On Deborah, and Jael, and Being a Strong Godly Woman

I was just thinking and praying about some of the issues surrounding the churches lately.

In general.

And, in particular.

I have been waiting for one of the men (in our circle) to stand up and be the prophetic voice that says, “This is wrong, and this must stop.”

And in one particular situation that I have been praying about, there are men able to do the right thing. But they are unwilling. They are maybe a bit afraid of confrontation. But the women in the situation see the need. They see the hypocrisy and error (and SIN), and we are ready to stand up and say ENOUGH.

But we still would rather have a man do it.

And there is a reason for that.

In this circle the women are taught to be quiet and passive.

I guess I didn’t see it for years.

But I see it now.

The women have been taught certain verses over and over again in church. The ones to be gentle and submissive (and WEAK). And they have not been taught much about being strong for the cause of Christ. How many Sunday mornings have we spent parked in Galatians 5 or Colossians 3 or 1 Peter 3:4? How many sermons have I sat through where the speaker discusses AT LENGTH the many ways his wife serves him dinner. As if that is the only thing a wife is really good for. But this is only half the story.

We are also to be a strong part of the body of Christ. We have a different calling. But an important one.

My point is, the women in my circle have been “conditioned” to be weak and passive, in the church.

Now I do not disagree with the verses I mentioned above. I think they work well within healthy marriages.

On a side note–I think in abusive marriages these verses can be deadly. How many victims of domestic violence have been told just to submit some more? Just be a “better wife” and “pray more” and he will change? As if the responsibility lies squarely on her weak back to be even weaker to save the marriage. But in abusive marriages it isn’t the wife at fault, but the husband. And she needs to be protected from him. She must leave.

A Woman on the Front Lines
Doing Battle

She must be strengthened. We all must.

Where are the pastors that build us up? That strengthen us for our calling?

Our different calling–but important calling.

Some of us have had our arms cut off.

And it isn’t even Biblical!

We are equal.

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

So when a situation arises in the church, why are not women able to confront it? To say, “Pastor, you taught me this isn’t right.” And call the situation to account?

Why are the men in leadership in many churches condescending to the women?

I look around and I see so many of them even looking down on their own wives as just “emotional” or “histrionic” women. Laughing off legitimate concerns.

I WANT one of these men to stand up and do what needs to be done.

But none have.

They ignore the very real threat.

They ignore the cries of the women, who see the danger–BECAUSE WE ARE JUST WOMEN.

And they go on about their lives, because it is easier.

This is the time for a Deborah and Jael.

This is why I wish we would have been taught better.

Deborah was a leader–spiritually and politically.

She was a judge and a prophetess.

She was strong, and smart, and respected.

She was a wife. She became a warrior.

the word judge “Shaphat” means heroic leader.

Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time.  And she would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim. And the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.  Then she sent and called for Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali, and said to him, “Has not the Lord God of Israel commanded, ‘Go and deploy troops at Mount Tabor; take with you ten thousand men of the sons of Naphtali and of the sons of Zebulun;  and against you I will deploy Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude at the River Kishon; and I will deliver him into your hand’?”

And Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go!”

So she said, “I will surely go with you; nevertheless there will be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; he went up with ten thousand men under his command, and Deborah went up with him.

Now Heber the Kenite, of the children of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses, had separated himself from the Kenites and pitched his tent near the terebinth tree at Zaanaim, which is beside Kedesh.

And they reported to Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor. So Sisera gathered together all his chariots, nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people who were with him, from Harosheth Hagoyim to the River Kishon.

Then Deborah said to Barak, “Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has delivered Sisera into your hand. Has not the Lord gone out before you?” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him. And the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army with the edge of the sword before Barak; and Sisera alighted from his chariot and fled away on foot. But Barak pursued the chariots and the army as far as Harosheth Hagoyim, and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; not a man was left.

However, Sisera had fled away on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite; for there was peace between Jabin king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite.  And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me; do not fear.” And when he had turned aside with her into the tent, she covered him with a blanket.

Then he said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.” So she opened a jug of milk, gave him a drink, and covered him. And he said to her, “Stand at the door of the tent, and if any man comes and inquires of you, and says, ‘Is there any man here?’ you shall say, ‘No.’”

Then Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent peg and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple, and it went down into the ground; for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.  And then, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said to him, “Come, I will show you the man whom you seek.” And when he went into her tent, there lay Sisera, dead with the peg in his temple. (Judges 4)

Woah!

I would like to park here a bit with my pastor on a Sunday morning. and let him encourage me and the women in our church to be strong like this. We are no threat. We will not try to usurp authority. Men are not the enemy. They do not have to be afraid to build us up into strong women.

How would the whole church not be stronger if we looked to become more like Deborah. Barak was still used by God mightily. He was blessed by Deborah! He appreciated her encouragement and faith.

She reminded him of what the Lord had said, and she helped increase his faith.

Wouldn’t all men benefit from having women like this around?

Can’t we do more than just stand up to get men another spoonful of peas at dinner?

And Jael, oh my! She knew how to offer a man a glass of milk! Can I have a pastor talk to me about the courage it took for her to do what she did? Can we include her heroic act when we recount the exploits of David  cutting off the head of Goliath, or Samson pulling down the temple on top of the Philistines?

And she was determined too. The peg went all the way in, into the ground.

What caused her to feel the need to do this herself?

Did she just know that he deserved it?

Would the men fail to do it?

Her people and her husband obviously had no problem with this man.

Jael was somehow compelled to softly sneak up on him and end the evil.

Let’s Think About This Practically (before I am accused of being a feminist or a man hater).

Are there situations that Christian women face today, that we have handled too gently?

Have we failed to be strong, when the time came?

Have we failed to stop evil?

Have we failed to rally the men to the righteous battles that come against God’s people?

There are times that a woman must stand up– as a judge, a prophetess, a warrior, and a hero.

–in cases of spousal abuse

–in cases of child abuse

–in cases of emotional abuse

–in cases of spiritual abuse

–in cases of exploitation

–to protect the weak

–to be a voice for the silent

Why would we think the “Christian” thing to do is just sit back and wait for some man to come to the rescue? What if they never come?

Call it out! Take a stand!

We live in a society where 1 in 4 children are sexually abused before the age of 14.

1 in 4.

In the church too.

In homes of those we love.

Kids we know.

living in fear.

Are we willing to stand up for our people?

Are we willing to remind the men that God has commanded them to fight?

Will we go with them?

Will we profess the Word of God?

Will we drive a tent peg into any source of evil that wants to come against our communities?

Drive the tent peg deep into–

Pornography

Sex Trafficking

Drugs

Child abuse

Spousal abuse

Control and manipulation

Abortion

Be unmerciful.

Sneak up softly, while it sleeps and do what you can to stop it.

God has called us to serve our families, and our husbands and our churches.

But we have been told by those who need us, “shh, don’t be so emotional.”

We have been minimized.

While evil sleeps comfortably among us, inside our very tents.

Let us women, rise up, WITH the men and do spiritual battle.

Let us join them, and if they don’t fight, let us keep fighting.

I honestly do not think our greatest call from God is found on Pinterest, or in decorating our homes. Those things are fine, there is nothing wrong with a cute home.

But remember, Jael isn’t remembered for how pretty her tent was . . . but for the fact that she refused to let evil sleep in it.

Be strong woman.

Fight for righteousness.

God wants to use you.

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About The Last Hiker

Following Him Up the Mountain
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42 Responses to On Deborah, and Jael, and Being a Strong Godly Woman

  1. Anonymous says:

    Just in time… I needed this….

  2. pat says:

    I needed this too. Thank you for the encouragement! Evil shall no longer lie quietly in my tent.

  3. Scarlett says:

    Don’t tell the men I said this, but women have always been the backbone of the church:)

  4. Mark Schultz says:

    Very good! I hear the Father whispering in your ear.

  5. Awesome post! I have long been sounding the gong for women to stand up and be strong teachers, and voices of the voiceless, and, yes, even leaders (under the authority of her husband) when the call is great and no man answers it. Some churches seem to teach only half of the scriptures and the depth thereof…perhaps from fear?

  6. J Reese says:

    Again..another confirmation! Just yesterday I was lead to the story of Deborah, and I too share your thoughts regarding the men, I would prefer to follow a strong man of God. Many years ago I stood for the truth against the deceit, and met with stern rebuke on more than one occasion. Fleeing into my own wilderness…I was bewildered, and bruised, doubting my calling,and wondering if I was just a silly woman. Mercifully my Lord wrapped me in His love, and placed my feet firmly on the Rock who is Yeshua, and established my goings. In the strength, truth, and power of my God, the Most High I will finish my race to the glory of my Father.

    May the peace of God rest upon you…Blessings

  7. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog and share your thoughts. I so enjoy the fellowship of connecting with you. Your words bless me. God bless you!!!

  8. Absolutely excellent truth. This needs to be said more often. God bless.

  9. Well written and empowering…Have you read any of Lisa Bevere’s books? I would suggest Girls with Swords – just did an 8 week study within our church — empowering Godly women!! amen. Thank you for sharing …..

  10. Jujizig says:

    Thank you for sharing the Insight our Lord showed you in His Word….we had false teaching in our church about 7 years ago…it was heartbreaking to see the deceitful ness of the pastors and staff during that time….God placed me within the staff out of no where….we had pastor against pastor, deacons agains deacon and members against members…..I kept calling for the men of God of our church to please Stand but they were afraid…..I witnessed in our sanctuary a brutal verbal attack that almost came to physical blows…when I looked back for pastoral help to call it down in Jesus name and us all to the altar in prayer…my 2 pastors were Laughing at the whole scene….I was heart broken….I confronted them the next morning and was told they were enjoying some people who had been fed up finally making it known….I told them there were No men of God there that night because if they had been they would have Stopped the madness …. I also told them next time, God forbid there be a next time But if a man wouldn’t call them down in Jesus Name I would….
    We were there for 2 years trying tp preserve God’s Truthful Teaching…my family thrown under the bus as trouble makers…..til finally God allowed us to leave….
    Since then I have gone to 2 pastors at our new church over a book they quoted from warning of the danger of New Age and heracy ….. I shared with the both of them how I had become aware of the heracy and what satan is doing within the churches today and that I would Stand up, if a man would not! before I Ever would allow that to happen again……
    Many times I have wondered if as a woman I was right in doing this…not wanting to miss God or be out of line so to speak….but God always compels me by His Holy Spirit to march on….
    Thank for this reassurance …I love reading your blog and teaching….my daughter found you and said Momma this woman could be your sister…LOL! So I am thankful God lead us to your blog it is very encouraging in today’s times!

    God Bless you!
    Judy

    • Oh wow!!! Thank you so much for sharing Judy! I can’t believe what is going on today in our churches; it is shameful. Thank you for not giving up and for standing up on behalf of God’s people to share God’s truth and God’s heart with your pastors. I am praying for you, for your family, and for your current church. God bless you.

  11. Holley Towle says:

    This is WONDERFUL! You said it all so clearly and kindly. And it is the truth.

    Thank you.

    ________________________________

  12. Stevan Garner says:

    I am an ordained Baptist minister and I have run into this same situation in every Baptist church that I have been involved with. Since my wife supports my ministry and I supported hers equally, I think that this frame of thought that women should be “seen but not heard” in the church or home is a falicy of church doctrine. When Christ set forth the standards that we presently live by, that way of thinking should be buried in the past. There are many capable women in our churches that are wasting their God-given talents because the heirarchy of the church says that women can’t serve in places of importance. That is where man’s religion separates the Christian church today, and if it doesn’t stop, the church as Jesus Christ meant it to be will cease to flourish!

  13. K.Martin says:

    This is a lengthy but much needed article!! It’s time for the church to teach and preach the full story about the role of Godly women and not just a 1 dimensional one. There is so much that I could say about the topic, but that would amount to an entire blog post. With that being said, let us not forget about the contributions of these strong Godly women: Abigail, Wise Woman of Abel, Esther, Huldah, Rahab, midwives, Phoebe, Zipporah and Moses’ mom. Zeresh, Job’s wife and Sapphira set poor examples that women and wives shouldn’t follow.

    Thanks again for that much needed blog post!

  14. Sarah Froese says:

    God bless you! Keep sharing the truth. I found your blog a few weeks ago, and have gone back to read posts from before I subscribed. I have shared several of your posts with friends… thank you for the boldness of your words, and how you give all the glory to God.

  15. Thank you for this article, but i believe the root has not been addressed- False Christianity!

    Simply put- the people in church would be devils or saints , whether they gathered in a church or a bar- they are just buildings.

    The fact is that these churches ARE NOT churches of GOD- why would you expect Christ and HIS doctrine to LORD over these people and their practices?

    If these Son’s of Hell are your leaders, that says more about your relationship with GOD than anything else. If you are following GOD, HE will tell you to leave, just like HE did for me…

    In fact, i tried to stay as a young Minister ( because i thought i could pray & fast for GOD to “cure them ” ) and finally left after i asked HIM to send a prophet to me if HE really wanted me to leave, which HE did in remarkable fashion in a WV mountain…

    Certainly women are capable of remarkable things in Christ, but the greatest would be to hear and obey GOD above all things. I understand there are some women who were in a bad situation when they were saved & it doesn’t immediately apply to everyone, but ultimately to follow and obey HIM will be the only chance for success any of us will have to succeed !

    As is written, ” Children, obey your parents, IN THE LORD” and again ” For you were dead in your sins ”

    So also, Women, obey your husbands in THE LORD but reign over your household as a widow would- for a man that is not saved is “dead in his sins” and therefore is dead in the Spirit…

    Therefore, those women who are Spiritually alive in Christ, be spiritual!

    Finally Galatians chapter 5- ” If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit! “

    • Rob says:

      I don’t believe that women who are Christians want to go against the scriptures referring to women obeying their own husbands, or women being silent in the church.
      Unfortunately, scriptures that address women being silent in the church or women obeying their own husbands have been, in my opinion, used to create an “across-the-board” perception of women in general. Mishandled, it has bred arrogance, condescension, and a dismissive attitude towards women in general. Perception is everything – and you’ll never go any farther than the pre-packaged and accepted perception of women – unless you have God with you. (I’m in my late 50’s now and I have never been married, am a born-again Christian for many years). However, in order to do anything, you must have Christ with you – Simply taking the matter to the Lord, in my opinion, will eventually settle it – I would expect the Lord to act – and yes, He may use a woman to settle a matter – at the consternation of many, but who can argue with God?

  16. suez62 says:

    OH, AMEN, and THANK YOU!!!!

  17. Barbara Elliott says:

    With examples of women prophets in the old and new testament, it seems that God uses women to also “speak for Him” under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Joel 2 says that “your son’s and DAUGHTERS will prophesy before the great and terrible day of the Lord.

    Even during times when women held low standing in the eyes of men, the Bible tells stories of women in God-given positions of power and influence as stated above. After all, it is just like God to choose what mankind considers as the “weak things of the world to put to shame the things which [mankind considers] are mighty” (1 Corinthians 1:26-31).

    The point from Jeremiah 31:22 is this, “for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.” God has opened the door of opportunity to women. The world has yet to see what women are capable of doing, but the world will see it. There is much more that women will yet do. That is the prophesy from Jeremiah: “A woman shall compass a man.”

    Both male and female were made in the image of God. The feminine nurturing characteristic of women gives them the ability to come close to the heart, in this respect they can do a work in the world that a man may not be able to do.

    Also Rev. 19:10 says “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Any believer whether male or female testifies of Jesus.

    So how can women be silent in the church if God has given the gift of prophecy to both genders? Maybe I Cor. 14:34 should be reexamined in the context of place and time!

    Thanks “Last Hiker” for bringing this subject to our attention!!

    God bless!

  18. MJ says:

    thank you and AMEN!

  19. Sharing this on the A Cry For Justice facebook page.

  20. Ballerina says:

    Great post. God bless you!

  21. G. F. Mom says:

    WOW! I’m nearly in tears! Thank you!

  22. Pingback: On Deborah, and Jael, and Being a Strong Godly Woman

  23. Flora says:

    Thank you so very much for this. I was brought up in Scotland on stories about the two Margarets who chose to drown tied to stakes in the Solway Firth rather than deny their faith and Jenny Geddes who threw her stool at the minister when he said a Mass in St .Giles in Edinburgh. I commented to someone recently that these women would be condemned as ‘Feminists’ if they lived today.

  24. Jeri says:

    It was really a funny thing reading this blog when you posted it, as I am working on a booklet…”Let Your Women keep Silence.” I am almost 80 years old. I pastored a church for about 20 years with the help and support of my husband. We had a group of young people a lot of pastors would die for.I have not space to write here the wonderful things the Lord did during that time, but there were full time pastors, evangelists, missionaries,, a military chaplain, and church workers teachers, that came out of that congregation,which we started and oversaw, I believe when Paul said for the women to keep silent, he was correcting a discipline problem he was having with women who were disturbing the services, and they apparently were some married women, as he told them to ask their questions to their husbands at home. This was not a general rebuke, as it was not a blanket statement, as there would have been widows and unmarried, and could not apply to them. In 1st Corinthians where this is mentioned, he had in the previous chapter, given instructions that a woman was not to pray or prophesy ( in church) without a covering. That was acts that were not in line with the silence doctrine by the people that think the Church is a Mens Club, which clearly the Scriptures does not support, In the same reference written to Timothy , It was the Usurping the Authority to teach. What does it mean to Usurp? Take by force or in an unlawful manner. Again it is Paul solving problems. If not ….why did Paul commend Phobe to the people he was writing to?…..whom he referred to as the servant of the Church at Cencrea. The word translated here as servant was in other places interpreted as minister. Then…don’t forget that the apostle john directed one of his writings, his 2nd epistle to a lady pastor and her congregation. A lot more in my notes for my little booklet. ….Jeri

    \

  25. Karen says:

    Great post. I would add the part in Judges 5:7 where it says that “Warriors were scarce,they were scarce in Israel,until you arose, Deborah,until you arose as a motherly protector in Israel.”

    The men at that time were not stepping up and taking their role as leaders so God allowed a woman to become their leader and a woman to defeat and kill their enemy.

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  27. Hiker, found no email address for ya, so will just say it here: you GOOOOOO, wummun! We need a whole lot more folks like you in the Fold who will stand up for the Truth and not yield even a millimeter. Bless you for your courage and articulateness.

  28. Nice article. I named my first daughter Jael because I admired her so much. I also wrote a short story on Jael for a college class and later transformed it into a two act play.

    • suez62 says:

      IF I COULD PUT A THOUSAND AMEN’S HERE I WOULD! BUT, I CAN’T, SO AMEN SISTER, AMEN I’VE BEEN ASKING THE SAME THING LATELY. ALSO, WHERE ARE THE MEN OF GOD, AND WHEN WILL THEY RISE UP AND BE THE SPIRITUAL HEADS OF THE FAMILIES? I MYSELF DO NOT, NOR HAVE I FOR 41 YEARS IN THIS ARMY! MAY GOD START RISING THE MEN UP TO DO THEIR JOBS!!! AMEN AGAIN, AND AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I JUST HAD TO TYPE THIS IN CAPS, BECAUSE I AM SO UPSET ABOUT THIS VERY SUBJECT. THANK-YOU FOR SPEAKING OUT!!!!! MAY THE LORD BLESS YOU REAL GOOD!

    • cheri says:

      Amen a great posting and I agree with you Sue 62..the Godly Christian men should stand up and be strong in Christ and handle these things! But if they can’t or won’t then Godly Christian women should stand in Christ to protect our children our churches and our communities!

  29. contendingearnestly says:

    Amen! I just shared this on my fb page. I really needed this encouragement today, thank you!

  30. huldahsokay says:

    I am quite late to the party, however, I am grateful to find this blog post. It made me think of when Jesus said that the very rocks would cry out in praise to Him if the people on Palm Sunday were silent. By that I mean, if men won’t do what they are supposed to do or are silent–God will raise up women who, unlike some men, have actually practiced and acted upon their faith, are less fearful and able to do what is necessary. As society becomes more sexualized, and Christian men offer little resistance, they actually become more impotent in their faith and, by default, act less like Biblical men. It is a war that both society at large and the church at large are losing. Men should not be getting angry at women as usurpers–they should feel the conviction about their own shortcomings. God told Israel he would make them jealous by a people who were not His people–and He did. Men in the church–especially in leadership, would be better served if their petty jealously and unnecessary criticism towards women who were trying to fill the gap they abdicated, was replaced with repentance and a little help. Respect is earned and many women are earnestly looking for men that deserve their respect. When the right thing is being done by “Christian” men–women won’t have to do some things anymore.

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