Editors’ note: 

This episode of The Gospel Coalition podcast is brought to you by Crossway, publisher of Lead: 12 Gospel Principles for Leadership in the Church by bestselling author Paul David Tripp. Drawing from decades of ministry experience, Tripp offers 12 gospel principles to help churches battle the issue lurking behind every pastoral failure—a lack of a strong leadership community. Sign up for a free Crossway+ account by Thursday, October 15, and enjoy 40 percent off this book at crossway.org/PaulTripp.

Kathleen Nielson delivered a breakout message at The Gospel Coalition’s 2019 National Conference titled “Judging Deborah: Letting the Narrative and Poetry Speak.” In her message, she laid out six basic questions to ask when studying Old Testament narrative, using Judges 4–5 as an example text. Since narrative and poetic texts can be easily misunderstood, we should relish Deborah’s story and allow her to speak from the text. Nielson pointed out that, like all other Scripture, the story is meant to point others to the greatness of the Lord, through both Deborah’s story and also her song. The six questions offer a framework for understanding a narrative text and mining it for every ounce of God-glorifying truth that may be uncovered.