DEBORAH is a beautiful young Israelite woman living in ancient Canaan. Her people are oppressed by a greedy Canaanite king named Jabin. The king’s troops, led by General Sisera, often steal the people’s crops—and sometimes their children.
Will Deborah’s village be plundered next? Despite her fears, Deborah still dreams of marrying a certain young man, and living a normal life among her people. However, God’s plan for Deborah holds some challenges she could never imagine.
From Chapter 1:Long ago in the land of Canaan lived a little girl named Deborah, a name that means "bee." Deborah loved to play among the wildflowers that covered the hills near her village. She tagged along with her older brothers, Lev and Carmie, when they explored Canaan’s rocky cliffs and dark caves. Deborah grew into a beautiful young woman. Her skin was radiant bronze color from days spent in the sun. Shiny black hair framed her lovely face. Young men went out of their way to catch a glimpse of her when she worked at the weaving loom in the courtyard, or watched her twin sisters, Ariel and Alissa. One morning, when Deborah and Mama were outside for a few minutes, Ariel and Alissa decided to make butter. They’d seen Deborah do it many times. It looked like fun. Ariel took the bag of cream down from its peg in the kitchen, grabbed its leather strings, and began swinging it around like a windmill blade. After a few swings, Alissa shouted, “Let me!” “No, it’s still my turn,” said Ariel. “Let go! It’s mine!” demanded Alissa. She reached for the strings. “No! You let go. I had it first!” cried Ariel. The twins pulled furiously, stretching the strings between them. Alissa yanked her hardest, jerking the strings out of Ariel’s hands. The bag thudded to the floor, splashing cream everywhere. “Now see what you’ve done!” cried Ariel, shaking cream off her feet. “Wait until Mama sees this.” Just then, Deborah appeared in the doorway, carrying a jug of water. Seeing the mess, she exclaimed, “What in the world—” “It’s Alissa’s fault!” cried Ariel. “I had it first, and she—” “It was my turn!” shouted Alissa. “We’ll settle this later,” said Deborah. She set the heavy jug on the floor. “For now, you two need to clean up.” She handed each girl a rag. “But I—” objected Alissa. “No more arguing,” said Deborah. “After you’ve mopped up the cream, take some of this water and rinse it down. We don’t want this house smelling sour when Mama gets back.” The twins sank to their knees, and began mopping silently. Deborah watched them with a stern expression that masked the deep affection she felt for her little sisters. “Let me know when you’re finished,” she said quietly. “There’s one more thing we need to do.”
MARION DAWSON GUNDERSON has enjoyed a multifaceted career as a teacher, journalist and storyteller. She lives in North Carolina where she enjoys teaching, writing, and exploring God's creation. The Brave Beauty Series was inspired by real women of the Bible who showed great courage in living out God’s will for their lives.