Judges 4:4, “Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time.”
After the time of Joshua judges led the people of Israel. These judges served as prophetic voices that God gave direction through to guide the Israelites and make final decisions in disputes about the Law of Moses (which was the governing law for both their civil and religious affairs).
The book of Judges describes their work in Israel. Othniel was the first judge and Samuel was the last before the people asked for a King to rule over them. Some of the more famous judges like Gideon and Samson sometimes get most of the attention because of their great victories in battle. But my favorite judge in the Bible is Deborah because she was the only person in the Old Testament after Samuel and Moses to be a prophet, judge, and military leader.
Deborah might have been the only woman judge but she excelled mightily in her leadership ability. She was such a great leader that when she gave God’s word to Barak (Israel’s military leader) to go to war he refused to even fight unless Deborah went with him. Barak said, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go,” Judges 4:8.
The inspiration from Deborah’s life is so obvious and outstanding that religious male chauvinist can’t ever deny it. Deborah is a present day example and role model for all Spirit-filled women leaders. Though in different times women’s roles have been limited in church history- it is clear in Deborah’s life and faithfulness that God can and does use women to win great victories for His people!
I would like to encourage every godly woman to have faith in God to be all that you can be for the Lord and for every godly man to support the women in their lives to be great leaders. Notice in the New Testament that both men and women receive the same Spirit to prophesy and lead God’s people. Acts 2:4, “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy…” Let the New Testament Deborah’s arise and lead God’s people to victory!
Do you believe women can be great leaders in the church?
- Repent if you have wrongly limited the role of women.
- Find godly women to support.
- Like Deborah, by faith accept your calling and do great things for God, Romans 16:1!