Deborah was a great example of leadership in the Bible! It inspired the people to fight and overcome their enemies and helped bring 40 years of peace over Israel. The Israelites respected Deborah as a leader ( Judges 4: 4-5 ).
Deborah’s life teaches us three very important things about good leadership:
1. True authority comes from God
The Bible does not say that Deborah was wealthy or an influential family. It did not become a leader by force or by statute. She became a leader because she was wise and heard the voice of God. Deborah received her authority from God.
True leadership does not come from physical strength or intimidation. The good leader receives wisdom from God to lead. The leader seeks to know and obey God’s will and motivates others to do the same. Deborah inspired the Israelites to turn to God ( Judges 5: 7-9 ). Because of Deborah, the Israelites obeyed God’s orders and had a great victory!
See here the story of Deborah in the Bible.
2. A leader knows how to delegate
Débora knew her limitations and did not try to do everything herself. She was not a warrior, so God sent her to call Barak to lead the war against Jabin’s army. Deborah did not feel threatened by Barak. On the contrary, it motivated him to do his best ( Judges 4:14 ).
A good leader does not try to be the best at everything, preventing others from exercising their gifts. True leadership is recognizing the talents of each person on the team and motivating them to do a good job, delegating responsibilities wisely. The leader does not feel threatened by the talents of others because he knows that leadership does not “command”, it is not a question of power. To lead is to serve.
See also: What does the Bible teach about leadership?
3. You need to lead by example
When Barak heard that he should go to war, he demanded that Deborah go with him ( Judges 4: 8-10 ). The Bible does not say that Deborah was a warrior. She didn’t have to go to kill people. She needed to go to inspire confidence in the Israelites. If Deborah did not have the courage to fight the enemies, the Israelis would not have the courage either.
Leading is not just giving orders. We need to set an example. Deborah did not just say that God would help the Israelites to win. She showed with her actions that she believed, risking her life. Nobody likes to follow a hypocrite. The good leader lives what he preaches.