Judges 4: Respect beyond Stereotype
Judges chapter 4 brings yet another judge to Israel. This time, we have Deborah who I believe was the first female military leader of the people of Israel.
Clearly, she commanded respect of all those around her as evidenced by what Barak asked of her when he was supposed to go into battle against the Canaanites.
Jdg 4:8 And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go.
Jdg 4:9 And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.
We all need to keep in mind that this was a monumental step forward at this point in time. In many cultures from that era, the military was mainly for men. However, here was a woman who commanded so much respect that even the men of that time were willing to admit that they wanted her at the battle with them.
As Christians, we certainly need to have the same type of respect for all people. At the time, Barak apparently didn’t really care that he was challenging stereotypes. He did the right thing by having the most competent leader coming with them. On a somewhat unrelated but still important note, she also did the right thing by redirecting all of the glory to God.
In the New Testament, we are told that we are all different parts of the same body. We all have different talents and abilities, and as we recognize that about each other we will be able to work more effectively for God. That is really what we are here for anyway.