Daughters of God (Part 2)
Deborah and Jael
Last week we began a study about a woman’s role and how God feels about women. This week we will learn about two women recorded in the Bible that God used greatly to deliver and to lead His people. We must not get it in our minds that God only uses the male gender to do His work. God made both male and female and He has a job and a role for each. Each are just as important to God and each are necessary to fulfill God’s plan. I hope that you will be blessed an encouraged as we study the lives of these two women and that you will understand that the job that God has given you to do is of utmost importance no matter what it may be. We must learn to trust and obey and God will take care of everything else! God Bless you, I love you all.
Handout: Daughters of God
1And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, when Ehud was dead. 2And the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose host was Sisera, which dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles. 3And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel. 4And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.5And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.
6And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the LORD God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun? 7And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand.
8And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go. 9And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.
In the Judges 3 at the end of the chapter we see that the nation of Israel was in a time of peace for 80 years due to the faith of a man named Ehud. However, in the beginning of this chapter we learn that Israel began to sin and to do evil in the sight of the Lord. When people sin it is not only in the sight of The LORD but it also against the LORD. Because of Israel’s sin, the Bible says God sold them into the hands of Jabin the King of Canaan who greatly oppressed them. After twenty years of these horrible circumstances the Israel finally turned back and cried out to The LORD their God. Sometimes we can come down hard on these people when we read, but many times we are just the same. We must be very careful in times of peace on the mountain of God that we do not get lazy and turn to the things of this flesh instead of remaining in the things of our Father.
God heard their cries, isn’t He so wonderful? Yes! He is. Wise leaders are rare today and have been rare throughout history, but God always has someone that will obey Him and do the work He has called them to do. The Bible records only few women in national leadership positions, but a woman whom God had called to be a prophetess was chosen for this job. Remember, God can use anyone He chooses, we must not let prejudices get in the way of those God may have chosen to lead us.
Deborah is the only judge in Judges who did not serve as a military leader. She was instructed by God to summon Barak to lead an army into battle against Sisera. Deborah knew what God had called her to do, and she stayed in that role. She was obedient and she respected the role that God had placed her in. I believe she lived in submission and respect for her husband and all those that God had placed in leadership over her as well. I believe this because of the respect she showed to Barak by privately rebuking Barak when he was unwilling to go into battle without her. She told him because of his reluctance, the LORD would sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. We will see later that woman was Jael. Barak’s reluctance also shows what respect and confidence that he had in Deborah. She was a woman of excellence and of valor. I don’t think Barak was a coward, I think his faith was wavering. I believe that Deborah was such a great leader that he wanted her there to ensure that they would win! He should most definitely have just trusted God, but it shows the great character of Deborah.
Dear brothers and sisters, if we will only behave ourselves wisely in the LORD in all things and live our lives in integrity, others around will notice and we can be great soldiers and prayer warriors for God. We can be mighty men and women of Valor! I want that…to be a mighty woman of valor for my Father who has done everything for me. To stand mighty in battle against evil in obedience, in the face of fear, of danger, of criticism, of rejection, and in the face of opposition, I want to stand firm on the promises of God through the Holy Spirit and be in the role that God has called me to be in. We can do that through Christ brothers and sisters, we can do all things through Christ who is our strength! We are empowered through the Holy Spirit to be MORE THAN conquerors!
I’m sure Deborah faced those same things, even more so in her time than she would now maybe, but she did not let that stop her and God had called her to be in that position and when God says something it will come to pass. I believe Deborah took it one day at a time, one minute at a time obeying God and doing the right thing even when no one was watching because she knew God could see. She understood that an obedient servant of God and a great leader was an encourager to people when they were down, and also was not afraid to lovingly and firmly rebuke those who were doing wrong against God. I believe she understood that all her strength came from God alone and that a great leader must have true concern for people and not just being successful. I also believe she understood that in order to be a great leader one must first learn how to be a good servant. Are you living a live of excellence? Are you walking in integrity? You can!
Let’s go back to the scriptures and see what happened after Deborah has agreed to go with Barak but warned him that Israel would be delivered by the hand of a woman because of his reluctance to trust God.
Judges 4: 10-17 “And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; and he went up with ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went up with him. 11Now Heber the Kenite, which was of the children of Hobab the father in law of Moses, had severed himself from the Kenites, and pitched his tent unto the plain of Zaanaim, which is by Kedesh.
12And they shewed Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to mount Tabor. 13And Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people that were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles unto the river of Kishon. 14And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which the LORD hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the LORD gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him.
15And the LORD discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot, and fled away on his feet. 16But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, unto Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword; and there was not a man left. 17Howbeit Sisera fled away on his feet to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite: for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite.”
If this were a play or movie this would end the scene just as we are introduced to Jael. Who was Jael? The Bible says she was the wife of Heber. Heber was from the Kenite tribe, an ally of Israel. For some reason Heber had chosen to side with Jabin, perhaps because Jabin’s army was vast and appeared to have a military advantage. Some believe that it was probably Heber who told Sisera where the children of Israel were camped. Heber may have sided with Jabin against God, but Jael his wife had not! She was a mighty woman of valor that had been chosen by God to be the deliverer of Israel from this wicked King! Yes, she was a woman. Let’s read on to see how this came about.
18And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And when he had turned in unto her into the tent, she covered him with a mantle. 19And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him. 20Again he said unto her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man doth come and enquire of thee, and say, Is there any man here? that thou shalt say, No.
21Then Jael Heber's wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died. 22And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will shew thee the man whom thou seekest. And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail was in his temples. 23So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel. 24And the hand of the children of Israel prospered, and prevailed against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.
I’m sure Sisera was thrilled and relieved when Jael offered her tent as a hiding place for him. He had no idea that he was about to breathe his last. His days of fighting against God and God’s people had caught up with him. Isn’t that just like people who are in sin. They don’t understand that yes there is pleasure in sin but it is only for a little while and sooner or later it will catch up. The Bible teaches in Galatians that whatever we sow, we will reap.
Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
Sisera had totally underestimated this woman. He thought he was safe. He asked her for a drink, and she gave him milk and he went to sleep. There are some who would say that it is horrible that she drove a peg through his head, but let me tell you something, God had called her to be the deliverer of Israel from this man and she was being obedient. Don’t think that the devil will be nice to you if you are nice to him. The devil does not play nice. He will kick you while you are down and laugh about it. If you can get a jab at him by all means TAKE IT! This is what Jael did. She saw her opportunity and she took it. Does this mean that it is ok for us to go around killing everyone who is evil…NO! These people were in a time of war, and unfortunately in times of war it’s kill or be killed. This man was the enemy and he was against God and in a time of war against God’s people, he was defeated. Praise God that one of these days, there will be no more wars!
Deborah had warned Barak that Israel would be delivered by the hand of a woman and it had come to pass. I believe that Barak began to see and started praying for his faith to be increased. He did not hold a grudge about it, he knew that it was because of his lack of faith. In the next chapter we see that he was happy to be delivered and he and Deborah sang praises to God for it! They knew that God had brought them out of the hand of their enemies once again! God was, is, and will ALWAYS be FAITHFUL!
Dear child of God, be you male or female, know that God has a place for you. God had called Deborah out to be a leader and a judge and He used her greatly, but God called Jael to be a keeper of her home, in the tents of her husband, but still God used her greatly. Wherever God has placed you, in that of a leadership role, or in that of a following role, rejoice in it and live in obedience and know that the Lord Your God loves you and whatever He has called you to do, He will bring it to pass if you trust Him and Obey Him! Behave yourself wisely in all things unto the Lord and He will life you up so that His name will be glorified! Thank You FATHER!
Dear Righteous Father…
There is, and never will be anyone like YOU! You are greatest of all and I love You. Thank You for loving me and keeping me in Your grace and mercy. I thank You that Your mercies are new every single morning for me! Thank You for all the things You have done and still do for me. Father I ask today that You help Your sons and daughters to live in integrity, wisdom, and truth. Help us to respect the roles You have placed us in and to respect the leadership of those You have placed above us. My God, we want to do what is right in Your eyes so that Your heart will be blessed. We want to bring glory and honor to Your name because You deserve all of it. Thank You for always being the one we can trust and lean on. You are our provider, our deliverer, our safe place, our shield, our strength and our guide. You are a light unto our paths and a lamp unto our feet and we are so thankful. Help us to life You up so that others will be drawn to You through Jesus. I ask You to bless and prosper this ministry so that we can go unto all the world and teach the good news of the gospel of Jesus. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
June 6, 2010