Bible Studies

The Woman God Wants to Use ~ Part 2 {a Study on Deborah}



I’m sorry it has been a while! Graduating college and the final weeks of preparation for the birth of my daughter kept me way too busy for sure.

Here’s a quick recap before we continue. In the last post, we saw that Deborah found her purpose and identity in God’s will. She knew God’s will for her life– she was a judge, a prophetess, and a wife– and she followed through with it. Why? Because she loved God’s Word, had a right relationship with God, was wise, and had a servant’s heart.

And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali,
and said unto him, Hath not the Lord God of Israel commanded,
saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men
of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?
And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin’s army,
with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand.
And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go. And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour;
for the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.
And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh. -Judges 4:6-7

2) Deborah was a real woman who allowed men to really be men. The word “feminism” today supposedly stands for equality of the sexes; in practice, however, it lifts up women by putting down men. The word, however, actually has a very simple (and somewhat ironic) literal meaning– being a woman. So I guess you could say Deborah practiced “real feminism.” She knew what it meant to be a woman, and because she fulfilled that role, men could be men.

Deborah encouraged Barak from God’s Word. Notice in the above verses that she didn’t put him down, she wasn’t bossy, and she respectfully shared what God had made known to her. Are you able to make a point without being pushy?

Deborah deferred to Barak, encouraging him to believe God and lead the people into battle. She didn’t usurp his position. She just told Him what God wanted of him and left the rest up to him. She wanted him to make the decision to believe God and to take charge as a step of faith.

Deborah didn’t emasculate Barak for his lack of faith. So Deborah has a great message from God: “Go get them! I’ll give the enemy to you!” Barak, however, seems to lack faith when he tells Deborah, “I’m not going to battle unless you come with me.” Maybe he was afraid; maybe he didn’t have a relationship with God as he should have; maybe he doubted his own ability and was too focused on himself. Whatever the reason, he made his obedience to God conditional, which was wrong, and, as some might see it, weak. Deborah could have jumped all over him and said, “What, are you scared? Big tough Barak has to hide behind a girl?! God told you to do it, so get going, you big sissy!” Instead, she respectfully and graciously told him that she would go, but there would be consequences: a woman would be honored for this victory instead. Despite his poor choice, Deborah supported his leadership. So what about us? How do we respond when the men in our lives make poor decisions or show signs of weaknesses?

3) Deborah was a woman of faith. She heard God’s message and believed what He said. Then she did whatever it took to obey His Word. And she was courageous! In that day, and in that culture, it was highly unusual (or even abnormal!) for a woman to go to the battlefront. But Deborah broke a social norm and left the typical comfort zone in order to make sure that God’s will was fulfilled. (Notice, however, that she did not sacrifice her feminine role in the process.) It isn’t an easy thing to get out of your comfort zone, but often that is exactly what God calls us to do. Will you have the faith and the courage to answer the call?

{To be continued in part 3.}

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