I am so excited to see that Deborah is our next story. I know only the overview of her story and I really want to lean in but this week may not afford me that freedom. If it doesn’t I will surely come back here because I believe Deborah is important to our understanding of women in God’s economy.
Here’s a thought in today’s reading. Deborah is introduced in Judges 4:4 with two titles and one job description.
Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time.
Prophetess was first – her first calling was to God. She spoke for Him.
Her second calling was as wife – she was married. I think this is significant in all our gender debates. Sometimes single women don’t have those clear “directives” to be “under a male leader” – at least in today’s culture single women don’t necessarily live under their father’s roof, so to speak. However, we have little problem determining some significant and one-way directives for Christian women who are married. We gravitate toward women’s submissive roles – often dismissing the mutual submission called for from both partners. Deborah seems to be standing in the boat and rocking it a bit – when much of Christendom would just like her to take a seat.
Finally, her job description – judging Israel. Apparently she went to her office – under the “palm tree of Deborah” – (she even had her name on the building!) – and held court. It seems pretty full time but there are any other details in that regard. She might have had children or not, she might have regularly been home in time to fix dinner – don’t know for sure. What we do know is those details were apparently not significant to her particular calling. There was nothing for us to learn from how she balanced work and home. Another telling (sort of by not telling) thing is her husband’s thoughts on her job or calling are not made known. I’m thinking he either was all for it (much as my very own husband is of me using whatever gifts or calling I have been given) or what he thought was not something God felt the need to record.