Deborah – Judge, Prophetess, Wife, Military Leader
The first woman in Biblical history to “catch a deployment”
Warrior Class ——X
The “Warrior Class” is made up of many different people, from all walks of life, in varying different positions all pushing toward the same goal. You, my uniformed friend, are an integral part of what embodies modern day Deborahs. You are equipped with everything you need to win the battle, to be victorious. So strap on those boots, wind that hair up in a bun, slap on that PC and go make history.
“I will glady go with you, she said…” – Judges 4
Uniformed Women —–X
Deborah was a well-respected woman of her community. She was a judge, and a prophet, commanding the courtroom day in and day out for years in Israel. She was a woman of impeccable integrity! She was a wife, and she worked outside of her home. She made incredibly difficult decisions under difficult circumstances, daily. Hard decisions were just a part of it. Her decisions would not only impact her, her family and community, but they would impact the world. But Deborah did not run from her position, she ran to it! In our world today we see many women walking in who she was created to be. Anytime I read about Deborah I am reminded of all the women of the military. The women who are strack and squared away, ready to face the challenges the uniform brings. The ones who drop their kids off at the FCC providers house in the wee hours of the morning. They run P.T before I even brush my teeth. The ones who step into a male dominated world with quiet confidence, humility, and remarkable leadership skills. The women who hold their head high and their standards higher!
These are our “Modern Day Deborahs!”
We find the story of Deborah in one of the oldest books written, Judges. Her story begins taking place around 1200 B.C. As I read her story it suddenly dawned on me that Deborah was the first woman in Biblical history to “catch a deployment.” Over the years of being surrounded by powerful Military women, I would hear the anguish in their voices as they volunteered for another assignment that would take them from their homes, their babies, and oftentimes from any semblance of “normal” life. I watched the heart wrenching pain in their eyes as they signed their family care plan with shaking hands, making me a primary caregiver for the sweet little ones. I heard their heartache as they tried to explain to their mom, dad, spouses, and the rest of the family, “the why”… For some reason we have forgotten the powerful woman that God calls and equips to walk out that door and step in to making history. We have become such a society of judgement, heaping all of our own insecurities on her shoulders as she carries herself off to war on our behalf. Saying things like, “this is what you signed up for”, or “I do not see how you can do it” or my favorite, “women were created to be home with their husbands and children.” The challenge for the Church is, what do we do with this powerhouse of a woman, Deborah? What do we do with this story? How do we serve our modern day Deborahs? What is my role? How will I impact her life?
Our difficulties in understanding the dynamics of women called to the uniformed services is largely in part due to our desire to control the variables. Just stop and think for a moment what if we equipped our daughters to be world changers? What if we had pastors and preachers who would lead these young women with confidence in their callings? I have spent a large portion of my life listening to sermons on Deborah. Needless to say the warrior Deborah was never unpacked with practical applications of being a woman in today’s world or military. Her obedience challenged the status quo and conquered enemies in a war. The very same war that a man would not face without her. The very same war that changed the course of history! The very same war that saved a people group. We are so quick to build our Churches confidence on the stories like these from Judges. But do we short sell the faith-in-action parts? Telling this story from a Military perspective we can clearly see without action, faith would be dead. We hear it all the time, everyone loves their freedoms as long as their children do not have to provide it. What if we changed the narrative?
Deborah’s husband Lappidoth served this woman in confidence. His name alone can help frame our thoughts of “who” he was. His name means flames, torches, and an enlightened lamp. He had no problem lighting the flame for Deborah, helping her understand who God called her to be. Ensuring she moved into this position with Godly confidence and the adoration of her husband. When Deborah agreed to help Barak out, this meant closing the court, packing her gear, leaving her family and all of her creature comforts behind. This also required her to travel with an all-male Army to face what seemed to be sure demise. She traveled hundreds of miles in what most would call, “less than tactical” vehicles. I am sure her husband was cheesing ear to ear as he watched this woman’s strength and dignity ride off in full battle rattle with a purpose. Yeah, he probably shed a tear or two also!
It is so important for the women placed in these positions to know that we have full confidence in their abilities and we support them. Heck, at times I want to be them! But for now I am called to hold your babies extra close, tucking them close to my heart, telling them stories of the great things their mama is doing to be a world changer. Equipping them with courage to face their days with a smile on their face, knowing few children will ever know the privilege of being a military brat.
We will “gladly go with her”…
If ever there has been a time for the Church to step into this world of chaos and fear with life giving words of encouragement, IT IS NOW! Just as God provided helpers for Deborah to complete her mission, He will provide for these women warriors. What integral piece in the provisional puzzle are you? If we can’t fight the battle, we must support the village. Imagine what you would need from your neighbors and community and go do that! Impacting these vulnerable families who serve at the tip of the spear may be your calling. Are we willing to put away your own feelings of inferiority and add valuable Kingdom influence for these women? My prayer is that God will guide each of us to our own Deborah, and that we will “gladly go with her”…