The Dream Team: Understanding Deborah
"And she said, 'I will surely go with you. Nevertheless, the road on which you are going will not lead to your glory, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.'" Judges 4:9
If you want a role model for you or your daughters, Deborah just might be your woman.
Deborah is not exactly a contemporary personality. You have to travel back to about 1216 BC to see her show up in history. But wow. Show up she did. Deborah was a multi-talented gal. She was an honorable judge, a prophetess, a fierce warrior, and a brilliant strategist and demonstrated her creative side by being a singer-songwriter.
Think of the context in which she lived. It was a male-dominated society. In fact, even in Scripture, there are very few occasions where a woman is acknowledged as something other than a wife or mother. That is not to imply that those roles are less than admirable, but there are few biblically historic women who had stand-alone appointments.
Take a stroll through Judges 4 and 5. In her role as a judge, her office was beneath a palm tree in Ephraim. When there was a dispute or argument, the people of Israel knew to ask wise Deborah for a ruling. But she also had the responsibility as commander-in-chief. Barak, her right-hand man, was her subordinate. When Sisera, the general of neighboring King Jabin, needed to be crushed, Barak was asked to go fight with his 10,000 soldiers. His response? “'If you will go with me, I will go, but if you will not go with me, I will not go.' And what did she say? 'I will surely go with you'” (Judges 4:8, 9).
The encroaching army with its 900 chariots was soundly defeated. But think about the courage Deborah demonstrated. She was surrounded by raging testosterone on every side. And yet, she was confident enough in her God-appointed role to devise and implement a plan for battle, then becoming an active participant in the foray. In the aftermath, she and Barak were able to work together to compose and sing a song about the events and the faithfulness of God.
Ladies, whether we are a coach or athlete, businesswoman, or stay-at-home mom, we can be as equally courageous and confident as Deborah when we fulfill the roles God assigns to us, whatever that may be!
Be a good listener. Make sound judgments. Plan well. Take action. Lead by example. Be a team player. Be creative. Honor God with your whole being.
- What character traits do you see in Deborah as you read through Judges 4 and 5?
- Do you think Barak had any hesitancy being led by a woman? Can you speculate on what her attitude might have been to have him be willing to follow her lead?
Judges 4; Judges 5
“Father God, thank You for providentially making me the way You wanted me to be. Give me the wisdom to understand the role You have created for me. Help me manifest the attitudes and actions necessary to work with others in a way that honors You.”