“When leaders lead in Israel, when the people willingly offer themselves,
Bless the Lord!” (Judges 5:2)
The greatest woman leader Israel ever had was Deborah. She was a wife, and judged Israel from under a palm tree (Judges 4:4). Pretty sedate. But when her moment came, she seized it. She reminds me of Golda Meir, once the “iron lady” prime minister of Israel. In the Six Day War of 1967, the combined forces of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan launched an all out attack to annihilate Israel. But before they could invade, Israeli air force struck. Flying low to avoid radar detection, they destroyed two thirds of Egypt’s air force on the ground before turning their attention to Syria. There they overcame superior forces to take the Golan Heights before driving out the Jordanian army from East Jerusalem and the West Bank. It was a total victory. David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, once called Golda Meir the “best man in the government”.
Well, Deborah was Israel’s ancient “iron lady”. In the days when the Canaanite armies were oppressing the land, no man rose up to fight them. Until Deborah came along. It was she who planted a well-aimed kick on Barak’s butt to stir him into action. “Go and deploy troops,” she ordered. Barak’s gutless riposte showed who wore the trousers in the land. “If you will go with me,” he said, “then I will go. But if you will not go then I will not go!” (Judges 4:8). If it were today, social media would have viralized this pathetic response instantly, and a few million negative tweets would have shamed the man.
After Barak had gathered a fighting force, it was Deborah who launched the attack with these words: “Up! For this is the day the Lord has delivered… (the enemy) into your hands! Has not the Lord gone before you?” (Judges 4:14). Deborah initiated, spurred, and strategized Israel to fight the enemy. Once victory was achieved, it was she who led Israel in a song of praise to God, “The Song of Deborah” (Judges 5). Without the leadership of this Jewish “Mu Lan”, Israel would have floundered. But she stepped up. And God was glorified. Who says women can’t lead men?
要说以色列最杰出的女性领袖，那就非底波拉莫属了。圣经记载她是一名人妻，在棕树下审理以色列人的事情（士师记4：4）。日子过得十分平静。然而，当时势需要到她的时候，她就紧紧地把时机抓住了。她让我想起了曾经有‘铁娘子’之称的以色列女首相 – 果尔达·梅厄 (Golda Meir)。在1967年的六日战争时，埃及、叙利亚和约旦联合武力，发动了要彻底迁灭以色列的全力攻击。但在他们还未入侵之前，以色列空军先发制人。以低空飞行战略，躲开了雷达的侦察，先剿灭了三分之二还在地面未克起飞的埃及空军，紧接着再转向攻击叙利亚。在那里他们打下了比他们更具优势的敌军，拿下了戈兰高地，而后再把约旦军队从耶路撒东部及西岸驱逐出去。这是一场完全的胜利。戴维·本·古里安 (David Ben Gurion), 以色列的第一位首相，曾称果尔达。梅厄为“政府最佳之领导”。
那底波拉就是以色列古代的“铁娘子”。那时，迦南军队入侵犯境，实行欺压，竟然没有男将兴起对抗他们，直到底波拉出现。她有力地推了巴拉一把，催促他立马行动。“去，部署你的军队”，她命令到。身为男人，巴拉接着那无胆的回应, 让人感叹女人竟然比男人更男子汉，更大丈夫！巴拉说：你若同我去，我就去; 你若不同我去，我就不去(士师记4：8)。若这发生在现代，想必遭社交媒体疯传他的懦弱回应，伴随着几千万条推特负评来羞辱他。
当巴拉聚集了武装部队后，终究还是底波拉发起了攻击口号：“你起来，今日就是耶和华将敌人交在你手的日子。耶和华岂不在你前头行么？” (士师记4：14)。底波拉领头发起，制定策略，激励并带领以色列攻打敌人。凯旋而归时，是她带领以色列颂赞上帝，就是有名的 “底波拉之歌” (士师记5)。若没有了这好比犹太“花木兰”的带领，以色列很可能在那时侯就沦陷了。她竟责无旁贷，挺身而出。上帝因而得荣耀。谁说女性不能带领男性？
Philip Lyn 医生牧师