The era of the judges was a turbulent one as God’s people lived a cyclical pattern: disobedience to God, foreign invasion, crying out to God in distress, and finally God raising up a leader to bring deliverance. One of those leaders was a woman called Deborah.

Deborah was a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth—a prophetess and Israel’s leader/judge (Judges 4:4). As judge, Deborah was a highly respected figure in the community, and people sought her out to settle their disputes. Her leadership gift also served to unify the nation and lead them to war against the Canaanites, and gave Barak, the army leader, the military strategy to win the battle. Deborah was known as a mother in Israel, which Linda Belleville describes in Discovering Biblical Equality as an honor acknowledging her contribution to the country and her people on a national scale. As a political and spiritual leader and the prophetic voice God’s people needed, Deborah rebuilt the nation and restored it to community. And her success? The nation was at peace for a generation.

Jo Saxton is the author of More Than Enchanting: Breaking Through Barriers to Influence Your World. Taken from More Than Enchanting by Jo Saxton. Copyright Second Edition (c) 2016 by Jo Saxton. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426.