Before I introduce Deborah & Jael, a little background on the book of Judges which occurred after the death of Joshua. The book tells the stories of the Judges, the inspired leaders who were sent to rescue Israel from its shortcomings. These leaders did amazing things, and two individuals in Judges stood out for me – Deborah and Jael.
Deborah was a prophetess sent to judge and rule for the people of Israel, she was the only female to have such an honor. Deborah was instructed to get Barak to summon 10k men and attack Jabin’s army. Barak was fearful to complete the task alone, so he asked Deborah if she would go with him, saying to her if she didn’t go with him he would not go.
So together they gathered the troops and attack Sisera and his army. Barak’s troop won. Following the battle God subdued Jabin, King of Canaan until they destroyed him before the Israelites. So after the victory the song of Deborah and Barak was written to rejoice in God’s victory over the Canaanites. The lyrics speak of the actions of both Deborah and Barak and included Jael.
Now Jael was the wife of a man named Heber, who was a Kenite. Jael is a heroic for the killing of Sisera, leader of King Jabin’s Canaanite army. Jabin was trying to conquer Israel (whose leadership was under Deborah), when Sisera and his army came against Israel.
During the battle Sisera left his decimated army to fight alone and fled on foot arriving at Heber’s property and sought refuge. That is when Jael welcomed him “Come, my lord come right in. Don’t be afraid.” Jael brought Sisera into her tent, placed a blanket on him, and gave him some milk. Jael was kind to him and after providing a meal to Sisera he wen to sleep and Jael took a tent peg and a mallet and placed on Sisera temple and hit the peg with the mallet, so hard through his temple that it went through the other side of his head, thus Sisera died. The honor of killing a captain of Jabin’s army went to a woman.
The victory song of Deborah and Barak, was written to rejoice in God’s victory over the Canaanites. The lyrics encourage the actions of Deborah and Barak, saying, “Wake up, wake up Deborah-Wake up, wake up, break out in song- Arise Barak-Take captive your captives, son of Abinoam.” (Judges 5:12) Jael’s role is also heralded: “Most blessed of women be Jael-the wife of Heber the Kenite, – most blessed of tent-dwelling women.”
The book of Judges main message is God will not allow sin to go unpunished. What Israel needed to know they were God’s people- He was their King and they had forsaken the covenant established at Mount Sinai. God had to disciple his people for disobeying his laws and following other gods, so the judges were brought in.
Have you forgotten the works God has done in your life? I know I did during my time of being homeless. I was more mad of the situation God had me in than being thankful God he had me. But despite my way of acting; God gave me a judge and corrected my path and now I sang a song of praise through Bible Journaling. I am still a WIP (Work in Progress) but I’m better than I use to be.
Disclaimer: The blog is my own personal interpretation of the reading of Judges. I am not a minister only a person who is learning the Bible and absorbing the word.