She wasn’t Plan B because a man somewhere failed to obey God.
She was God’s first choice. Providentially planned from the very beginning. She was Fashioned. Prepared. Chosen.
She was a Prophetess. A Songwriter. National Leader. Trailblazer.
Who was she? Her name was Deborah.
“The LORD came down for me against the mighty.” -Judges 5:13b
Dear Woman of God,
Be Brave. Be Relentless. Be Resolute in standing on the Word of God.
We are introduced to Deborah in Judges 4 at a time where the cycle of apostasy was rampant in Israel. The cycle would go like this: Israel would do what was right in their own eyes meaning they followed after their own lustful desires. God would pass judgement on the nation, Israel cries out to God, God sends a Judge to save them, then Israel will go back to doing whatever was “right in their owns eyes” again.
The cycle repeats.
Deborah comes into the scene as Israel’s fourth Judge under the merciless reign of King Jabin (the Canaanite King) who by now has ruled over Israel for twenty years (Judges 4:3). She isn’t introduced with fanfare like the other 11 judges, but simply as a prophetess, a wife, and Israel’s Judge sitting under the palm tree of Deborah as the people of Israel sought her judgement (Judges 4:4-5).
The story of Deborah intrigues me not because she is the only female Judge of Israel. Or that she is the only woman in the Old Testament who was known for her own faith and courage and not because of her relationship to a man. Or that she is a controversial figure in modern day evangelism because of her gender. Deborah’s gender is not what impresses me, but rather it’s her character.
There is so much we can glean from Deborah’s story and we will get to those someday, but for right now I want to highlight this character trait in Deborah: She is brave, resolute, and relentless in her stand on God’s Word.
To understand the significance of this we must understand that Deborah was a woman political leader in a male-dominated society where mature male leadership was the preferred type of leadership. It was also a time where current rulership was heathen. Yet God, in His grace and sovereignty, raised up this woman with courageous faith to lead the nation of Israel. And she did this without violating any specific gender role.
The by-product of her relentless faith was (1) the nation of Israel looked towards her as a source of encouragement and wisdom (Judges 4:5). (2) Barak found encouragement to fight against Sisera (King Jabin’s General) (Judges 4:8). (3) The nation of Israel was freed from King Jabin’s oppressive rule. (4) Israel found rest for forty years (Judges 5:31).
Woman of God, we are living in a world very much like that when Deborah was a judge. Apostasy is rampant as society is doing whatever seems right in their own eyes. Being a woman is constantly being redefined by society’s standards and no longer by what the Word of God says. Unfortunately, Christ and His Word is unpopular. A woman with godly pursuits is often portrayed as undesirable.
I encourage you, DON’T BELIEVE IT!
Like Deborah, Be Brave! Be resolute! Be Relentless! On your stand on God’s Word!! This world will make it uncomfortable for you to pursue Christ, but that’s ok. You were never meant to feel comfortable in the world- And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2).
I know it can be terrifying. The voices of those against God are so loud and seem mighty. But, look what God did for Deborah, The LORD came down for me against the mighty (Judges 5:13b).
That promise is still the same for us today.
Could you imagine the mighty work God could do through us in our families, our churches, our jobs, our nation if more of us – women – stood our ground courageously, relentlessly, resolutely on the Word of God and in God?!
Let’s find out!