Think about the political prowess of Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton, coupled with the strength, courage, and tenacity of Joan of Arc along with the prophetic edge of Beth Moore. That’s the type of person Deborah was.
We can only imagine how many times Deborah was told that she couldn’t do something—that she shouldn’t, that she wouldn’t. But she did.
Scripture tells us that Deborah was both a judge and a leader. She didn't go looking for that position. She didn't knock on doors or take votes like it was a popularity contest. Instead, God appointed her (see Judges 2:18). I believe that just as God appointed Deborah and the other judges of that time, he is beckoning us. He is wooing us today, inside our churches and communities, to rise up and be the leaders and the judges of the land. He wants to do great and mighty things like what we see in Judges 4 in our own lives.
Dealing in Hope
What kind of leader was Deborah? Because of her confidence and faith in God, Deborah was a leader who inspired confidence in others to do what God had called them to do. When Barak felt indecisive about going into battle, he said to Deborah, “I will go, but only if you go with me” (verse 8). Deborah agreed to go, but she said to Barak, “Go! This is the day the LORD has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the LORD gone ahead of you?” and Barak went out and did it (verse 14)!
“A leader is a dealer of hope,” Napoléon Bonaparte said. And to some extent, Barak was borrowing Deborah’s hope. She used not just her words, but also her confidence and faith in the Lord to be a strong hope and pillar for those around her. That’s the kind of woman I want to be. That’s the kind of leader I want to be. That’s the stepmom to two amazing kids I want to be. That’s the wife, the friend, the sister, the coworker, and the servant of Christ I want to be. As a leader, I want to speak truth and grace, and I want to lead and inspire others with a sense of confidence from the Lord.1