Male and Female He Created Them – Genesis 1.27

We’re on the 13th message in our Marriage & Family Series, and the title of this morning’s sermon is, “Male and Female He Created Them.”

It’s no secret that marriage and the family is under attack in our country. One of the root issues is the blurring of the lines between men and women and
their roles and responsibilities. As your pastor:

· I want to make sure we’re biblical in our understanding of God’s plan for men and women.

· As the world continues to influence people contrary to God’s Word, I want to make sure we know what God’s Word says, and are obeying it, and can defend
it.

Let me ask you a question…

What is affected by the way we view men and women and their roles and responsibilities? It affects…

  • What our marriages looks like…
  • What our families look like…
  • How we raise our children…
  • What the church looks like…

So the point is the way we view men and women is very, very important!

I want to begin w/ a little vocabulary for our first lesson…

LESSON 1: COMPLEMENTARIANISM TEACHES EQUAL, BUT DISTINCT AND COMPLEMENTARY ROLES. EGALITARIANISMTEACHES EQUAL, BUT IDENTICAL ROLES.

There are primarily two ways to view men and women’s roles…

One view is known as complementarianism: it’s the idea that God has a separate and distinct plan for men and women and their roles and
responsibilities. This is the teaching that masculinity and femininity are ordained by God, and that men and women were created to complement and complete
each other.

Complementarians believe the gender roles found in the Bible are purposeful and meaningful, and when applied in the home and in the church, promote
spiritual, physical and emotional health. Complementarians believe embracing the divinely ordained roles for men and woman furthers the ministry of God’s
people and allows us to reach our God-given potential.

The alternative view is egalitarianism: it’s the idea that God does NOT have a separate and distinct plan for men and women. Egalitarians believe that
since we’re all one in Christ, men and women are interchangeable in our roles and responsibilities in the home and in the church.

The verse that egalitarians hang everything on is

Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Then you’ll hear something like, “See, there’s neither male or female. God sees men and women exactly the same.”

Since this is THEE verse used by egalitarians, it’s important to understand why it fails to defend their position. If you don’t understand why it fails, if
you hear egalitarians quote it you could be misled. So here’s what’s wrong w/ their understanding of this verse:

1. First, they take the verse out of context. The context is salvation: the verse is saying everyone – whether Jew, Gentile, slave, free, male or female –
is saved the same, and that’s by grace through faith. It’s not saying men and women are exactly the same in terms of their roles and responsibilities.

2. Second if the verse was saying men and women were identical in terms of their roles and responsibilities, that would contradict all the verses in the NT
– especially those we covered in Eph 5 and 1 Pet 3 – that discuss the different roles and responsibilities for men and women.

A third vocabulary word I want to mention is chauvinism…

Chauvinism
is the belief that one gender is superior to the other. When we think of chauvinism, we almost always think of male chauvinism, or the
belief that men are superior to women, but there’s also female chauvinism, or the belief that women are superior to men.

The reason I mention this is the most common criticism of complementarianism is that it’s chauvinistic. The problem w/ this criticism is:

· Just b/c you believe two people are different doesn’t mean you believe one is superior to the other.

· Just b/c you believe two people are different, doesn’t mean you believe they aren’t equal.

The primary problem is egalitarians believe a difference in roles and responsibilities means a difference in equality, importance or value…but that’s not
true. Although there are a number of ways to demonstrate this, here’s the simplest and most obvious…

We can look at the Triune nature of God, where there are different roles and responsibilities between each Person of the Trinity, and there is still
equality. As we’ve discussed before, there is even different authority and submission w/in the three Persons of the Godhead, and there’s still equality:

  • The Son and the Father have different roles…
  • The Son submits to the Father…
  • The Son sees the Father as His Head: 1 Cor 11:3 The head of Christ is God.

But we also know the Son and the Father are equal:

Tim Keller explains complementarianism like this: “men and women are equal, but they’re not equivalent.” What he means is men and women are equal
in terms of value and significance, but not identical in terms of roles and responsibilities.

Now just as a note, you might be wondering why I’m covering this now instead of earlier in our series and this is the reason…

If you want to prove the Bible teaches complementarianism you go to Eph 5 and 1 Pet 3 where husbands and wives’ roles are discussed. If I didn’t cover
those passages before this, I’d basically be referencing them so much while defending complementarianism it would be like I was teaching those passages.
But now that we’ve covered those verses, I believe it’s perfectly the Bible presents a complementarians view of men and women.

—-

To help understand complementarianism, let me ask you to think about the basic structure of leadership…

You won’t find any successful teams or businesses or organizations that don’t involve leaders:

  • In businesses there are CEOs.
  • In sports there are coaches.
  • In organizations there are presidents.

And as much as we recognize the need for a leader, or a head, we also recognize there can’t be two heads. You never see:

  • Two head coaches.
  • Two presidents.

· Two head pilots – would any of you feel comfortable flying on a plan if you thought there’d be two head pilots discussing what direction the plane should
go?

· Two head surgeons – would any of you want to be operated on if you thought there were two head surgeons discussing what to do w/ you?

So instead we always see:

  • A head coach and an assistant coach.
  • A president and a vice-president.
  • A pilot and a co-pilot.
  • A principal and an assistant principal.

We could talk about plenty of other businesses or organizations too, but for our purposes the two most important institutions are the family and the
church, b/c those are the institutions created by God to further His Kingdom and provide this world w/ peace and stability. The reason we don’t have more
peace and stability in the world is b/c of the attack these two are under.

Now in the church and in the family God has established leadership or headship. We know from our Marriage & Family Series that in the church Christ is
the head and in the family God has called husbands to be the head:

  • Eph 5:23
    The husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church.
  • 1 Cor 11:3
    The head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

So what you see is that w/ the exception of God the Father, nobody is w/o a head:

  • Women have men as their head.

· Men – including elders and leaders in the church – have Christ as our head.

· And Christ has God the Father as His head.

But here is what both amazes me and saddens me…

Even though we recognize the need for order, leadership, submission and authority in all the other areas of life that I mentioned – teams, businesses,
schools, organizations, you name it – some people struggle to recognize the need for the same in marriage and in the church. And the people who see things
this way are egalitarians. They believe in marriage and in the church there should be:

  • Two head coaches…
  • Two presidents…
  • Two head pilots…
  • Two principals.

James Fowler said,

“Egalitarian assertions are based on false premises. Identical responsibilities and identical authority produces the chaos of no one having final
authority or responsibility. The egalitarian ideas of socialistic communism are unworkable. Identity, value and worth are not found in our roles, but
in our relationships with God and the way He designed us.”

—-

I would like to share two verses w/ you, but before I do I want to ask you to please listen for the emphasis. The emphasis is not on God creating people: the emphasis is on God creating two different kinds of people…

  • Gen 1:27
    God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
  • Gen 5:2 He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created.

· Jesus repeated this:

o Matt 19:4 “He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female”

o Mark 10:6 “From the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’”

The emphasis is on God creating two different and distinct people, one male and one female, and the rest of the Bible goes on to show the separate and
distinct plans God has for each.

John MacArthur explained it like this:

“While these two people equally shared God’s image and together exercised dominion over creation, they were by divine design physically diverse in
order to accomplish God’s mandate.”

—-

Now, here’s what I’d like to ask you to consider, and this is very, very important…

· If God’s plan is for men and women to be different and distinct…

· If God’s plan is for men and women to have different roles and responsibilities…

  • What is the world going to say?
  • What is the devil going to try to tempt people to believe?

· We can be sure the world is going to tell people to blur the lines between men and women…

· We can be sure the devil is going to tempt people to believe there are no lines at all.

And in many people’s lives the world and the devil have done this very successfully…

· People who hold to an egalitarian view have allowed the world to blur the lines between men and women.

· People who hold to an egalitarian view have given in to the devil’s view of men and women.

· People who hold to an egalitarian view have rejected God’s design for men and women.

But this isn’t the real tragedy. I’ll tell you what the real tragedy is and this brings us to Lesson 2…

LESSON 2: THE REAL TRAGEDY IS THERE ARE SOME EGALITARIAN CHRISTIANS AND CHURCHES.

The real tragedy isn’t that some people in the world hold to an egalitarian view of men’s and women’s roles…

· We shouldn’t expect the world to agree w/ God’s Word…

· We should expect the world to teach contrary to God’s Word…

The real tragedy is there are some Christians and even some churches that are egalitarian.

Some Christians hold this view in marriage:

· They don’t believe men should be spiritual leaders in their homes.

· They don’t believe wives should submit to their husbands.

They basically reject everything we’ve covered in the previous sermons from Eph 5 and 1 Pet 3.

This is what egalitarianism looks like in marriage. Let me briefly discuss what it looks like in the church…

When you see churches that have female pastors and elders, you’re seeing egalitarianism:

· Paula White and Joyce Meyer are two examples of prominent female pastors. The truth is they’re not really pastors, b/c the Bible says only men can be
pastors.

· You see egalitarianism in churches where there are male pastors, but the pastors’ wives are introduced as pastors too.

—-

Let me briefly ask you to think of the pattern found throughout Scripture…

Male headship is a theme that is carried through almost every single book in the OT and then into the NT:

· The Patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – were men.

  • The 12 Tribes were named after 12 men.
  • The Kings – they were men

· The Priests – they were men. The only female priests you see in the OT were priestesses of pagan, evil religions. The reasons only men could be priests
are two-fold:

o First, priests were leaders, and God wanted men to lead.

o Second, priests were the teachers in the OT. In Lev 10:11, speaking to the priests, it says you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD has spoken. Since God wanted the priests to be the teachers, he
wouldn’t have females be priests in teaching positions over men.

· Moving into the NT the Twelve Apostles – they were men. Jesus could’ve chosen six men and six women, but He didn’t.

· The Seventy who were sent out after the 12 were sent out – they were men. Again, it could’ve been 35 men and 35 women.

· Elders and deacons are always spoken of as men. For example:

o 1 Tim 3:1

If a MAN desires the position of a bishop (or elder) HE desires a good work. 2 [He] must be…THE HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE…who rules HIS house
well, having HIS children in submission…5 (for if a MAN does not know how to rule HIS house, how will HE take care of the church?); 7 HE must have a good testimony…lest HE fall into reproach.

The clear pattern in Scripture is for men to lead. The clear pattern is for women not to be in authority over men. This agrees w/ Paul’s words in 1 Tim 2:12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man.

In Wayne Grudem’s book Evangelical Feminism & Biblical Truth he said,

“Think of the Bible as a whole, from Genesis to Revelation. Where is there one example in the entire Bible of a woman publicly teaching an assembled
group of God’s people? There is none.”

—-

Now by this point, you might have noticed I mentioned two-out-of-three of the primary offices in the OT: priests and kings. But there’s a third office I
haven’t mentioned and that’s prophets. And the reason I didn’t mention them is b/c women could be – and were – prophetesses. The reason for this is simple:
prophets and prophetesses were not offices of leadership. And this brings us to Lesson 3…

LESSON 3: THE BIBLE’S TEACHING ON WOMEN PROPHESYING DOESN’T CONTRADICT MEN LEADING, IT SUPPORTS MALE HEADSHIP.

Thomas Schreiner, the Professor of New Testament at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary explained it like this:

It is instructive to note in the Old Testament that some women were prophets, but never priests. It is the priests who had the established positions of
leadership in Israel. Prophecy is a different kind of gift from teaching, and when women functioned as prophets they did so with a demeanor and
attitude that supported male leadership. Women who had the gift of prophecy did not exercise it in a public forum as male prophets did. The reason for
this is that such a public exercise of authority would contradict male headship.”

I’d like to briefly give you two examples of the most prominent prophetesses in the OT and you can see how they didn’t conflict w/ male leadership…

The first is Moses’ sister Miriam…

Exo 15:20
Miriam the prophetess…took the timbrel in her hand and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.
It’s significant to notice she led the women in singing, as opposed to leading the women and the men. It says all the women went out after her, or they followed her, but no men are mentioned.

Another prominent prophetess was Huldah…

Josiah sent his messengers to consult w/ her in 2 Kin 22:14-20 after they found the Law. We don’t have time to look at the passage, but
let me simply say this about it: Huldah also didn’t publicly proclaim God’s Word. Rather, she explained it in private when Josiah sent the messengers to
her. She exercised her prophetic ministry in a way that did not obstruct male headship.

1 Cor 11
is the primary New Testament chapter about headship, and it happens to discusses women prophesying too. And even when it discusses women prophesying it
still does so in a way that supports male headship…please listen to this…

1 Cor 11:3

I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every
man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved…8 For man is not from woman, but
woman from man. 9 Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.

So what you have are verses about women prophesying, but they’re prophesying w/ men as their head. The point is the Biblical teaching on female prophets
does not contradict men leading; instead, it actually supports male headship in the church.

—-

Now at this point we’ve mentioned the patriarchs, the heads of the tribes, the kings, the priests, the apostles, elders…we’ve mentioned every position in
Scripture associated w/ leadership…except for one very prominent position that some of you have probably noticed I haven’t discussed…and that’s the
Judges!

These are the individuals that ruled the nation for almost 3.5 centuries after Joshua died and before the first king came on the scene. The Judges were
primarily military leaders, making them some of the strongest leaders in Scripture.

And there’s one Judge that almost looks like a thorn in the side of complementarianism and male headship…and that’s Deborah!

You can’t find an egalitarian or a Christian feminist who won’t mention Deborah. When you discuss male headship, they are going to tell you how Deborah was
a judge to support women leading. And here’s the thing…

Even though I completely disagree w/ their view of Scripture, I completely understand them mentioning Deborah. Seeing her as a Judge looks like it denies
complementarianism and male headship, and it looks like it’s at odds w/ God’s commands elsewhere in Scripture.

So what we’re going to is try to understand the situation that has caused so much confusion. Please turn to Judges 4…

We’re not going to read all the verses: I’m just going to draw your attention to the ones that bring out the points that are most important to our
discussion. Please look at Judges 4:4

4
Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time.

Let’s be honest w/ the text: Deborah was a prophetess and she was a judge. There’s no denying either.

But there are several reasons why Deborah’s situation is still in harmony w/ male headship…

First, w/ every judge there’s a verse specifically identifying the individual as called or empowered by God to judge:

  • Judges 3:9
    The
    Lord
    raised up a deliverer…Othniel.
  • Judges 3:15
    The
    Lord
    raised up a deliverer…Ehud.
  • Judges 6:14 The
    Lord
    turned to [Gideon] and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel…Have I not sent you?”
  • Judges 11:29 The Spirit of the
    Lord
    came upon Jephthah.
  • Judges 13:24-25 Samson…grew and the
    Lord
    blessed him. 25 And the Spirit of the
    Lord
    began to move upon him.

The point is there’s a verse saying each judge was raised up by the Lord, but in Deborah’s case there’s no verse like that. With her we simply read: Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time.

The emphasis in the verse is on her being female, but that’s not done as a good thing. Please listen to this: in Wayne Grudem’s book Evangelical Feminism & Biblical Truth he said,

“Judges 4:4 suggests some amazement at the unusual nature of the situation in which a woman actually has to judge Israel, because it piles up a string
of redundant words to emphasize that Deborah is a woman. Translating the Hebrew text literally, the verse says, ‘And Deborah, a woman, a prophetess,
the wife of Lappidoth, she was judging Israel at the time.’ Something is abnormal, something is wrong – there are no men to function as judge! This
impression is confirmed when we read of Barak’s timidity and the rebuke he receives as well as the loss of glory he could have received.”

—-

Earlier I quoted Thomas Schreiner who said, “

[Prophetesses] did not exercise their gift publicly like male prophets did. The reason is such a public exercise of authority would contradict male
headship.”

With that in mind please look at verse 5…

5

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.

When you see male prophets in the OT, their ministries were very public, but we see Deborah’s role as a prophetess limited to private and individual
instruction. She didn’t go out and publicly teach or proclaim the Word of the Lord. She sat under this tree where people came to her privately.

Even when Deborah speaks to Barak she seems to call for him and speak to him privately. Look at verse 6…

6
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; 7 and against you I will deploy Sisera

(this is the enemy commander) , the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude at the River Kishon; and I will deliver him into your hand’?”

There are a number of things to notice:

  • Notice the words Has not the Lord God of Israel commanded. Deborah was a prophetess, so it seems she
    received a word from the Lord that she was to pass along to Barak.

· Notice the words, Go and deploy the troops and the words take with you ten thousand men. Even though Deborah was the
judge she still told Barak to command the troops.

· Notice the words against you I will deploy Sisera. It was God’s plan that Sisera would attack Barak, and not Deborah.

· Notice the words I will deliver him into your hand (this is Barak). God wanted Barak to be the one to have the victory.

And please think about Deborah’s behavior…

Even though she was a judge, instead of asserting leadership herself, she affirmed the rightness of male leadership. Instead of taking charge:

· She looked to Barak to lead…

· She told him to lead…

· She even told him that’s what God wanted him to do.

She wouldn’t summon or command the troops, she told Barak that God wanted him to do that.

Now look at verse 8:

Then Barak said, “What have I been thinking? I am a man. Of course I should lead. That’s what God wants.” Then like a mighty man of valor, he took the
men under his command and went off to battle.

Unfortunately, that’s not what it says. He resisted. In my mind, this is very, very embarrassing…

8 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!”

This is sad. He actually said he wouldn’t go unless she would go w/ him. I think common sense tells us something about this isn’t right: you’ve got a man
telling a woman, “I won’t go to battle unless you go w/ me.” We know that’s wrong!

So this passage is really a reflection of Barak and his failure. The implication is Barak should NOT have insisted Deborah accompany him. There is an
implied criticism of Barak for acting like this.

Men are like this today when…

· They need their wives to tell them to take the family to church.

  • They need their wives to get them to lead.
  • You’ve got wives telling their husbands, “Hey, God wants you to lead!” just like Deborah told Barak, and you’ve got husbands resisting just
    like Barak resisted.

Now watch how Deborah responded to Barak’s reluctance. She actually rebuked him. Look at verse 9…

9
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
(the commander of the enemy army;) into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh.

When Deborah tells Barak a woman will defeat Sisera, she’s not referring to herself. She’s referring to a woman named Jael who lures Sisera into her tent
and kills him when he’s sleeping.

The most important thing to notice is b/c of Barak’s reluctance, Deborah rebuked him and told him he’d receive no glory. This is clearly presented as a
criticism of Barak for not leading.

10
And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; he went up with ten thousand men under his command, and Deborah went up with him.

Please notice something very important about this verse…

Even though Deborah was the judge, and even though she went w/ Barak – b/c it was the only way to get him to go – Barak called the men to battle and it
says they were under his command.

Despite Barak’s poor leadership, the Bible never speaks of the troops being under Deborah’s command. I mention that b/c sometimes you’ll hear people say, “Deborah led the nation of Israel into battle!” But that’s not what happened.

I read an article called, “The Valuable Ministries of Women in the Context of Male Leadership” and it made an interesting observation about
Deborah. It said, “Deborah is the only judge in the book of Judges who has no military function.” That’s very, very significant, considering the
primary responsibility of judges was militaristic; every judge was a military leader…except Deborah.

Now please skip to verse 14…

14

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.

Again, let’s consider what we see Deborah doing and what we don’t see her doing:

· Again, we see her encouraging Barak to lead.

· And again, you don’t see her taking control of the situation; basically, you don’t see her take Barak’s place.

—-

This is also a fantastic example of the difference between a strong, godly wife who encourages her husband, and a controlling wife who takes control of the
situation herself! What Deborah does throughout this passage can really serve as a wonderful illustration for wives:

· Encourage your husband to lead.

· But don’t take over when he doesn’t.

And watch what God does as a result…

15

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. 16 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.

In verse 15 notice the words before Barak, and in verse 16 notice the words Barak pursued. Again, you see the command of
the army under Barak, and you see God blessing his command and providing victory.

After Judges 4 and 5, Deborah is never mentioned again, but in the subsequent passages that discuss the Judges, Barak is mentioned:

  • In 1 Sam 12:11 Samuel told the people, The Lord sent Gideon, Barak, Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side.”
  • Heb 11:32
    What
    more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah.”

Why wouldn’t Deborah be mentioned but Barak is mentioned? It would seem God wants to keep the focus on Barak leading w/o emphasizing Deborah leading.

—-

So at this point things are looking pretty good for Barak. He’s winning the battle and other places after Judges even mention him positively. But Deborah
told him if he expected her to go w/ him he wouldn’t get the glory: a woman end up killing Sisera the commander of the army instead. And that’s what
happens in verses 17 to 21.

Now look at verse 22…

22 And then, as Barak pursued Sisera
(I’m sure Barak was hoping to be the one to defeat him), Jael (this is the woman who killed Sisera)

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.

So Barak got the victory…sort of.

Picture him pursuing Sisera, hoping to overtake him…and Jael comes out and says, “Hey, the guy you’re looking for? I’ve got him in here. I already killed him!” This would’ve been a pretty strong reminder of his compromise.

My suspicion is when this happened he said, “I really wish I would’ve done things differently.”

—-

The truth is this…

Everything about the story from beginning to end presents Barak’s failure to lead very negatively, and this brings us to Lesson 4…

LESSON 4: DEBORAH’S JUDGESHIP IS A REBUKE AGAINST THE ABSENCE OF MALE LEADERSHIP.

The Bible views Deborah’s judgeship as a rebuke against the nation. Deborah shouldn’t be used as an example to support female headship…everything about her
story points to male headship and stands as a rebuke to the absence of it. If anything, Deborah’s story strongly argues for men to lead.

Later, during another particularly dark period of Israel’s history when Isaiah was a prophet, he asserted that women ruling were a sign of God’s judgment.
In Isa 3:12 he said, As for My people, children are their oppressors,


And women rule over them.”

Isa 3 presents the nation as being in bad shape when the women are leading, and similarly Judges 4 is just a picture of the terrible spiritual condition of
the nation when a woman had to lead.

The difficulty from the story comes from taking something descriptive and making it prescriptive: it’s describing something bad that happened, but people
prescribe it as though it’s something that should happen:

· It’s a rebuke against the nation that Deborah had to lead.

· But people take this situation and act like women leading is what should happen.

· Just b/c Barak compromises it doesn’t mean other men should compromise.

The obvious question is, “How do we know when something is described or prescribed?” The answer is really pretty simple: context. We look at other
places in Scripture to see if they argue for or against what we’re reading. And does the rest of Scripture argue for or against women leading men?

Also, don’t just consider the context of the entire Bible, but consider the context of the book itself. The period of the Judges was the spiritually
darkest period in Israel’s history:

  • Four times the Book of Judges says: In those days there was no king in Israel, referring to the people not recognizing God as their
    king.

· Two times – including the last verse of Judges, which serves as a summary of the book – it says Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Judges is THEE book about what it looks like when people aren’t following God, but are instead doing what they think is right.

It isn’t too much to say Judges is largely set up as a book NOT to imitate. You almost look at Judges to see what NOT to do. It’s basically about a
breakdown of leadership among the people of God:

  • The people wouldn’t recognize God as king.
  • The priests weren’t teaching.

· God didn’t want His people perishing, so He raised up Judges b/c there were no good leaders, and at one point there was a female judge b/c there wasn’t
one single good man to do it!

But if you want to make anything prescriptive, I would say make Deborah prescriptive. Think about what she did…

  • She encouraged Barak to lead…
  • She told Barak that’s what God wanted…
  • She warned Barak when he wouldn’t lead…

And I would say think about what she didn’t do: even though she was the judge, she never took control of the situation herself.

Deborah is a wonderful, godly woman and:

  • Her story should motivate women to do what she did.

· Her story should motivate men to take the leadership role God has called them to take.

So the next time an egalitarian uses Deborah as an example, please be sure to share all this!

Now let me conclude w/ this lesson…

LESSON 5: GOD’S DESIGN IS ALWAYS BEST.

Let me ask you to think about something…

One hundred years ago:

· Do you think you would’ve seen churches embracing homosexuality?

· Do you think you would’ve seen churches w/ female pastors?

· Do you think you would’ve seen churches teaching that men and women have identical roles and responsibilities?

This is a prominent issue in our world, and unfortunately it’s a prominent issue in the church. That’s why this is so important!

Please listen to this wonderful quote from David Guzik:

“In our day, many say there is no real difference between men and women. This makes sense if we are the result of mindless evolution, but the Bible
says male and female He created them. To God, the differences between men and women are not accidents. Since He created them, the
differences are good and meaningful. One of the saddest signs of our culture’s depravity is the amount and the degree of gender confusion today. It is
vain to wonder if men or women are superior to the other. A man is absolutely superior at being a man. A woman is absolutely superior at being a woman.
But when a man tries to be a woman or a woman tries to be a man, you have something inferior.”

If there’s only one thing I’d like to invite you to take away from this sermon, it’s that God’s design is ALWAYS best.

Please remember that in the midst of a world that:

· Constantly questions God’s design…

· That continually threatens what God’s Word says…

· Stand up for what God has created and embrace the roles and responsibilities God has given each of us.

· Live out God’s call for men and women and don’t let the world influence you.

· Teach these roles and responsibilities to your children.

· Young people here, grow up pursuing God’s roles and responsibilities for each of you.

· Decide you want to obey God’s Word which is very clear: “male and female He created them.”

LET’S REVIEW THESE LESSONS:

LESSON 1: COMPLEMENTARIANISM TEACHES EQUAL, BUT DISTINCT AND COMPLEMENTARY ROLES. EGALITARIANISMTEACHES EQUAL, BUT IDENTICAL ROLES.

LESSON 2: THE REAL TRAGEDY IS THERE ARE SOME EGALITARIAN CHRISTIANS AND CHURCHES.

LESSON 3: THE BIBLE’S TEACHING ON WOMEN PROPHESYING DOESN’T CONTRADICT MEN LEADING, IT SUPPORTS MALE HEADSHIP.

LESSON 4: DEBORAH’S JUDGESHIP IS A REBUKE AGAINST THE ABSENCE OF MALE LEADERSHIP.

LESSON 5: GOD’S DESIGN IS ALWAYS BEST.

Author: Scott LaPierre