Thursday, June 23, 2011

Judges 4 - Here Comes the Judge: Deborah Leads the Charge

LINK: Judges 4

BACKGROUND (written in 2008)

How appropriate that I would be reading about Deborah when one of my best friends in all the world, Deborah, just left to go back to Idaho after two fun days together! This friend is aptly named because she is a Godly and brave woman who is an excellent leader! 

2011 Update: I am on vacation with her AGAIN on the same day as her story comes up in the Bible Book Club!

2015 Update: I just went on a snow showing/cross-country skiing/yurt trip with her in February of this year! 

Deborah is a great example of a woman in leadership that God uses to do great things!

Barak asked Deborah to go with him in battle. Some commentators believe this was an unfitting response to a command from God. Yet one particular commentary has a different take on this:
His somewhat singular request to be accompanied by Deborah was not altogether the result of weakness. The Orientals always take what is dearest to the battlefield along with them; they think it makes them fight better. The policy of Barak, then, to have the presence of the prophetess is perfectly intelligible as it would no less stimulate the valor of the troops, than sanction, in the eyes of Israel, the uprising against an oppressor so powerful as Jabin. 
(Jamieson, Robert ; Fausset, A. R. ; Fausset, A. R. ; Brown, David ; Brown, David: A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments)
Regardless, it comes out well in the end for him because Barak is listed in the "Hall of Faith" in Hebrews 11:
And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions. quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. (Hebrews 11:32-34)
Regardless of what was behind Barak's response, we have a wonderful example of a woman in leadership in the person of Deborah. In addition, we see another woman helping to finish the battle, Jael! Deborah's prophecy from 4:9 was fulfilled by two women.


What are some things you can learn about leadership from Deborah's life?


Lord, give us the strength to face battle with the faith of Deborah. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.
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