And in our New Testament reading, great multitudes were following Jesus. What an evangelistic opportunity! But instead of encouraging them to pray a prayer and accept Him into their hearts, he wanted to know if they had counted the cost of following Him and whether they were prepared to love Him so much that their love for father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, even love for themselves would seem like hate in return. How do we reconcile that with what goes on in many evangelistic circles today/
Judges 3 & 4
Housewife or Superhero?
Judges 3 & 4:
Housewife Turned Superhero
The book of Judges contains some very interesting stories to say the least!
One of the more surprising, especially if you haven’t read it before, is the story of Jael and her tent peg! God used a “housewife,” a “tent-wife” in this case, to destroy Israel’s and God’s enemy with a hammer and a tent peg. Judges 4:
¹ When Ehud was dead, the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord. 2 So the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who dwelt in Harosheth Hagoyim. 3 And the children of Israel cried out to the Lord; for Jabin had nine hundred chariots of iron, and for twenty years he had harshly oppressed the children of Israel.
A Prophetess named Deborah was judging Israel at this time. She had assured the people that God would give them victory over Sisera and Jabin’s army, but when Israel’s commander, Barak, refused to go to battle without Deborah, she told him, God would still deliver them, but he would get no glory for the victory. Instead, a woman would get the credit. Verse 15:
15 And the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army with the edge of the sword before Barak; and Sisera alighted from his chariot and fled away on foot. 16 But Barak pursued the chariots and the army as far as Harosheth Hagoyim, and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; not a man was left.
17 However, Sisera had fled away on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite; for there was peace between Jabin king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. 18 And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me; do not fear.” And when he had turned aside with her into the tent, she covered him with a blanket.
19 Then he said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.” So she opened a jug of milk, gave him a drink, and covered him. 20 And he said to her, “Stand at the door of the tent, and if any man comes and inquires of you, and says, ‘Is there any man here?’ you shall say, ‘No.’”
21 Then Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent peg and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple, and it went down into the ground; for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died. 22 And then, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said to him, “Come, I will show you the man whom you seek.” And when he went into her tent, there lay Sisera, dead with the peg in his temple.
Think about the courage it took to kill him. What if he had awaken while she was getting a good grip on the hammer? What if she had missed and just wounded him? Can you imagine the fear she might have felt?
What can we learn from Jael’s story or any passage of Scripture, especially when it seems so removed from our life experiences?
You might try asking some questions as you read and study. Questions like: What does this passage say? Is there a promise here I can claim? Is there a command I should obey? Is there a principle I need to put to work in my life? Is there an example I should follow?
So what was it God asked Jael to do?
He asked her to use her talents, abilities and the tools she had at hand to do something miraculous and courageous. She obeyed God and He did what only He could do. In other words, God was the real Superhero.
God isn’t asking us to “kill” anyone literally. In fact, Jesus changed the rules of engagement, He told us to pray for our enemies and to do good for those who spitefully use us. And in Romans, He told us to overcome evil with good (Rom. 12.21).
Jael used her gifts, abilities, and resources to accomplish God’s purpose. She risked everything for the cause.
Are you using your spiritual gifts, your talents and abilities, and the resources’ you have to further the kingdom? Are you willing to put it all on the line, to risk everything for the cause of Christ?
TODAY’S OTHER READINGS:
Our Guide Even to Death
Think about those questions again as you look at 48.14.
“For this is God, Our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to death.”
What does this passage say? Is there a promise here I can claim? Is there a command I should obey? Is there a principle I need to put to work in my life? Is there an example I should follow?
Is there a promise here we can claim? Is there ever! If God is our God, He is our God forever and ever. He will be our guide even to death, through death and beyond death! When that time comes in our lives we don’t have to be afraid. He will take us through it and beyond.
Evil Will Bow Before Good
I love verse 19:
“The evil will bow before the good, and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.”
While we are to overcome evil with good and leave judgment in His hands (Rom. 12.19-21), God will one day deal with evil and evil people.
What God Requires
We so often want to offer people a Jesus who requires nothing of them. “Just invite Him into your heart,” we say. We seldom talk to people about “counting the cost” and being serious about their commitment to Him.
The Gospel is simple, and there is nothing we can do to save ourselves. It’s not about “being good enough” or “getting our ducks in a row.” Our part is to receive Him in faith. But receiving Him as Lord means we need to bow our knee to His Kingship, not out of fear, but out of our love for Him. It should be a love that makes every other kind of love—love for spouse and children, father and mother, brother and sister—pale in comparison.
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