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Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Prophetess: Deborah's Story

Jill Eileen Smith is the author of the bestselling Wives of King David series and The Crimson Cord, as well as the Wives of the Patriarchs and the Loves of King Solomon series.  her research has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.  She lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

Jill loves to hear from readers.  You can connect with her at her website,  You can also connect with her on Facebook here: or on Twitter @JillEileenSmith.

Canaan has ravaged Israel.
The people are in hiding.
All that stands between surrender and hope is one untested woman.

Deborah will never forget the day her father and brothers left to worship at the Lord's tabernacle - or the wails of her mother after finding their bodies at the city gates.  The memories of Canaan's cruelty haunt her and all of Israel.  Now in this dark time, the Lord calls on Deborah to lead His people away from the idols of other nations and back to Him.

Deborah never asked to be a prophetess or a judge over God's people. Still, she cannot deny His voice or the visions that accompany it.  Can her family ever understand?  Will her people believe God's calling on her life?  And can the Canaanite meanace be stopped?

My Thoughts:
The Prophetess: Deborah's Story is the second in Smith's Daughters of the Promised Land series.  I appreciate Smith's writing.  The research and attention to historical and biblical detail is impeccable. She brings such life to Deborah, who is only mentioned in two chapters of scripture found in Judges 4 and 5.  Smith's artistic liberties never take away from the Biblical narrative but only drives readers to God's Word.
Not much is mentioned about Deborah beyond the two chapters in Judges.  I really enjoyed the way Smith portrayed Deborah and brought out her "humanness".
"She ached for something she could not define and missed something she could not see.  Why was she not satisfied with her role as wife and mother?  What more was a woman to do in Israel?
Smith portrays Deborah as a woman like any other woman, who fears that on her best day, she may be missing the mark but moves forward in submission and faithful obedience to the One True God and His call on her life.
"War has come to all Israel, my son, because we fashioned the gods of Canaan to be true gods.  Israel caused her own testing by putting the Lord our God to the test. Sisera is evil, but he would hold no power if we had fully trusted our God."
Deborah's story reminded me of the powerful influence women have in our homes, our churches and our world. Smith highlights the importance of depending on God for our very next steps in all we do.
"I fear I do not always discern the voice of the Lord from my own thoughts."
Perhaps my favorite aspect of Deborah's story was Smith's portrayal of her marriage relationship and her role as a mother.  While Deborah's daughter Talya is a fictional write-in for the story, the struggle between she and Deborah as mother and daughter beautifully pictures a mother's heart.  I also connected with Smith's portrayal of Deborah's relationship with her husband Lappidoth. Deborah's struggle to love him well is one I'm guessing most wives come across in their relationships at one time or another.

Lastly, Smith's story in The Prophetess is highly relevant to current times.  As a nation, I'm afraid we find ourselves in the same spot Israel found themselves during Deborah's reign as judge.  Just like Israel then, we have turned our hearts to other things...we have "exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things" (Romans 1:23).

Read The Prophetess:  Deborah's Story today.  And don't miss the first book in the series, The Crimson Cord:  Rahab's Story.  Upcoming titles in the series will cover Ruth and Hannah.

*I received a complimentary copy of the book for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any other way beyond the free copy of the book.

Happy Reading Ya'll,