Deborah was a Judge in Israel over 3,000 years ago. She has the distinction of being the only Judge of whom nothing negative is said by the Holy Spirit. Here are three character qualities that all of us can learn from her.
Trust in God’s Word
Deborah trusted God’s word for what it was. Her faith was strong, even when the men of Israel wavered. Barak failed to trust the word of the Lord and demanded Deborah go with him into battle. Deborah was not afraid to challenge Barak with his lack of faith. This showed Deborah’s courage and trust in God. She was not intimidated by male leadership that dishonored God. This a quality that our daughters must learn and value.
Young women must know the Word of God and be confident of it. Culturally, sex is assumed to be part of dating relationships. We must encourage young women to see that being pressured or encouraged to have sex before marriage is an indication of weakness. Men who exert this pressure are not worthy of trust.
Respect for the order of God and male leadership
Deborah did not lose sight of the appropriateness of male leadership. In Judges 4:9 we read:
“Very well,” Deborah said, “I will go with you. But because of the way you are going about this, the honor will not be yours, for the LORD will hand Sisera over to a woman…”
So, Deborah agrees to go with Barak. But she is not afraid to challenge him. She lets him know that the honor which would have been his if he had trusted God, would be given to Jael, another woman of courage and faith.
Like Deborah, young women must also respectfully challenge men to put God first. It is a good thing for a woman to ask how God is being honored in the decisions that are proposed. A man who is truly interested in putting God first will welcome such a challenge. If he does not, it is a sign of moral weakness and a lack of courage.
Deborah showed great courage. The men around her showed fear of man rather than fear of God. They were intimidated by the powerful armies of Sisera. In contrast, Deborah had the courage to take God at his word. Both women and men need courage today to stand against the cultural assault on biblical truth.
The writer of the book of Judges describes Deborah as prophet and a judge. When Deborah describes herself she declares that she is a mother in Israel. May Deborah encourage our daughters to place God first. May we have the courage to raise daughters like Deborah, daughters who value the honor of God more than the approval of men.