Thursday, February 9, 2017

Judges 4

Click here to read the entire chapter of Judges 4 in New Living Translation.  Click here to select a different translation.

This chapter is full of astonishing lessons.

First, God claims victory in battle through women; Deborah as well as Jael. Women are called the (physically) weaker vessels, yet that doesn't stop the Lord. He placed incredible courage in Deborah to join Barak in assembling for battle as well as prompted Jael to end Sisera's life despite her not knowing if she would be caught in the act.

Secondly, Matthew Henry points out the seriousness of Sisera's pride saying, "he that thought to destroy Israel with his many iron chariots is himself destroyed with one iron nail." Henry also reminds us that none of us should hold value in our own strength because like Sisera, when we're asleep, our strength is all gone. Just like weak vessels, the physically strong are equally at the mercy of anyone seeking our lives while we slumber.

Personally, I loosely identify with Jael. She lived in an assuming tent community that Jabin wasn't bothered by. This is probably because of their choice for a modest life. They chose to live in unassuming tents, away from heavy fortification, and away from dense towns. Still, they kept up with following the Lord. So Jael's community probably didn't face the corruption most of the Israelites underwent. I know this is counter culture, but my husband and I have been feeling led to rid ourselves of extraneous possessions and live similarly. There are additional divine reasons, but I don't want to make this study about me. Anyway, I like that Sisera assumed he would be safe because Jael's people are quiet, modest, and he perceived them weak when in actuality, anyone who follows the Lord like Jael can do incredible and brave things with God's help.

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