HISTORY MAKERS: CELEBRATING NOTABLE WOMEN IN HISTORY
(From the History Makers column in Power For Today Magazine, September 2011, Copyright 2011 Apostolic Fellowship International Ministries. All rights reserved.)
(Judges 4-5)The Mother of Israel, Deborah arose in a day when the nation of Israel was more or less in ruins. We learn from the Word of God that Israel had no roads, travelers took to windy paths, and village life ceased – until Deborah arose. Deborah is the only female judge mentioned in the Old Testament, which means Deborah was the leader of her people in full. She commanded the armies, settled disputes, made laws and regulations, and governed the nation of Israel. This means the people of Israel looked to her for guidance and with great respect. We learn as we study the passages that there was no disrespect to Deborah because she was a woman; quite the opposite, in fact. It was Barak who refused to follow her command without her presence to lead the armies and go on before them.
Deborah was also a prophetess according to the record we have of her. This must have been quite useful when it came to leading the people. It is obvious she served as not just a political leader, but a truly spiritual guide – literally, a mother in Israel!
Deborah breaks stereotypes society has established for women. Think women can’t be in the military? Serve as judges? What about questions about women serving as president or heads of state? Deborah dispels the notion that women can’t be competent. We learn from Deborah the grace and power in a strong woman. We also can see that even though a man may not have the primary call – as was the case with Deborah’s husband, Lappidoth – that women should not step down or accept a lesser position. The message of Deborah is for women to rise up and take the position God has for them, no matter how intimidating it may seem to others.
Quotable quote: “Village life in Israel ceased, ceased until I, Deborah, arose, arose a mother in Israel. “ (Judges 6:7, NIV)