Today is 5/5/2022 and Today our Lesson comes from the Book of Judges – Chapter 4:1-24.
Here is Our Story.
She sat under the Palm tree in Ephraim and daily advised and prayed for and with the Israelites. For once again, Israel was under slavery and oppression!
You see the Israelite’s had a tendency to forget God and to neglect His commandments once their leader/deliver had passed away.
Joshua had long since been buried, and the Lord raised up Caleb’s younger brother/son-in-law, Othniel as judge in Israel. He delivered Israel out of the hands of the King of Mesopotamia, Chushan-rishathaim.
After Othniel, the Israelites experienced peace and rest for 40 years, until they once again turned their backs on God.
The Lord’s anger was kindled, once more against Israel, but in his mercy, having heard his children’s prayers and cries, He raised up a left-handed deliverer/judge named, Ehud from the tribe of Benjamin.
During Ehud’s time as Judge, The Israelite’s had experienced 80 years of peace and rest from the Moabites, until Israel forgot the Lord their God and resumed worshipping the false gods of their pagan neighbors.
This is where we meet God’s ‘faith-full’ daughter, Deborah, an Ephraimite, and a wife of Lappidoth.
In Chapter 4 and verse 4, we also learn that Deborah was also a ‘prophetess.’
You say….What is a prophetess??
Well, this means that Deborah served as God’s mouthpiece to and for Israel, possessing the power and inspiration of the Spirit of the Lord to judge and govern Israel with Wisdom and Justice!
I can imagine, that Deborah spent much time praying for Israel and communing with God underneath that palm tree, as she waited patiently, in her judges ‘office’ to hear her next case.
In Judges 2:18 – Scripture tells us:
- When the Lord raised them up judges, then He was with the judge and delivered them out of the hands of their enemies all the days of the judge; (Judges 2:18)
In total, the Israelite’s were governed by judges for more than 300 years, and the history and transactions of these Judges is recorded here in this Book.
Now Deborah was Israel’s current judge.
And Israel’s current enemy was Jabin, The King of the Canaanites and His General, Sisera and his 900 chariots of iron!!
Now the Spirit of The Lord impressed it upon Deborah to send for Israel’s General, Barak with these words:
- Has not the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded [you], Go, gather your men at Mount Tabor, taking 10,000 men from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun? And I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin“s army, to meet you at the river Kishon with his chariots and his multitude, and I will deliver him into your hand? And (Judges 4:6)
And here is Barack’s Response!!
- 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 (Judges 4:8)
Now Deborah expressed no reluctancy in partnering and accompanying Barak to Mount Tabor, but she gave him this advanced warning:
- And she said, I will surely go with you; nevertheless, the trip you take will not be for your glory, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. (Judges 4:9)
Now Deborah was not referring to herself here; she was actually referring to another woman, who we will soon meet named, Jael. The wife of Heber.
Now why is this significant?
Well, there was peace between the house of Heber, the Kenite, and the house of Jabin, King of Hazor.
In verse 4:12, we learn that it was ‘told’ Sisera, that Barak had gone up to Mount Tabor with 10,000 footman from the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali.
Well…Who was the ‘snitch?’
It was Heber who had revealed Barak’s location, befriending and winning the favor of Sisera.
But don’t worry…Now we get to see how the Lord will use this evil deed for Israel’s good!!
As the story proceeds, we learn that Barak and his foot soldiers overtake and conquer Sisera’s 900 chariots. The Canaanite armies all fell by the sword- as predicted by the prophetess, Deborah!!
But here is the best part, in a panic, Sisera escapes from the battle on foot, and guess who is awaiting his arrival?
Why it’s Jael, Heber’s wife, standing outside of her tent!!
She welcomes Sisera into her tent, kindly receiving him, as he retreats from the battlefront.
He asks Jael for water; however being an excellent hostess, she gives him an upgrade- offering him milk instead!
Now he believes that he is safe and secure from Barak and the Israelites. And having let his guard down, he falls asleep, and he is in fact sleeping quite soundly….when as predicted once again by our ever- ‘faith-full’ prophetess, Deborah:
- Jael, Heber“s wife, took a tent pin and a hammer in her hand and went softly to him and drove the pin through his temple and into the ground; for he was in a deep sleep from weariness. So he died. And behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him and said to him, Come, and I will show you the man you seek. And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the tent pin was in his temples (Judges 4:21-22)
So now we see the confirmation of Deborah’s warning and her prediction to Barak; that the Lord would sell Sisera into the hands of a woman, because of his hesitation and reluctance to faithfully act upon the Promises of God!!
This is an empowering story for women, because we oftentimes hear the heroic tales of men in the bible, and we read how God’s ‘man’ was used to save the nation of Israel…but here, we see that God can indeed use a ‘faith-full’ woman, like Deborah for the glory of His Kingdom and it is marvelous in our eyes!!
Thanks For Stopping By Today!!
Until Next Time,
God Loves You and So Do I!!