Day 23 Deborah – Judges 4:12-24

23 DeborahAnd Deborah said to Barak, “Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has given Sisera into your hand. Does not the Lord go out before you?”

And behold, as Barak was pursuing Sisera, Jael went out to meet him and said to him, “Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking.”

Deborah remains assured of God’s intention to overthrow His enemies by the hand of Barak and Israel’s army. “Get up and get going, Barak – God goes before you!”  And in fact the Canaanites are destroyed – all but their general Sisera.

Deborah has also prophesied that victory will be accredited to a woman. While some would suggest that woman would be Deborah herself I think it much more likely the woman who got the credit was Jael.

Jael and her family were in an awkward position. They had a distant relationship with Moses, being descendants of his father-in-law, and therefore Israel and they had traditionally lived around Canaanite country.  So when Israel and the Canaanites were living in a pressure cooker. Heber, Jael’s husband decided maybe his clan would put some distance between them and the rest of the people. In moving near to Kedesh they were more in a neutral zone.

So, the Canaanite General Sisera’s chariot gets bogged in the mud. He jumps out and runs from the battle. He ends up seeking refuge at Jael’s tent. 

There are lots of thoughts about the politics of him entering her tent and there are some who condemn Jael’s deception and act of murder. However I believe she was in her tent for “such a time as this”.  It must have taken a powerful and assured woman to carry out her plan.  Rather than condemning her Scriptures calls her “blessed among women”, a title only used once before referring to Mary, Jesus’ mother.

The actions of these two strong, confident women resulted in the destruction of God’s enemy and peace in the land for the next forty years.

All in a day’s work when you serve in God’s army.

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