God has a place for women.
Sometimes, that position is in the foreground. In Deborah’s case, she led Israel as a judge during a time when they were under oppression by Jabin, King of Canaan. The Israelites believed in her leadership and counsel enough to submit their disputes to her for resolution.
As a prophetess, God gave His direction concerning how He would deliver the Israelites from Jabin’s oppression. He further used her to encourage Barak who was leading the Israelite troops in the battlefield.
Sometimes, our position is in the background. Jael’s marriage to Heber, Jabin’s ally, is what positioned her to kill Sisera, commander of Jabin’s army. She didn’t need a fancy title to make an impact. She saw the opportunity and boldly and shrewdly took it.
Thriving women make room for more women to thrive.
Our obedience makes room for the success of other women, and not just those we know and love. There’s no mention of Deborah and Jael interacting with each other. Yet, because Deborah fully took up her role and did as God directed her, it led to the critical moment when Sisera fell at Jael’s hands.
Deborah ends up doing a song with Barak that details Jael’s role in Israel’s victory. She may have started off unknown but she ended up in the history books by being faithful where she was positioned and with what was given to her.
Men and women can live and work together honourably.
Human wisdom suggests that men and women can thrive without each other’s support. But the divine reality is that we need each other and we are better for it when we work together.
Deborah is the only female judge listed in the Bible. It would have been extremely difficult if not impossible for her to undertake her role as a judge without the support of her husband, Lappidoh. Any married person will tell you how critical spousal support is when trying to get anything done because of how marriage intertwines lives.
Barak heeded the counsel of God given through Deborah to go to battle. He refused to go into battle without Deborah and did so knowing that the accolades of victory would likely end up going to her.
Lappidoh and Barak lost nothing and gained much in their support of Deborah. On her part, Deborah didn’t need to be demanding or dismissive of either man. She recognized and honoured the role they had to play even as she did her part.
Being a woman is an advantage.
Circumstances of life would have us believe that being a woman is a disadvantage. But God used these two women – Deborah and Jael – to help deliver Israel. And they’re only two in a list of many mentioned throughout the Bible.
It’s not hard to be content with who you are and where you’ve been positioned when you understand that your value is inherent in your existence as one created in God’s image. You matter even before you accomplish a single thing.
It’s not hard to forsake titles and recognition when you acknowledge that all the glory belongs to God and Him alone. If we can keep our gaze as women fixed on the One who truly matters, He will continue to change the course of human history through us.
This is Deborah’s legacy. Being a woman is your advantage. You can do all things – ALL things – through Christ who strengthens you.