Can I just say? Deborah is one of my favorites. She really is, even though we don’t really get a lot of personal information about her.
First of all, she’s great for answering those people who like to maintain that women should not hold positions of authority in the church. Consider: Barak did not lose the glory of this victory for consulting Deborah, just for refusing to go into battle without her. It isn’t that he failed to assume his rightful position of authority or whatever, just that he didn’t trust God to go with him into battle if she weren’t standing right there with him first. He lacked the faith, not the masculinity to achieve glory. God was talking to her, sending messages through her, whether she went into battle or not. Let’s get that straight right away.
Secondly, she’s both prophet and judge. She’s so much more than the mighty hero that is raised up to restore Israel. She’s also the recipient of God’s word for the people. (Side-note: would she have been considered a judge if Barak had gone without her? Or would he have held that honor, while she remained solely a prophet? Something to think about…)
Thirdly, in another defense of women, she was a prophet and a wife. She didn’t have to sacrifice having a family to fulfill this calling. She didn’t have to step down in order to get married.
Can we get a little more attention here? Can we hold her up a little higher in the church? I’m kinda tired of all these messages about the ‘flawed women in the line of Christ.’
Yeah, yeah, rabbit trail, but folks? How messed up is it that we define the four women AWESOME enough to make it into the male-centered lineage in a hard-core patriarchy by the things they did wrong? Especially when one of them was actually judged in the right concerning her ‘offense,’ and another was a straight up victim? Most of those men are only included because, you know, it’s a lineage, but these women, folks, these women have stories worth telling, worth interrupting the regularly scheduled programming to remind you of them!
Okay, back on track, but DEBORAH! Come on! She was in leadership. She was married. Her position and achievement are unmitigated. You want to claim she’s an exception? That women like this are meant to be rare compared to the men in number of occurrence? She broke through a culture that kept women contained, and she was not condemned for it. If a woman’s place is lower, less than, I certainly don’t think God would have embraced her as judge and chosen her as a prophet under any conditions, and you better believe that her assumption of authority would have been dealt with.
Deborah, folks. She’s the role model a lot of women still need. She’s the defense a lot of women, sadly, still need.
Maybe I’ll write a book about her some day…
Happy Mother’s day!