Summary: God orchestrated, called, and empowered 2 women for leadership and godly work!
Please open your Bibles to the Book of Judges; we are now in Chapter 4…..
God instructed Israel (God’s Chosen People) to subdue the land promised to them and rid of all pagan people; but instead, Israel allowed pagan people to live with them and actually married them! Disobedience to God results in consequences and in the case of Israel after they sinned they became slaves to ungodly people! God provided Judges to deliver Israel from the rule of ungodly pagan nations!
And so, in the book of Judges, we see this cycle of Israel sinning against God, they are disciplined and become slaves, they cry out to God for help, God provides a Deliverer, then the cycle repeats itself! So far, we have noted 3 Judges (Othniel, Ehud, and Shamgar) who were called by God and delivered Israel from slavery. God called a left-handed Judge, today we will read about 2 women leaders called by God!
Read along with me Judges 4……
v1-3: “dejavu” – Judge Ehud died, Israel sins, became slaves for 20 years, cries to God for help!
God then provided a new Judge – Deborah; what can we note about Deborah?
v4: a prophetess (speaks for God) and a national Leader
v5: ruled as a Judge on people’s disputes
v6-7: gave specific orders from God for battle
Now look again at v8…… Did Barak do anything wrong??
We can see that Barak did something wrong because he was reprimanded in v9!
v8: Barak bargained with God’s orders and actually threatened to disobey God!!
v9: Because Barak did not completely obey God’s commands, he lost honor!
v10-13: Deborah, Barak, and 10000 men pursued Sisera and Jabin’s Army.
Through Deborah, God told Barak to take down the Commander Sisera!
v15-16: Barak and his Army pursued and killed Sisera’s army which enabled Sisera to escape
Now go back to v11 for a moment, why did God place it there??
v17: Sisera assumed Jael’s home would be safe because Jael’s husband became friendly with Sisera’s king. From v11 we can note, Jael’s husband left home and the Kenites to be in alliance with Sisera!
v18-22: We’re not told directly by God why she did it! Why do you think Jael killed Sisera??
There can be many reasons but not directly told by God, but in context:
a. without knowing it, Jael fulfilled a prophecy (v9)
b. Jael likely knew about the Israelites (she could have been related to Moses’ wife) and “sided” with them
c. Jael likely knew the cruelty of Sisera.
d. Jael knew Barak was looking for Sisera (v22) and decided to impress the Israelites.
e. Jael was just mad at her husband??
v23-24: God answered the Israelites’ prayer by empowering them and destroying the pagan Canaanites and their king
There are at least 4 Biblical Principles for us to note for our lives today!
1. God will call women to leadership!
2. Honor and blessings will be lost when one compromises with God’s instructions!
3. God will fulfill His prophecies, no matter the situation!
4. God will empower people to bring justice!
Perhaps there is something else which spoke to you this morning from this passage…. other Biblical Principles from this passage??
As we celebrate Communion today, let us remind ourselves of what God said through the Apostle Paul to Christians in 1 Corinthians 11:25-26……
Jesus Christ will return to earth soon…. let us be found faithful and obedient to Him!