Judges 4:4, “Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time.”
After the death of Joshua, God raised up judges to lead the people of Israel. God used these judges to be prophetic voices to lead the Israelites. They often times would lead Israel’s army into battle and make final decisions about how to apply the Law of Moses (which was the governing law for both Israel’s civil and religious affairs).
The book of Judges described their work in Israel starting with Othniel and ending with Samuel. After Samuel the Israelites demanded that God give them kings instead of prophets. This decision led to many troubles between the kings (who were mostly sinful) and the prophets (who were used by God to try and save the nation from idolatry). Some of the more famous judges like Gideon and Samson get most of the attention because of their great victories in battle. However, my favorite judge is Deborah because she was the only female judge.
Deborah might have been in the natural, one of the weaker judges, but spiritually she was one of the strongest and most powerful. She was such a great leader that when she commanded Barak (Israel’s military leader) to go to war, he refused unless Deborah went with him. Barak said in Judges 4:8, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”
The inspiration from Deborah’s life is so obvious and outstanding that religious male chauvinists 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 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. Peter preached at the start of the church that God desired to use both men and women to prophesy and lead God’s people. He said, quoting from the Old Testament prophet Joel, “In the last days,’ God says, ‘I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy’” (Acts 2:17).
God desires to use all who are willing, whether male or female, to be a prophetic voice to this generation!
I pray that we all can be inspired by the faith of Deborah and be courageous leaders in our generation. Jack Hyles wrote, “Leadership is made for service.” Let us be God’s servant-leaders that break barriers of culture, race, age and gender- all for the glory of God! Paul said in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Therefore, let nothing stand in the way of you fulfilling God’s calling in your life!
Do you believe women can be powerful leaders in the church?
- Repent if you have wrongly limited the role of women.
- Support godly women in leadership.
- If you are a woman, by faith, accept your calling and do great things for God!
One Year Reading Plan
Ezekiel 20:1-49, Hebrews 9:11-28, Psalm 107:1-43, & Proverbs 27:11. Click here to read online.