Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”
This month, I’m focusing on women who have been a positive influence in the lives of others. These women are bold, strong, and brave. They know what they have to do, and they’re not afraid to do it. And they act out of love.
Today, it’s Deborah’s turn.
Deborah helped Barak, the military leader, move the armies of Israel against the Canaanites, who had been oppressing the Israelites for 20 yrs. Judges 4:4 describes her as a prophet, a wife, and a leader of Israel. Talk about a busy schedule!
She’s the only female judge in the Bible that I’m aware of. It took courage for her to accept that role in the first place. Today, a time when most of the leaders are men, a successful woman leader stands out. In her day, Deborah stood out even more. The obvious question is “Why did she have success as a female judge?”
Her success was given to her by God. Not just handed to her, but given on a daily basis as a result of her repeated interaction with God. This is a time-tested ladder to success. It works today just as it did for Deborah.
When we read about Deborah, we learn three important things about her that affected her success as a leader. She was available, obedient, and caring.
She was AVAILABLE. Judges 4:5 tells that she made herself available to the people for her judgment. Verse 6 tells that she spent enough time with God that she could hear God’s words of direction. We often don’t hear God because we don’t spend enough time with him.
She was OBEDIENT to God. Her relationship with God earned her much respect among the people. In Judges 4:8,9 we learn that she understood from Barak’s response that her support would be the key to victory, so she decided to go into battle with Barak. Judges 4:14 tells that she spoke, and the top leaders paid attention. In Judges 5:3, she acknowledges God and doesn’t accept praise for herself when the victory is won.
She was CARING. Judges 5:9 shows us that she cared about the people she led.
When the people obey God through the leadership of one bold woman, everyone gets to celebrate. God rewarded Deborah’s courage by relieving the people of their oppression. Judges 5:31 lets us know that with her help, the Israelites lived in peace for the next forty years.