Never underestimate women! If you do, just read this chapter! It's all about the courage of women! Brave women! Amazing women!
Deborah was a judge, Yes, she had a job outside the home! Sounds like they even named the courthouse after her cause it says she judged there! I am assuming the Palm tree of Deborah WAS the courthouse,
A prophetess named Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, was judge of Israel at that time. Deborah would sit under the Palm Tree of Deborah, which was between the cities of Ramah and Bethel, in the mountains of Ephraim. And the people of Israel would come to her to settle their arguments. (Judges 4:4, 5 NCV)
Deborah was not only a judge, but also a prophetess . She judged people's arguments AND she talked to God, sought His wisdom! And one day she hears something very big!
Deborah sent a message to Barak son of Abinoam. Barak lived in the city of Kedesh, which is in the area of Naphtali. Deborah said to Barak, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go and gather ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them to Mount Tabor. I will make Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, and his chariots, and his army meet you at the Kishon River. I will hand Sisera over to you.’ ” (Judges 4:6, 7 NCV)
The Lord God COMMANDS YOU! Whoa...she is certain what is to be done! Barak is to fight Sisera!
But he's not so certain!
” Then Barak said to Deborah, “I will go if you will go with me, but if you won’t go with me, I won’t go.” (Judges 4:7, 8 NCV)
Is he a coward? Well...Sisera was certainly something to fear! They had 900 chariots and these were weapons of warfare, they were good protection AND they were great weapons! And Sisera was very cruel to the Israelites!
Because he had nine hundred iron chariots and was very cruel to the people of Israel for twenty years, they cried to the Lord for help. (Judges 4:3 NCV)
The Israelites were crying to God, and He heard! And Deborah heard from Him! But why didn't Barak hear from God? Maybe it's because he wasn't seeking God! He was scared and unsure...Doesn't sound like a man who is talking with God to me!
Oh Barak, this is kind of bad isn't it? You won't go unless Deborah goes with you ?
What does that say?
Deborah says it means SHE will get the credit!
“Of course I will go with you,” Deborah answered, “but you will not get credit for the victory. The Lord will let a woman defeat Sisera.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh. (Judges 4:9 NCV)
Defeating Sisera would be huge! It would go down in the history books!
And...it did, as we see!
Sisera gathered his nine hundred iron chariots and all the men with him, from Harosheth Haggoyim to the Kishon River.
Then Deborah said to Barak, “Get up! Today is the day the Lord will hand over Sisera. The Lord has already cleared the way for you.” So Barak led ten thousand men down Mount Tabor. (Judges 4:13, 14 NCV)
Apparently those big time iron chariots got stuck in the mud at the Kishon River where the battle was fought! (chapter 5:19-22)
And that helped Barak win the battle!
They killed every man, every man that is except one, Sisera himself!
He escaped and was on the run! He ran until his energy ran out...and he stops at someone's house that he believes will hide him.
She invites him in to rest at her home,
convinces him he will be safe there!
He bites the bait and goes in. He's exhausted and has to rest!
Barak and his men chased Sisera’s chariots and army to Harosheth Haggoyim. With their swords they killed all of Sisera’s men; not one of them was left alive.
But Sisera himself ran away to the tent where Jael lived. She was the wife of Heber, one of the Kenite family groups. Heber’s family was at peace with Jabin king of Hazor. Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Come into my tent, master! Come in. Don’t be afraid.” So Sisera went into Jael’s tent, and she covered him with a rug.
Sisera said to Jael, “I am thirsty. Please give me some water to drink.” So she opened a leather bag of milk and gave him a drink. Then she covered him up.
He said to her, “Go stand at the entrance to the tent. If anyone comes and asks you, ‘Is anyone here?’ say, ‘No.’ ” (Judges 4:16-20 NCV)
He believes she will lie for him, protect him. But she doesn't side with him, she sides with the Israelites.
What she did is almost unfathomable to me!
But Jael, the wife of Heber, took a tent peg and a hammer and quietly went to Sisera. Since he was very tired, he was in a deep sleep. She hammered the tent peg through the side of Sisera’s head and into the ground. And so Sisera died. (Judges 4:21 NCV)
Wow! Talk about courage! What if he'd awoke just as she was getting ready to smash the peg through his scull! A woman of courage!
Yes, this chapter shows the guts of women!
Both these women helped defeat a force not to be reckoned with, the mighty Sisera!
But they knew that God was the One not to be reckoned with! He would be the One to win this battle!
God uses women for many things, and I have to greatly admire the courage and the wits of Deborah and Jael!
And as for Barak, well he don't get the credit!
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