Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. (Judg. 4:4)

Forbes Magazine’s current list of “50 World’s Greatest Leaders” includes twenty-one women or groups of women. Women are more accepted in leadership today than at any other time in history. Yet many strides still need to be made in empowering women. As of this writing, for example, the world still waits to see who the first female President of the United States will be. Average salaries and wages for women still lag behind those for men who are doing similar work.

In the time of the Judges, the prospects for women in leadership were far less favorable than today. Yet here, in the Bible, is a shining, unapologetic example of a powerful woman in leadership. During a time of great chaos and conflict in the Middle East, Deborah filled two important roles: she was a prophet who also became the leader of the young nation of Israel. As we will see, this week, Deborah inspired courage and hope in those she led. Deborah was an early example of a kingdom truth that became more and more evident in the time of Jesus and the early church.

Far from excluding women from positions of leadership and power, the kingdom of God paves the way for inclusiveness, as the apostle Paul said, “nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28).

Look for tangible ways to empower faithful, capable women in your life.

Kevin R. Scott is a pastor and author of ReCreatable: How God Heals the Brokenness of Life. He lives with his family in middle Tennessee.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.