Deborah and Jael, Powerful Women of the Old Testament…

2 Sep

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Judges 1: 4-5, “And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. And 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.”

Little do many followers of Christ know today, is of how Jehovah God used some women in the old testament in the time before Jesus. We are all familiar with the New Testament stories in particular Mary the Mother of Jesus and those who told the Disciples of the empty tomb of the resurrected Christ. God used two women in the Old Testament in particular for a special purpose named Deborah and Jael. Deborah was a Prophetess which was raised up at the time Israel was commanded by God to take the plentiful land of Esdraelon from a Canaanite army led by Sisera, a powerful Canaanite leader.

This story begins with Deborah calling the reluctant general in the Israel army Barak and imparting in Him the Word of the Lord and what He had commanded of His people. Judges 1:6-9 reads, “and 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? And 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. And 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. And 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” Jehovah empowered a woman due to the reluctance of the Israel Army commander Barak to carry out His commands. This speaks volumes that God uses everyone to do His will not always men, the Lord looks for any and everyone who will hear His voice.

He is not a respecter of persons (Romans 2:11). The battle commanded by Deborah played out in Judges 4:12-16,”And they shewed Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to mount Tabor. And 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. And 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. And 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. But 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.” God was true to His word and swept the Canaanite Army from the land in which he had asked Deborah to claim. The Lord utterly destroyed the all powerful army that the men of Israel were hesitant to do battle with, only Deborah the Prophetess was strong enough and had the Faith to trust in the Lord for her strength and not in what she saw on the battle field. The destruction laid upon the Canaanite army was completely overwhelming, causing the General to flee the battlefield into a Kenite camp inhabited by Jael. Judges 4:17-24 records Sisera fate, “Howbeit 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. And 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. And 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. Again 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. Then 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. And, 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. So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel.”

The Kenite woman Jael was moved by the Holy Spirit to finish the mission of removing Sisera from the land taken by Deborah at the command of Jehovah God. Judges chapter 4 and 5 shows many us that God uses anyone for the purpose of His glory, whether it be to command a Word such as Deborah or smite a enemy such as Jael did. God uses woman as such today in the office of Pastors, Apostles or those serving in the Armed Forces even and not just men as many Churches falsely preach today. The Lord loves all His children who in return fulfill His divine purpose. Shalom…

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