Women of the Word | Leading Women, Day 3
Judges 4:1-10, 5:6-9
We need to diligently follow Godly leadership, no matter who God chooses to use to lead.
Verse of the Day
Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. Judges 4:4 ESV
What qualities do you expect to see in a great leader?
Think of some examples of leaders you consider great in our world today. What about that leader makes them easy to follow?
Does the gender of the leader matter to you? Why or why not?
What qualities do you expect in a Godly leader?
Read 1 Timothy 3:1-7
The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil. 1 Timothy 3:1-7 ESV
Paul is establishing criteria for the church of Ephesus in order to combat false teachers that had infiltrated the Church and had begun leading others astray with their false doctrines. (Read more)
These criteria that Paul establishes, while for a specific place at a specific time for a specific purpose, are still relevant today as virtues that we should all seek after, whether we are in a leadership role or not.
Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 3:8-13 ESV
Leaders are to be examples of Christ-like conduct in all they do for others in the Church to look to for guidance and mentorship.
Leadership roles are not limited to those in high positions. All members of the church should hold themselves to a similar standard as those who are in service to the Lord.
We must conduct ourselves, every day, in accordance with the guidelines that Paul establishes for us.
Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Hebrews 13:7 ESV
It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, Matthew 20:26 ESV
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 ESV
Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. Titus 1:7-9 ESV
What does the Bible say about Godly leadership?
It is important to understand that it is God that calls and appoints a leader. It does not reside in the individual to usurp that authority from God’s chosen person.
The role of a leader is one of full submission; being a servant to God’s will.
When we are in submission to God, following the calling that He has placed on us individually, He will equip us with the qualifications that we need for the role.
There are characteristics that we should strive to obtain through the discernment of the Holy Spirit:
Contributing to the family
Contributing to the community
There are also characteristics that we should strive to avoid because of their negative consequences in our relationship:
Given to drunkenness
Holding to false teachings
Read Judges 4:1-10
And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord after Ehud died. And the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-hagoyim. Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, for he had 900 chariots of iron and he oppressed the people of Israel cruelly for twenty years. Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment. She sent and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali and said to him, “Has not the Lord , the God of Israel, commanded you, ‘Go, gather your men at Mount Tabor, taking 10,000 from the people of Naphtali and the people of Zebulun. And I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to meet you by the river Kishon with his chariots and his troops, and I will give him into your hand’?” Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, I will go, but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” And she said, “I will surely go with you. Nevertheless, the road on which you are going will not lead to your glory, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. And Barak called out Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh. And 10,000 men went up at his heels, and Deborah went up with him. Judges 4:1-10 ESV
What was a judge’s job, according to verse 5?
What mantle did Deborah accept from the Lord in addition to being prophetess and judge in verse 7?
Contrary to a damaging popular belief, Deborah was not set in her place of authority solely because there were no qualified men left in her nation. Deborah was set up by God as a judge of Israel and prophetess to the nation.
What significance is there to the way Deborah spoke in verse 9?
How did Barak respond to Deborah here?
What happened when Barak did as Deborah commanded him?
God gave command to Deborah who then had to give command to the men under her authority. They obeyed her without question and were given the victory.
What other woman is mentioned in this passage?
What did she do to clinch the win?
What attributes of the bee can we see as part of Deborah’s character as a trusted judge, military leader, and God honoring prophetess?
Names have significance when we speak about the people in the Bible. Deborah is no exception. Her name means “bee”:
Scientifically, bees are anomalies of nature. They are not built in a way that they should be able to fly. The bee is a hard and focused worker, with a fierce drive to protect the hive.
We would not have the expanse of foods and flowers that we have at our disposal if it were not for bees.
Bee antennae have to be immaculately clean in order to be used as receptors to the world, as well as their main form of communication to others.
Bee brains are described as supercomputers, able to perform complex computation and accurately coordinate their movements more accurately than our best GPS.
Bee smell receptors rival that of any bloodhound, giving them the ability to distinguish between hundreds of flower types from miles away.
Bees have 2 different kinds of eyes: Compound eyes give them an omni-directional view while giving them the ability to see UV light spectrums unknowable by the human eye. Simple eyes on the tops of their heads give them their GPS navigational capabilities.
Bee saliva has an anesthetic effect.
Bees have feet, which is not common in insects, giving them the advantage of being able to stand on a variety of different surfaces without issue.
Bees also create honey, which is considered a type of miracle food. It contains medicinal properties that soothe, restore, and heal.
Bees only use their stinger in defense when they have no other choice, and only females possess this physical attribute. They know that if they have to use this defense, they will die in the process.
Read Judges 5:6-9
“In the days of Shamgar, son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were abandoned, and travelers kept to the byways. The villagers ceased in Israel; they ceased to be until I arose; I, Deborah, arose as a mother in Israel. When new gods were chosen, then war was in the gates. Was shield or spear to be seen among forty thousand in Israel? My heart goes out to the commanders of Israel who offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless the Lord . Judges 5:6-9 ESV
What does Deborah reveal about her role in Israel in her song?
What role does a mother play in the life of her children?
Mothers are placed in positions of honor, respect and dignity.
Physically birthing a child is not the single event that makes a woman a mother. You can have or be a spiritual mother or an adopted mother, which again is someone placed in a position of high esteem, respect and honor in the lives of her children, whether by blood or spiritual connection.
No matter the means one becomes or finds a mother, they have an influence over the children God places in their life, with which comes great responsibility.
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. Proverbs 31:25-31 ESV
My son, keep your father's commandment, and forsake not your mother's teaching. Proverbs 6:20 ESV
“Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), Ephesians 6:2 ESV
Did Deborah keep all the glory of the win for herself as the woman who was at the head (hint: read Judges 5:24-27)?
What does this say about Deborah as the overseer of Israel?
How does Deborah’s service to the Lord here challenge the view of women being unable to teach or preach to men (1 Timothy 2:12-14)? Was this a command given by men to men or by God to men?
Do you see yourself in Deborah? Why or why not?
What attributes would you like to see more of in your own life? How do you think you can go about obtaining or strengthening them?
Have you ever not followed a leader simply based on their gender? If so, how can you allow the Lord to reshape your views?
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. Romans 13:1-3 ESV
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. Hebrews 13:7 ESV
Do you pray for the world’s leaders on a regular basis? Why or why not?
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4 ESV