I’ve heard it said many times that Good is no respecter of persons. I have to admit I’m not really sure I know what that means, but I know I’ve sometimes wondered why God uses certain people. I think the truth of the matter is that God can use anyone and therefore, he uses anyone that is willing to obey him and doesn’t care who gets the credit.
Deborah is a perfect example of someone that God used that did not have the right qualifications for the job, but was willing to step in and do what God told her to. Deborah was a judge which means that she was equal to Moses in her capacity to decree punishment when the children of Israel broke God’s commandments. She was not a priest, but she was a prophetess which means that God spoke to her directly and revealed his will to her during the time that she was appointed to judge Israel.
And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kadesh-Naphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the LORD God of Israel commanded saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor…And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go. (Judges 4: 6-8)
Along with David and Samson, Barak is listed as one of the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 where it says of them:
Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. (Hebrews 11: 33-34)
Although it was Barak’s faith that got Israel the victory, it was Deborah’s authority that Barak relied on before he entered the battle. So why did Deborah do it? Why did she go with Barak and enable him to become the hero?
And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisea into the hand of a woman. (Judges 4:9)
Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, ended up killing the captain of the host of the Canaanite army by driving a tent peg through his temples while he was sleeping. Does it really matter who drove the tent peg through Sisera’s temples? In God’s eyes, no, he can use a man, a woman, or even a child to accomplish his will and in the case of Jael, he used the wife of one of Sisera’s allies to get the job done. But, I think it mattered to Deborah and even though God is not a respecter of persons, he does respect women and will respond to their petitions just as eagerly as he does the petitions of a man.