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 (Manna 12)
Deborah - An Outstanding Woman
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Deborah: An Outstanding Woman

            “And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time” (Judg 4:4).

In the book of Judges, all the judges appointed by God were men. Deborah was the only woman who became both prophetess and judge. Being a spiritual leader at that time, she must have possessed some excellent qualities which are worthy of our emulation.

Spiritual wisdom

1.      Judging the people (Judg 4:5): Her ability to judge proves that she could discern between good and bad. To do this she, like Moses, must have equipped herself with the truth (Heb 5:14) and developed a high level of spirituality (Ex 18:16).

2.      Singing praises to God (Judg 5:1): Being able to compose songs shows that Deborah was full of talent. More valuable than her talent was her wisdom to use her talent in composing and singing praises to God (Prov 9:10). We should strive to learn the truth (Lk 10:42) and pursue wisdom (Jas 1:5) in order that we can discern between right and wrong, good and evil (Phil 1:9-10; Col 1:9).

Spiritual power

1.      Encouraging Barak (Judg 4:6-7): With the encouragement from Deborah, Barak led the people into a victorious war with Jabin, the king of Canaan.

2.      Excelling over Barak: If Barak were to be listed as one of the great heroes of faith (Heb 11:32), Deborah was a greater heroine. Barak had intended to withdraw, but with the assurance from Deborah that God would be with him (Judg 4:8-9), he eventually went ahead and accomplished a great task! This shows the unusual strength of Deborah’s great faith which generated power (Mk 9:23).

Faith is power. Therefore women should imitate Deborah in encouraging their husbands so that they may progress in zeal, strength and courage. Wives of preachers ought to reinforce their husbands’ determination to fight in the frontline by encouraging them and taking away their worries in order that they can battle with added dedication and courage.

Spiritual virtue

1.      Being humble (Judg 5:12): Even after a victorious battle and while composing and singing praises to God, Deborah reminded herself to be alert. She was neither proud nor complacent for she truly understood that “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (Jas 4:6)

2.      Giving glory to God (Judg 4:14; 5:3): Deborah gave all glory to God. She did not fight personally in the battle at river Kishon probably because she did not want to take over the leadership which should be Barak”s (Judg 4:14-15). If this was so, she was indeed humble; keeping a low profile as a woman should and accepting man’s authority over woman (1 Tim 2:10-11).

Women ought to be subject to the Lord and be submissive to their husbands in all ways, even though their husbands may not be as good as they (Eph 5:24). This was the adornment of the holy women of old (1 Pet 3:3-5).

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Prov 31:30). Women have often been praised for the work they have done. The women mentioned in the Bible should not, therefore, be forgotten. It is hoped that our sisters will continue in Deborah’s footsteps and enhance their virtues. While women must not be proud and dominate men, men on the other hand must not despise women. Together they should exhort one another in fighting the spiritual battle.

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