Deborah vs. Jezebel
Women, Women of Influence
Both Deborah and Jezebel were women. Both, were women of influence. Deborah was a woman who worshiped God. Jezebel was a woman who worshipped Baal. Deborah’s influence, was godly. She was considered wise, she judged over disputes, and brought peace among her people. Jezebel was harsh and manipulative, she was divisive, and sewed discord and chaos among her people.
Wives and Mothers
We know with certainty that Jezebel was both married and a mother. Deborah, we can assume was at least married (as she is called wife of Lapidoth) and possibly a mother as well (culturally, that would make sense but she is called “mother of the sons of Israel). Either way, both women had a responsibility to their household that would outweigh any of their own calling (Deborah) or ambitions (Jezebel).
Scripture wise, we already discussed the requirements to be a godly leader. Which means that we know for Deborah to have been risen up as a leader over Israel, she too had to fulfill those requirements. Deborah would have been a woman above reproach, who took care of her home (husband, children) well. She would have been submissive to God, led by His will over her own.
Jezebel, however, didn’t meet these leadership requirements. Jezebel was disrespectful of her husband, she was audacious and outspoken. She had ambitions that outweighed morals. (Please note that one can be a godly women with ambitions, being ambitious in and of itself is not wrong… it’s the heart behind the ambition that is key). She was vain and more concerned about herself than others.
Prophetess and Prophet Killer
Deborah was a Prophetess, meaning that the Lord had gifted her with prophecy and she used her gift to deliver God’s word to His people who would listen. Jezebel, she was a Prophet killer. She didn’t deliver God’s word but instead attempted to silence it by killing off those who did. Deborah had awe and reverence for God, where Jezebel had contempt.
Leader, Anointed & Usurped
Deborah was a leader of the sons of Israel, those who were still listening to the Word of God. Deborah was placed into this position by God, and moved in accordance to his directions. Jezebel, was a woman who married into Israel via Ahab… a man who was doing evil in God’s sight (and in fact considered the most evil). A corrupted husband, married a corrupting wife. Deborah was anointed by God, Jezebel was chosen by Ahab. Deborah was called to lead, Jezebel controlled and manipulated into leadership. Deborah led from a position that was given to her, Jezebel led from a position that she took.
Deborah lived a life of honor, among her people. Jezebel instilled an environment of fear. Deborah lived a long life of peace. Jezebel did not, and ultimately fell to her death pushed by her own servants. Deborah was honored. Jezebel was consumed by the dogs to the point she was unrecognizable. Deborah is spoke of today in high regard, Jezebel as a warning and in dishonor.