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34. Judges 4: “God Calls Women, Too!”
Mission Teens Christian Drug Rehab Center in Norma, NJ
-Evening Chapel Service on 8/31/2013
(edited March 2020)
Verses 1-5: “And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord, when Ehud was dead. And 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. And 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. 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.”
(Note: About half the residents present at this service were young women.)
With Judge Ehud gone (mentioned in previous study), Sisera of the Canaanites is now persecuting Ancient Israel. They have once again fallen back into sin and debauchery. With His People in desperate need of a new hero, God calls and empowers Deborah, a prophetess to judge the nation.
Verses 6-8: “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.”
In her wisdom, and filled with God’s wisdom and character, Deborah does not seize power over the Army of Israel, but calls upon a man named Barak, a general in that army, and strengthens and supports him.
I’m not sure that Deborah was called to be a soldier, but Barak insists she accompany him into the fight. And she agrees, but predicts it all will be a humbling experience for Barak.
Verses 9-17: “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. 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. Now 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. 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. 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.”
Then the exact words of the Prophetess come to pass:
Verses 18-24: “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. And the hand of the children of Israel prospered, and prevailed against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.”
Like Deborah, Jael was a woman of faith and fortitude. She became quite a war hero. Wow! And still today, the Lord is seeking out and calling women for His service. But the Enemy often clouds our understanding of woman in the Church.
After my parents divorced when I was 7 years old, I can remember my mother’s spirituality and Christian walk being questioned and criticized many times. Sadly, by me too. Why couldn’t she seem to take over the role of spiritual leader for my brothers and I?
Then at age 24, I accepted Christ as my Savior. From that day to the day she went to Glory, I was amazed over and over again at how wonderful of a follower and supporter she was to me both personally and to my ministry. I will NEVER have support like that again! Not in this life. Well, if she were here physically tonight, I’m pretty sure she would be sitting on this front row and just beaming the whole time (regardless of how well or poorly I was doing in sharing this message). That was her true calling: follower and supporter! I think God knew that if she had ever become my spiritual leader, I probably would have remained too lazy and too afraid to ever step up and try to become one myself.
The Lord’s ways are often beyond what any of us can fully comprehend. But whether we completely understand them or not, they are Glorious to behold! God called Deborah, and Jael, and, yes, He called my own mother to serve Him. And He is calling all women, young women, and girls today to come to Christ and be saved and to serve Him in Spirit and in Truth. Amen?