Sunday, August 21, 2011

Deborah

The comment below was in response to the post Isaiah 1 - A Rebellious Nation:

"I do agree. Our nation must go back to its roots which are in the Word. I will not vote for a female president. However, when it comes to female leaders in the Bible, you must be cautious; making sure you do note only focus on the times in Israel's history where it was culturally unacceptable for a woman to be in a place of leadership (other than in the home). For an example you may want to read Judges chapter four."

In response to the above comment I give this reply:

    The example of Deborah, a woman in the place of leadership, has been used by many (mainly those of the feminist group) to argue that it's okay for women to lead. They say, “It's in the Bible! Look at Deborah. There's nothing wrong with a woman leading.” However, you must take into account the entire context of Judges 4-5.
    Israel was under a time of judgment because, “the children of Israel again did evil in the eyes of the LORD. So the LORD sold them into the hands of Jabin, a king of Canaan...” (Judges 4:1-2) Deborah describes the scene in Chapter 5:6-7, “...the roads were abandoned; travelers took to the winding paths. Village life in Israel ceased, it ceased until I, Deborah, arose, arose a mother in Israel.” This nation was under severe judgment from God. Why? Simply because the leaders were not leading. I like what Rev. William Einwechter says on this subject:
        “Deborah's role in Israel was that of a 'prophetess'... she 'judged' Israel (Judges 4:4) only in the sense that she was sought out by the people for advice and judgment in the settlement of disputes because of her wisdom from God. Apparently, the priests and Levites were so corrupt that the people had to seek wisdom and judgment from this godly woman.”
    Concerning this idea of women in leadership, there are two points I wish to make. First, it was ONLY when men refused to lead, that Deborah was pressured into leadership. This is a tragic picture of when men ignore God, will not lead, and “do what is right in their own eyes.” (Judges 21:25) Therefore, at the time of victory, because of Barak's cowardice in hiding behind the skirts of a woman, Deborah said, “...the honor will not be yours, for the LORD will hand Sisera (the commander of the Hazorite army) over to a woman.” Second, where was it that Deborah judged Israel? Was it at the city gates, at the table of the elders? Or maybe at the local park? How about the marketplace? No. She judged at her home. The children of Israel came to her. This is a very important point I wish to make: A woman's place is in the home. Take the example of the Proverbs 31 woman. She worked in her home, around her home, and as a result was praised for her works and called blessed. Unfortunately, I do not have the time to discuss the importance of a woman's place and purpose. I am so burdened by this topic! To my readers: Please stay tuned (Do not change channels!), for I will have a post on the theme of Biblical Womanhood coming soon!
    In conclusion, Deborah's example must be understood in the light commands and patterns of Scripture which put women under protection and men in leadership. A resource I use frequently is a book entitled “So Much More” by Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin. I believe they sum it up quite well:
        “Deborah's society was being judged in much the same way as ours, but the level of judgment seems to have been more severe. In this very unfortunate time, when it appears that there was not even one man who would take responsibility of leadership, God did raise up a woman to encourage and support the men, and also to shame them for their cowardice. It's important to note that not all the women in Israel were called to lead the way Deborah was, and even she tried to pass the leadership to Barak when God so instructed. The role of a 'Deborah' is not one we [women] should be hoping for, but one we should be trying at all costs to prevent. If our society ever sinks to the level where one Deborah is necessary, it will be a sign that God is phenomenally displeased with our culture and is inflicting a colossal curse on it. Deborah was glorified and blessed by God as a 'deliverer' of Israel, and, in essence, what she did was to bring men back into leadership.”

Joyfully His,
Elisera

3 comments:

ThomasFunnyFarm said...

Could I get a 'z' snap with that please? And maybe a 'sista' and an 'amen' too. Thanks for speaking the truth. With women like you rearing our next generation (in God's perfect timing), surely we will not have to endure such a time of judgment as did the Israelites in Judges.

Barselou said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barselou said...

Like I said in my comment, which you quoted, “I do agree.” I was simply saying that you can’t just focus on passages that only support your view. I do believe you have made some good points. However, I could say, in God’s sovereignty, why didn’t he call a man to be the judge of Israel. I mean, He did it six other times in book of Judges...Why didn’t God go to Barak and command him with an audible voice? That’s enough to get anyone moving. God chose, instead, to use a women. Now I’m not a feminist, nor am I a male chauvinist; I support a balance. No person is of more value than another (Gal. 3:23). If God so chooses to use a women to lead His people, that’s His choice. God would not call any of His people to break one of His commands; so obviously, Deborah was not disobeying Scripture by filling shoes because the man wasn’t acting in subjection to God. To imply that a women should never lead is to contradict Scripture. It is more Biblically correct to say that a woman should not have to be put in such a situation where she must lead in a man’s place. However, even then, you would have to deal with the fact that God allowed the prophetess Deborah to be put in such a situation.

The Hebrew word yashab which is used in this passage is more likely, in the context, that Deborah “sat” under a tree. “She used to sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the sons of Israel came up to her for judgment.” Judges 4:5 (NASB)