Bible Studies

The Woman God Wants to Use ~ Part 1 {A study on Deborah}

deepprayer

As I’ve mentioned in another post, I had the privilege of spending two months in Israel last summer with my husband [Side-note: Eeek! I get to say “my husband!” I’m still so excited about that! Anyway…]. While I was there, I was able to lead a women’s Bible study with some women from a church we attended while we were there. The problem was that they wanted to do studies on women of the Bible and had done so many of them already! I had a few weeks to prepare and I just couldn’t figure out what to do; however, after praying about it, I decided it would be interesting to do a study on Deborah from the book of Judges. I knew the story of Deborah and had always admired her– she was a pretty strong woman! But when I embarked on the study  I never expected to learn what I did from and about her. I loved sharing with the women in Israel that night, and I have been eager to revisit the subject. So here goes!

{The story of Deborah begins in Judges 4 and ends at the conclusion of Judges 5. I highly recommend reading those passages before we continue so that you have some point of reference.}

And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. Deborah found her purpose and identity in the will of God.  – Judges 4:4

1) Deborah found her personal identity in the will of God. We see this in the description given of her in that first verse. She was a prophetess, a wife, and a judge. Let’s take a look at each of those things briefly and see how we can relate to Deborah on a personal level.

A prophetess– God’s Word was her occupation. Deborah had a job, a mission: share God’s Word. Seems pretty obvious, right? But there is a little more here than you might realize at first. In order for her to enjoy a career of sharing God’s Word, she had to meet some qualifications– as do we all, if we are to effectively do the same! To receive God’s Word, we have to have an open heart. Psalm 139:23-24 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” To know God and to have His Word opened to us means we must be first open to Him and to His searching. What do you think? Are you willing to let God see the most hidden compartments of your heart, and to examine the contents? I’ll be the first to admit that it sounds pretty intimidating… But that’s the kind of woman Deborah was– her heart was an open book to the eyes of her Lord and Master. She was right with her God. Deborah’s heart also had to be broken and yielded to His control (Psalm 51:17). And her heart had to be pure, or cleansed from sin (Psalm 24:3-4).

A wife– her husband’s good was her life (Proverbs 31:11-12). I find it so sad and disheartening how the world, and even some Christian circles, look down on a woman who is/wants to be a wife and mother. “Just a wife? Just a mother?” they question snidely. Apparently, they think that fulfilling the purpose for which they were created by God isn’t good enough for them. Biblically, a woman is more than just a sexual object, more than just a businesswoman, more than just another corporate ladder-climber, etc. Today’s woman has her hands open demanding more and more “rights” while turning her back on her divine privilege– being a keeper of her home. Deborah understood this privilege. As a wife, she knew that her husband’s good was the “success-ometer” of her life. I know the passage doesn’t give any more details regarding her marriage– it simply states that she was married. But for Deborah to be right with God, she had to accept and love her high calling as a woman. The same goes for us! I’m going to say something radical here, something that might get a few people angry with me: If you are not following after God’s model of womanhood, you are not right with God. I’ll clarify– no, you do not have to be married or have children to be in God’s will. But if you look down on those roles, roles which God ordained, then you are not in God’s will. So, married readers, whose good do you seek first? Yours or your husbands? What can you do to make improvements? And to my unmarried readers: Is your focus being the woman God wants you to be, or on being a self-made woman? In your relationships with others, whose good are you seeking?

A judge– service and wisdom were her duty. Deborah was a sort of magistrate or leader of the Israeli people in her day. Imagine being in charge of so many, and being in the service of them all! She certainly needed God’s wisdom. The thing is, as Christian women, we have leadership positions in various circumstances; people look up to us, or at the very least observe us– especially if you are in the ministry! Can we afford to miss out on God’s wisdom? Let me answer that– NO! In fact, we are commanded to be wise. Proverbs 8:33- “Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.” (Emphasis mine.) God is so good– not only does He give us His command, he tells us how in the world we can follow through with it! Read the following passage and consider:

“My son, if thou wilt receive my words,
and hide my commandments with thee;
So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom,
and apply thine heart to understanding;
Yea, if thou criest after knowledge,
and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
If thou seekest her as silver,
and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord,
and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord giveth wisdom:
out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.”

-Proverbs 2:1-6

The key to gaining wisdom is searching out God’s Word. Read it, breathe it, let it consume you. Then you will gain the wisdom you need for every day of your life. What can you do to incorporate God’s Word into your day in a more meaningful way?

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