Deborah was a Judge in Israel over 3,000 years ago. God has things for us to learn from her story. She has the distinction of being the only Judge of whom nothing negative is said by the Holy Spirit. Here are some of the qualities that all of us can learn from the narrative concerning Deborah.
Trust in God’s Word
Deborah did not need to have her trust in God confirmed by the responses of others. Her faith was strong, even when Barak wavered and said that she had to go with him into battle or he would not go. However, Deborah did challenge Barak with his lack of faith. This is something that women should not fear to do. Men who reject such a challenge under the guise being a leader are poor leaders!
Young women must know the Word of God and be confident of it. There are significant cultural and relational pressures placed upon young women. Culturally, sex is assumed to be an important part of dating relationships. Sadly, It is uncommon for decisions, particularly those having to do with relationships, to be based upon a solid conviction concerning God’s Word. This is something that needs to change.
Respecting the Order of God and the Role of Men
Deborah did not lose sight of the appropriateness of male leadership.I n 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…” NIV
Deborah reminds Barak that his decision is not a good one. Barak was looking to Deborah for strength instead of God. Like Deborah, young women must also respectfully challenge men to put God first. With regard to relationships, a young man should not seek first to find out what a young woman will allow. I am not talking about issues of preference here, but issues that have to do with honoring God in relationships. In this context, it is appropriate for women to ask how God is being honored in the choices that are being proposed. A man who is truly interested in putting God first will welcome such a challenge. If he does not, then a valuable lesson will have been learned about his commitment, or lack thereof, to Christ.
Deborah continued to be respectful of God’s order after the battle was won. Scripture tells us that she composed the song of victory with Barak, rather than looking down on him and shutting him out.
Deborah showed great courage. The men around her were not responding with courage. The armies of Sisera were powerful. The nation was being oppressed and intimidated. Yet Deborah had the courage to believe what God said, even if the circumstances around her were less than encouraging. Both women and men need courage today to stand against the cultural assault on biblical truth.
May Deborah encourage our daughters to place God first. May we have the courage to pray that God would give us daughters like Deborah, who loved God more than man.