Deborah A Faithful Leader
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It is a fine day indeed when a woman is in submission to the plan God has ordained for her from the beginning of time. As women, it may seem that we face a unique set of challenges in this world, challenges that come with obedient submission. Yet, the Bible shows us that with submission to God comes great honor...
Deborah is one of the first woman leaders mentioned in the Bible. We find her story in Judges 4. Deborah the prophetess judged Israel from her place under the palm tree and the children of Israel would come to her. As we read along we discover that Deborah called for Barak, the commander of the Israeli military, to go up
against Sisera, as the Lord commanded. At this time in history, Israel was under the oppression of Jabin, the king of Caanan, and Sisera, the commander of his army. Sisera had 900 chariots of iron. No doubt he was a formidable force to be reckoned with, which would explain why Barak was reluctant to take the lead and march out against him.
So, at Barak’s request, Deborah went with him and together they lead the army of Israel into battle against Sisera. However, Barak’s lack of courageous leadership resulted in a humbling reality—the honor of defeating the king of Caanan would fall to a woman named Jael who would drive a tent stake through Sisera’s head. It was a woman that God used to bring victory to His people, a woman who had the faith to trust God at His word. This passage holds a lot of subtle truth about a woman submitted to God’s plan, as reflected in Deborah’s character. John Courson notes in his commentary that the name Deborah literally means “bee.” Like bees, there are three qualities Deborah possessed: industriousness, discernment,
Industriousness can also mean perseverance and diligence. Deborah knew that the Lord had commanded Israel to fight against Sisera and she was diligent to see that Israel obeyed . It was godly wisdom that gave Deborah the discernment to know whether or not the Lord was to go before them in battle and that it was time to go. It was her sweet faith that gave her the courage to put God up against man, knowing God already had the victory and trusting Him at His word. Most of us will never go head to head with a military leader or lead an army into battle, but our role is no less significant. God desires us to be diligent, discerning, and faithful to Him, for that is the type character that gives Him room to manifest His glory. If we are faithful to Him, He will use us in ways beyond our imagination.
“Yet who knows if you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” - Esther 4:14
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