The issue of women leading in the Church is always a stumbling block for many. Too often, we swing that pendulum too far in the opposite direction of a dangerous trend. We either make women completely the same as men, or we say they can’t do anything that a man does. Both are incorrect.
Women are equal to men, but they are not equivalent to men.
The story of Judge Deborah in Judges 4-5 is an incredible depiction of this truth. She is the only female judge we see in the book. Some will say that she is called upon to lead because men aren’t. We don’t know that for sure. What we do know is that God has equipped her to speak truth wisely and she is a key leader at an important time in the history of God’s people.
I pray that this story may cause women everywhere to look at how God has equipped them to serve for the Kingdom and serve well!
- Israel’s failure to finish the task of fully occupying the land (Josh. 11:1-15) came back to haunt them at Hazor (Jud. 4:2).
- It took the people 20 years of oppression before calling out to the LORD for help (Judg. 4:3). Why are we so reluctant to seek help from our only hope?
- The leadership of a woman in such a patriarchal society at least hints at the dismal state of male leadership at the time (Is. 3:12).
- Not only is Deborah the only female judge out of the 12 listed, but she is the only one displaying the gift of wisdom while leading the military.
- God gives to women every spiritual gift that he gives to men. [Great post regarding this thought here.]
- Barak was willing to go to war if Deborah, representing the voice of God, would go with him (Judg. 4:8; cf. Ex. 33:15),
- Deborah led with wisdom, Barak led with might, and we all should lead with the gifts God provides (Rom. 12:4-5).
- Yahweh is the God of the thunderstorm (Jud. 5:4-5; cf. Josh. 10:11; 1 Sam. 7:10; Ps. 18:9-15).
- The LORD excels in procuring victory from unlikely places (Jud. 4:9, 17-22).
- Our confidence is rested forever upon one truth – the LORD goes before us (Jud. 4:14).
- After such a victory, Deborah and Barak seek not to be worshiped but to worship (Jud. 5:1). They are fully aware of who deserves the glory.
- It is completely acceptable to bless the LORD for his might and for his empowering of our spiritual leaders (Jud. 5:2, 9).
- When God is truly revealed, the leaders are essentially forgotten (Jud. 4:14).
- Songs help God’s people keep theology memorable and worshipful (Jud. 5:1).
- The Garden’s foreshadowing takes a step closer to Christ in “the seed of the woman” (Jael) crushing the head of “the seed of the serpent” (Jud. 4:21; Gen. 3:15).