encouragement to exercise spiritual leadership?
lack of faith
lack of knowledge – we may not recognize our own spiritual gift
we need the Body of Christ, the Church to support one another (this is by God's design)
What specific kinds of things encourage your personal role as a spiritual leader?
expression of thanks for a task done
affirmation by peers
sharing with others – mutual hopes, dreams, prayers
assurance of prayer support
How could you encourage the faith of someone else?
write a letter expressing thanks
make a phone call assuring them of your prayers, your thoughts
join us on Wednesday evenings during SS Connection and write post cards
share a scripture verse that reminds of God's presence, God's strength
3.4 Praise God for Victory
Listen for further details of the events of the victory.
Judges 5:1-2 (NIV) On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song:
 "When the princes in Israel take the lead, when the people willingly offer themselves--praise the Lord! … Judges 5:6-9 (NIV) "In the days of Shamgar son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the roads were abandoned; travelers took to winding paths.  Village life in Israel ceased, ceased until I, Deborah, arose, arose a mother in Israel.  When they chose new gods, war came to the city gates, and not a shield or spear was seen among forty thousand in Israel.  My heart is with Israel's princes, with the willing volunteers among the people. Praise the Lord!
What further details do you find in these verses concerning the events we have studied?
Israelites were forced to take the back roads, it was dangerous to travel
people could not dwell in small, undefended villages
the people had begun to worship other deities
God's discipline caused them to be defenseless against their enemies, they didn't even have weapons of defense
How did Deborah act like a "mother in Israel"?
offered a challenge to the people
assured them of God's presence
gave direction as needed
agreed to go with them as leader
What kinds of victories (should) cause us to praise the Lord?
when your kids, grandkids make the right decisions