At that time Deborah, a prophetess, wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the Israelites came up to her for judgment. Judges 4:4–5
A judge was a military and political leader in ancient Israel, long before the kingly leadership of the Hebrew people was established. Long before King David and King Solomon and King Hezekiah, was Deborah. Deborah was the lead arbiter and military general of her time. A woman led Israel in a day and an age when women were afforded little, if any, authority.
More than three thousand years after Deborah, our culture continues to struggle with the abilities and worth of certain individuals. We question the strength of women, we see great limitations for people with disabilities, and we malign people who appear different from ourselves. But there is no limit to what God can do with us, and who God can empower to leadership in this world. We may be slow to recognize the gifts and abilities of others, God is not. The next time you doubt your worth or ability, or the worth or ability of someone else, remember Deborah. God doesn’t want you to forget.
What doubts do you have about yourself?
Lord, when I look at myself in the mirror I see a deeply flawed individual. As I work my way through life I am reminded of my limitations. As I witness the values of the culture I am a part of…I feel as though I am less than I should be. But time and time again, You remind me that what our world values and what You value are not the same. In Deborah, the world likely saw a dependent woman, but You saw a greater leader of people. Thank You that Your vision for us prevails, just as it did for Deborah. In Your name, I pray. AMEN.