Does Deborah Give Women the Right to Lead?

Does Deborah Give Women the Right to Lead?

Whenever I teach that God’s will is for men to be the ones in authority and the leaders, women will undoubtedly bring up Deborah who was a judge in Israel. Does she give women the right to lead? No. All throughout God’s Word with the exception of Deborah, men were the leaders and the ones in authority. God created a man first. He created the woman to be his help meet. From the beginning, God established his authority structure.

He made all of the great Partriarchs and the Minor and Major Prophets men. The Priests and Kings were all men. All of the Judges were men except for Deborah. The forerunner of Christ was a man. Christ was a man. He choose 12 men to be His disciples who became Apostles including Paul. He commanded that men be the elders and deacons in the churches, and the husband to be the head of the wife. Men wrote all of the books of the Bible.

His will is for men to lead. He’s made this very clear. One exception doesn’t negate His will. In fact, Isaiah wrote this: “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths” (Isaiah 3:12).

We are told two reasons why women can’t teach nor be in authority in the churches, and these reasons go back to creation. God made the man first and the woman was deceived. “Women are to learn in silence with all subjection” (1 Timothy 2:11). God is absolutely a patriarchal God, and His will is for men to be in leadership positions. Again, one example in the Bible doesn’t negate the rest of God’s Word and will.

Deborah judged Israel in a time of great wickedness. “And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord” (Judges 4:1). She was referred to as “the mother of Israel.” When going to war, she commanded Barak to take men and go to war. He was a wimp and would only go if she would go, even though God was clear that only men who were 20 years old and older would go to war (Numbers 1:3,4).

It seems that the men in this wicked time were not masculine or up for leading. This is what happens when nations grow wicked. The men become effeminate as we can see in our nation. In times of great wickedness, women have left their feminine role and then men left their masculine role. This leads to chaos.

Instead of reaching for the exceptions in God’s Word, let’s look at His direct commands and will for our lives. Let’s take the Bible as a whole and then we will be able to clearly determine what God’s will is for us, and it’s perfect. Also, God, our Creator, does call women the “weaker vessel.” True godly women have no desire to be in leadership positions or the ones in authority, since they understand that God didn’t create them for these masculine roles. Most women in authority positions have masculine traits, and it’s not attractive.

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
1 Peter 3:7

18 thoughts on “Does Deborah Give Women the Right to Lead?

  1. Amen! The bible is so clear on this. Great points on the men being weak back then and how things were so wicked back then. Deborah was an outlier definitely not the norm. Chaos always occurs when you have women leading, its unnatural. God is a patriarchal God.

  2. Deborah was not called to be a Judge. She was a judge out of necessity, because men failed to obey God, and God raised up a shame in reply, as a rebuke to disobedient men. Had Barak and other men of his time obeyed God, there never would have been a Judge named Deborah.

  3. Frankly, I don’t even understand *why* women want to lead. Who needs all that stress and pressure? We have our God-given role, and it is a wonderful one. I love being a helpmeet to my husband, I love raising my children and having them know I am always here. My kids never ask “where is Mom?” They know I’m either in the kitchen or cleaning the rest of the house. And this makes all of us so happy. I rejoice in my role and would never want the responsibility and hassle of leading anyone other than my children. I don’t understand why women are throwing away the peace and joy of being home to take on a role for which men are much better suited.

  4. God’s ways are perfect. I don’t always (or fully) understand or agree with them, but I trust Him completely because He is God and I am not. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9

  5. I don’t get why people use Deborah as an example of why women can be pastors. A judge and a pastor are hardly the same thing. . . And, as it’s mention above, it was a bad time in israel when she was a judge. She would not have been God’s choice If there were other men willing to step up.

  6. What’s interesting to me is that Deborah was never chosen by God to be a judge. The two men before her are described as being raised up by God and we know Gideon and Samson were also handpicked by God. Scripture clearly relates when these people are selected by God, so why the absence of this in the case of Deborah? It’s almost as if the author wanted to distinguish Deborah from all the other judges as one who stepped up to the task instead of God telling her to do so. There is a difference between God CHOOSING someone and USING someone. I think many people miss this crucial detail about Deborah’s story.

  7. Amen Lori.

    As you wrote, the scripture is very clear. Men are to lead. The scripture is so clear on the subject it is mind-boggling someone could logically debate it.

  8. We have to also ask questions on where Deborah was leading from. Where was she leading from? Was she leading from a seat of power? Was she sitting with men dictating and judging the affairs of the nation of Israel? Was she visited by God like Gideon and Samuel? I believe the scripture clearly tells me that she dwelt under a Palm Tree where she did her judging. She wasn’t in the seat of power dictating with and for men. Was she called by God? No. She herself said “Until i Deborah Arose”. She wasn’t a king, a queen, a priest( no priestess). She used her gift(prophecy) in a supporting role. She didnt take the lead. Judges 5 vs 12 says Deborah arose to utter a song : that urged Balak to Arise and Lead! Not her taking leadership.

  9. It would be informative if one could ask Amy Barrett her true blue thoughts on whether her husband would make a better judge (he’s a law professor at Notre Dame.)

    The white male hatred is so bad out there that there’s no way her husband could get the nomination.

    It’s a really messed up world.

  10. Amen and Amen! I simply do not understand why in the world women would want to lead in anything and face all the stress, pressure and criticism that comes with it! My husband makes every decision for our family and I obey, support and serve him. We feel that is God’s plan for us and I love it and wouldn’t want it any other way!

  11. It’s OK to be strong so long as Christian women understand what that means. I’ve been described as robust and loving. It doesn’t mean you can be a leader, it just means that you are strong enough to fight the devil. It takes strength to live Gods way and not the worlds way.

  12. Lori did you see the shocking article about the wife pastor mother of 3 kids who had been raised in a baptist home to be a homemaker and she decided to rebel had divorced her husband and became a stripper? I would like to know what your reaction about it.

  13. Amen!!! I totally agree,what in the world are women thinking?I absolutely love the way our family is lead by my husband.It just works.When I try to step in and take over….it doesn’t work and we do get chaos. My life is wonderful.We are a homeschooling family with 9 kids and I’m here all the time,everyday…and if I’m not,its because I’m doing something for our family such as church,groceries,etc.The kids are always with me.They are happy and safe.My husband gives us that plus so much more.He is a wonderful,funny,calm,grownup,loving man who takes this family life seriously. I am very blessed and not ashamed to say so.

  14. My wife brought up this scripture today: “To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”” Genesis‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    We discussed it in light of Christ being the husband or bridegroom and him ruling over Christians.

    If Christians truly want it to be done “on Earth as it is in Heaven” then the bride needs to be obedient to the bridegroom.

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