The story of Deborah is the only story in Judges to be told twice, and that underscores its importance. However, if you are not a fan of poetry, you may glide quickly over Judges 5. But since most of the information we have on that story comes from Debroah and Barak’s song, you’ll miss a lot of the story – and probably the point of mentioning it.
The poem of chapter 5 reveals the desperate straits of Israel due to Jabin’s oppression, but most important is the notion that the Lord fights Israel’s battles for her. This emphasizes her status with the Lord. In chapter 4, our writer tells us that the Lord routed Sisera, but doesn’t tell us how. It tells us Sisera abandoned his chariot, but doesn’t tell us why. And how was it Israel overcame a mightier force with nine hundred iron chariots?
The poem gives us the answers. The armies fought in a plain through which flowed the river Kishon. The Lord sent enough rain (5:4) to cause the Kishon to overflow its banks. The resultant mud made the chariots useless, and God’s people became victorious.
The Lord fights for Israel, but He expects His people to be on His side. The poem reveals that some of the tribes were too interested in securing their own safety to fight on God’s side, and for that they are cursed (Meroz is a city of one of those tribes). God is certainly on the side of His people, but He expects them to act like they are on His side.