Summary: Deborah was a leader in Israel and revealed that a women can be chosen by God to lead His people. She was a woman of faith and she flowed in the prophetic realm getting divine insight in solving disputes and in hearing from God what to do and how to do it
Series: Here comes the Judge!
Introduction to series:
The book of Judges:
Is the history of the Judges of Israel and is connected with the previous book of Joshua, as a “link in the chain of books.” It describes the history of Israel under different leaderships, governments and their deliverances from other powers for about 410 years of history.
The book of Judges aims to demonstrate that defection from Jehovah incurs severe punishment and servitude. Only by turning back to God can restoration be enjoyed. Thus the judges were charismatic leaders, raised up by God to deliver His theocratic people. Only by heeding their Spirit-directed message and following them in deliverance against their enemies could restoration be accomplished. The OT judges performed two functions. By divine power and Spirit-anointed leadership they delivered the people from enemy oppression. Having accomplished this, they ruled over them and administered government in the name of Israel’s God… Since the book reports seven apostasies, seven servitudes to seven heathen nations, and seven deliverances, it is evidently put in a symmetrical form (From: The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary).
The activity of the Spirit of the Lord in the book of Judges is clearly portrayed in the charismatic leadership of the period. The deeds of Othniel, Gideon, Jepthah and Samson are attributed to the Spirit of the Lord. This same Holy Spirit is available to us today to do extraordinary spirit empowered exploits for the Kingdom of God. We just have to be willing to “Go” and to listen to the direction of the Lord.
2 key verses of Judges:
Judges 2:16: “Then the lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders.”
JUDGES 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25: “IN THOSE DAYS THERE WAS NO KING IN ISRAEL; EVERY MAN DID WHAT WAS RIGHT IN HIS OWN EYES.”
Scripture Text: Judges 4 and 5
Sermon title: Deborah Prophetess!
Thesis: Deborah was a leader in Israel and revealed that a women can be chosen by God to lead His people. She was a woman of faith and she flowed in the prophetic realm getting divine insight in solving disputes and in hearing from God what to do and how to do it.
Deborah is a unique character in the Bible. She is the only woman to be a Judge of Israel. Her story takes place between the years 1209 and 1169 B.C. She was a prophetess and Judge of Israel, the equivalent of king. How she came to be chosen for this position is not recorded but it is evident in her story that her leadership was honored. As Judge, she was also leader of the army of Israel.
The story of Deborah takes place during the third apostasy, or falling away from God. After God delivered the Israelites from Egypt into Israel, they went through seven apostasies. The Israelites intermarried with other tribes in the land and turned away from God into pagan practices. With each apostasy Israel suffers oppression and wars. And with each apostasy, God raises up a deliverer to rescue the Israelites from their oppression.
Women in leadership has been a hotly debated item especially in the church for decades.
Bickle notes, “Unfortunately, the effectiveness of the church throughout history has been diminished because the ministry of women has been so limited. The intransigent and sometimes chauvinistic position of some in the church is a result of long-held stereotypes about women, dysfunctional male-female relationships, and truncated view of early church history” (page 61, Growing in the Prophetic)
Women in the New Testament church did flow in the prophetic ministry of the church and helped in leading the church forward to victory all across the Roman Empire. It all started in Acts 2 but note especially verse 17-18 “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women. I will pour out my Spirit in those days and they will prophesy.”
Case in point:
A number of women helped lead in the spread of Gospel and within the leadership of the church – See Acts -Priscilla, Chole, Lydia, Apphia, Nympha, the mother of John Mark, Phoebe literally called a deaconess of the church in Cenchrea (Romans 16:1).
Women flowed and functioned in the prophetic ministry of the church Philip had four daughters who were recognized as prophetesses in the church (Acts 21:8-9).
Mike Bickle sates, “Paul speaks about Junias, referring to her as being “outstanding among the apostles” (Romans 16:7, Nas). Some have debated the exact meaning of this verse. Until the Middle Ages, the indentity of Junia as a female apostle was unquestioned (Bickle page 62).