Villagers in Israel would not fight; they held back until I, Deborah, arose, until I arose, a mother in Israel. ~Judges 5:7
In Today’s culture, you cannot go anywhere without hearing the terms “millennials” or “feminists”. More often than not, it’s used in a derogatory tone. So many women feel pressured to categorize themselves as if determining their own worth. As Godly women, most feel uncomfortable to call themselves “feminists” because of what this word has evolved to mean. So, what is a millennial feminist, and is there such thing as a Godly feminist?
Before tackling this controversial topic, I did some research. When I searched for the millennial definition of feminist, this is what I found: “They say they want equality for both men and women but really they want is supremacy over men….They have set up shop in domestic violence shelters where they promote divorce, marriage breakup, hatred of men, and false accusations. “ (Urban Dictionary). Please keep in mind, I am not saying this is the true and only definition of feminists, but this was the promoted definition.
Now, what does the Bible say about feminism? Some may be shocked to know, that YES, there are verses, chapters, and even BOOKS written about strong, empowering women. God has called EVERYONE to be fishers of men; male and female alike. Women were created from Adam’s side. Eve was not made from his foot to be stepped on, nor from his head to rule over him. Woman was pulled from the side of man to walk side by side with him. God has used women for his ministry too, not just men.
Today I have chosen to talk about Deborah. Before we dive in, I want to give you a little bit of background on Deborah. Deborah was a prophet, and the fourth judge over Israel. Deborah is the ONLY female judge mentioned in the Bible. Deborah was chosen by God to be a leader to the people of Israel. Women in leadership did not begin in the more recent past, but all the way back to the 12th century BC! Being an empowered woman is not a new movement, although the world would like you to believe this lie. Women are used to further God’s kingdom just as much as men. Don’t you think that satan might be using the Feminist movement to pin women against each other, because he knows how powerful they could become if they fought together?
So what made Deborah a powerful, Godly woman? In the book of Judges, it tells us that the Israelites had been oppressed for twenty years by the king of Canaan, Jabin. Deborah is heart-broken by the state of God’s people, and sends a message to Barak, a military commander. She said for him to muster together ten thousand men and fight for the freedom of her people. Deborah says that she will draw out Sisera, the commander of Jabin, and place him into the hands of Barak. Barak replies and says he will not go without a prophet (meaning Deborah). In Judges 4:9-10, Deborah states: “Of course I’ll go with you. But understand that with an attitude like that, there’ll be no glory in it for you. God will use a woman’s hand to take care of Sisera.” As prophesied, the battle is won by God’s people. God used Deborah, not because she was better than Barak, but because her faith in the Lord’s promises was stronger. Deborah was a God-empowered leader who was used due to her amount of unconditional faith in the Lord. The account of Deborah ends with the statement that there were 40 years of peace in the land.
How does this apply to Millennials? Even though Deborah lived thousands of years ago, does not mean her story isn’t relatable or relevant today. Deborah was a woman who was called to a place of leadership. And through that, God used her to free the people of Israel. He knew Deborah would listen to the calling without question. He knew she wouldn’t resist, but whole heartedly follow Him. Deborah is a great example of powerful women using their stature to influence those around them. What is God calling you to? Are you diving in, unconditionally, knowing he will provide a way for those who follow Him?