Saturday Spotlight – Deborah

iStock_000019044346_ExtraSmallAlthough strong women are mentioned in both Old and New Testaments, few are mentioned that held such a postion of leadership in a male-dominated culture as Deborah. Portrayed as a community leader, when she sent for Barak, a military commander, he came. She told him what God had commanded: Barak had been chosen to lead the Israelites to victory against their oppressors.


Barak refused to go unless Deborah went with him.  Who can blame Barak for wanting a show of good faith on Deborah’s part? Deborah backed up her words with action. She trusted God’s message and her willingness to act on that trust empowered Barak and in turn inspired others to follow.


Deborah’s courage was not just shown in her willingness to stick her neck out on a battlefield. It was shown in her willingness to step out and be true to what she felt God was calling her to do, in spite of cultural restrictions.


Women aren’t the only ones challenged to step beyond the status quo. It’s tempting to tune out inner promptings that invite us to venture where we have never gone before. It’s OK to start small. Not all of us are called to a prominent role in society. Whether our choices impact the world or just our little corner of it, we can still make a difference. Willingness to act outside the norm–when it’s part of God’s plan for us–prepares us to act with more courage in the future and may inspire others as well.


Challenging the status quo doesn’t always involve dramatic situations or gain widespread attention. Are you being called to move beyond “the way things have always been” in some area of your life? Is anything holding you back from making that change? What can help you overcome that obstacle?


Adapted from “Fools, Liars, Cheaters & Other Bible Heroes”

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Fools, Liars, Cheaters, and Other Bible Heroes” takes a down to earth look at the diverse assortment of biblical characters called by God.


But Jesus answered “The scripture says, ‘Human beings cannot live on bread alone, but need every word that God speaks.’” (Matthew 4:4)


All Bible quotes are from the Good News Translation unless otherwise noted.


It is reassuring that Jesus called fishermen and tax collectors to be his followers. These were laymen, not Scripture experts. It is wise to seek guidance from religious scholars and clergy who have studied Scripture to avoid errors in interpretation. But the Bible is also a gift given to each of us, to use as a basis for prayer and meditation.


I’m not a Biblical scholar; I’m an expert only on my own experience. Following the Scripture passage is a brief meditation along with a question or two as a springboard for your own reflections. Please feel free to share your own thoughts or insights on the passage by adding a comment. All comments are moderated, so please allow some time for your comment to be posted.

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