You know the one.
God could not find a single decent man in all the land to become the next judge of Israel. And since all those men were so worthless God had to resort to raising up a woman to judge. Her name was Deborah. At least that is how I've heard it taught before.
The problem is, if you read the account without the idea that women can't lead, you realize there is nothing written to imply that God chose Deborah because there were no qualified men. This is never said or even implied. It is something imposed on the text by men who would rather insult and emasculate ALL the Hebrew men living in Deborah's day rather than to admit that God simply picked Deborah because He wanted to use a woman this time.
The account of Deborah is in found in Judges 4 and words that supposedly imply that Barak was weak and afraid and that God wanted to punish him for it are found in vss 8 & 9.
8 Then Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” 9 She said, “I will surely go with you; nevertheless, the honor shall not be yours on the journey that you are about to take, for the LORD will sell Sisera into the hands of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh.
It is assumed from this that Barak was being punished for his lack of faith. But if you read it carefully, there is no real rebuke in verse 9. In fact, the verse could just as easily be interpreted as Barak trying to honor Deborah by asking that she go along. But even with this honor, Deborah reasserts that God wants this to be a woman's story, an example to those to come that God can and wants to work through women. God wants there to be a witness in His word to His daughters that women can be strong and mighty too, that this sort of faith is not reserved for men. Leadership is not reserved exclusively for men.
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