Deborah, a wife, prophetess, and judge of Israel, was chosen by God to serve His people at a very challenging time. Deborah showed her belief in God and her strength through God as she quietly and obediently stepped into her role.
Christian women leaders can learn quite a bit about leading others through an in-depth study of Judges 4 and 5. In this post, I’ve shared 7 leadership traits reflected in Deborah’s leadership.
I also believe Deborah reflected many of the leadership qualities of the Proverbs 31 woman found in verses 10-31 because Deborah served with honor, strength, and dignity. She quietly went about her role as a wife and leader. She was a humble and noble servant known as “a Mother in Israel.” A referent title bestowed upon her by the people she led. Let’s dive into the 7 leadership qualities emulated in her leadership.
7 Leadership Traits of Deborah
1. Deborah was courageous.
She was called by God to lead at a difficult time. Deborah stepped forward with bravery in obedience to God to lead the Israelites in times of challenge and oppression.
Judges 4:1-4 (NIV), “Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, now that Ehud was dead. So the Lord sold them into the hands of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. Sisera, the commander of his army, was based in Harosheth Haggoyim. Because he had nine hundred chariots fitted with iron and had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the Lord for help. Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. ”
2. Deborah served with wisdom and knowledge.
She exhibited great listening skills, which were evident in her obedience to God. Deborah listened well, and when she spoke, she added value due to her wisdom.
Judges 4:5 (NIV), “She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided.”
3. Deborah supported the people God called to lead.
She encouraged Barak and acknowledged his role in leading the Israelites to victory. Deborah’s confidence in God’s power gave the Israelites assurance God was with them.
Judges 4:6-7 (NIV), “She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor. I will lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.”
4. Deborah was trusted.
She earned her position due to her belief and faith in God. Her strong faith earned her the respect of the people, which allowed her to influence and motivate Barak and his men.
5. Deborah was direct.
She spoke the word of God and no other. It was clear to the Israelites Deborah shared God’s message and not her own agenda.
Judges 4:9 (NIV), “Certainly I will go with you, said Deborah. But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman. So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh.”
6. Deborah was confident.
She placed her confidence in God. Deborah never hesitated to fulfill God’s commands. Her reassurance and strong beliefs led the Israelites to victory.
Judges 4:14 (NIV), “Then Deborah said to Barak, Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you? So Barak went down Mount Tabor, with ten thousand men following him.”
7. Deborah was humble.
She gave praise and glory to God because the victory was God’s. Deborah and Barak sang a song of thanksgiving and praise to God and the followers. And, they had peace for forty years due to their belief and obedience.
Judges 5:5 (NIV), “On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song…”
A Mother in Israel
Deborah was chosen by God to serve as the Mother of Israel and lead His people to victory. Deborah’s success was due to her faith in God. She served God by utilizing her values and Spiritual gifts. Due to her faith, God called her, a woman, to lead His people to victory.
As in the Song of Deborah, Judges 5:31 (NIV) those who love and obey the Lord will be renewed in strength and shine bright like the majestic sun.
“So may all your enemies perish, Lord! But may all who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength.”
Can you identify with Deborah? As you review the characteristics of her leadership, does your leadership reflect the same traits? If you did not have the time to identify your core values from our recent post, take some time to read through the post on core values and identify the core values that guide you in your leadership. You were created to lead, and God is waiting for your faith, confidence, and obedience in His plans for you. Are you brave enough to step out in obedience and take the first step?
I’m looking forward to hearing from you and what action you will take today to step into your calling!