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Deborah: An Example of Godly Leadership

“Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, was a prophet who was judging Israel at that time. She would sit under the Palm of Deborah, between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites would go to her for judgement.”1

Deborah was an exemplar woman, and one of the most influential in the Old Testament. She was a wife, a prophet, the only female judge to guide God’s people, and a warrior that would lead Israel into battle against their enemies.

Israel had the tendency to get themselves into a lot of trouble because of their disobedience to God, and this led to servitude at the hands of their enemies. You would have thought that the prosperity they experienced following the days of Joshua would have grown their faith, however, this was not the case. After 20 years of suffering, the Israelites cried out to the Lord for help once again, and He heard them. The Lord gave Deborah instructions on how to prepare for battle, and when the time came, she went into battle with Israel’s army. Just how Deborah had prophesied, the Lord gave them the victory through a woman named Jael.

Immediately following their victory, Deborah and Barak did what Israel had failed to do since the days of Joshua: give all glory, honor, and praise to the One who is worthy. You can find The Song of Deborah in Judges 5. Deborah served as a judge for forty years and left us with many lessons from her example of Godly leadership.

First, we should always remember the Lord… in good times and in hard times. The people of Israel often called on God when they needed him, but then drifted into sin after God had answered them. The Lord puts people like Deborah in our lives to call us out and help us get back on track when we start drifting.

Second, Deborah was a true example of faithfulness. She was not only a judge, but a wife and prophet as well. She was obedient to God and led His people with boldness and strength. We all have different roles in our lives, but God calls us to be faithful and obedient in all areas.

Third, Deborah trusted in God’s power and faithfulness to his people. She possessed many qualities as a leader, but her confidence was in God and the certainty that he would go before them. She took action and inspired others to follow suit because, with God, there was nothing to fear.

Wherever God has placed us, let us serve Him in obedience. Never forgetting all he has done for us. Let us lead by example with confidence in the One who deserves all honor and praise and encourage others to do the same.

Suggested prayer: Dear God, thank you for these examples of faithfulness and obedience that we find in your Word. Help me choose to imitate these examples and not be like the people of Israel who, time after time, did evil in your sight. I want to serve you boldly and inspire others to do the same. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.

  1. Judges 4:4-5 (NLT).

All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.