She held court under the Palm of Deborah . . . and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided. (Judg. 4:5)

With a unanimous vote of 99–0, on September 21, 1981, the United States Senate confirmed Ronald Reagan appointee, Sandra Day O’Connor, to sit on the highest court of the nation, the Supreme Court. She was the first woman to rise to this prestigious position. O’Connor served nearly twenty-five years on the court before her retirement in 2006. She has been followed to the court by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan—four female justices among the 114 who served since the first justices were seated in 1789.

Yesterday, we saw that Deborah was both a prophet and the leader of Israel. In today’s verse we see that she was also the highest judge in the land and that people from all over Israel would come to her to have their disputes settled. We can assume that she was widely regarded for her wisdom, insight, understanding of the Law, and overall sense of justice—traits that serve any leader well.

Throughout much of history, it has been assumed that women were incapable of effective leadership or administration of justice, being considered either too weak or too emotional for those roles. In reality, women are capable of bringing great emotional strength, determination, insight, and wisdom to any role they fill. In addition, women often bring a fresh perspective and approach that helps advance the overall mission of God’s kingdom.

Thank a woman who brought you strength, insight, and wisdom.

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®.