Today's Favorite Verse: Judges 4:4-5, 9
And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.
And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.
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 Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh."
I did a little research to understand how Deborah was called a prophetess. From this chapter I figured she was some type of judge, because people came to her for judgment. I then read this in the March 2014 Ensign article "Faith and Fortitude Women of the Old Testament".
We read in Judges 2:7 that “the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua.” However, the Israelites then began to forget the Lord, and the next 200 years were characterized by periods of apostasy and repentance. During this time, individuals known as judges, chosen either by the Lord or by the people, served to deliver the Israelites from their ever-present enemies.
Deborah was one of these judges, the only woman recorded in scripture to serve in this capacity. She was a prophetess, judge, and deliverer. In her role as prophetess, Deborah did not hold the priesthood or possess ecclesiastical keys but enjoyed the gift of prophecy in a more general sense (see Revelation 19:10).
Deborah and the Israelite captain Barak delivered Israel from the Canaanites and then sang a song of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord (see Judges 4–5). Deborah’s courage and faith inspired the Israelites so that they enjoyed a 40-year period of peace."
So it appears that during a period of apostasy the people chose Deborah for their judge. She obviously was a righteous woman. She prophesized that a women, later identified as Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite, would be the one to kill Sisera. I pondered on how during periods of apostasy it may not mean everyone has apostatized. With her being selected it reminded me of how in the Book of Mormon I have examples of righteous, faithful men chosen to lead the people. Even thought the people were in apostasy they selected Mormon to be a chief captain at the tender age of 16.
I knew there was a scripture in the Book of Mormon that mentioned that they chose their chief captains because they were righteous men. I couldn't find it, but I did find this in Jarom 1:7
"And it came to pass that they came many times against us, the Nephites, to battle. But our kings and our leaders were mighty men in the faith of the Lord; and they taught the people the ways of the Lord; wherefore, we withstood the Lamanites and swept them away out of our lands, and began to fortify our cities, or whatsoever place of our inheritance."
I find it rather interesting that during periods of apostasy people will still strive to have righteous people be their leaders. Doesn't mean it always happen, but people still look for them. In this case the people selected Deborah. I'm sure they could see in her great wisdom to judge them, even if they didn't recognize where the source of that wisdom came from.