“But Jael, Heber’s wife, picked up a tent peg and a hammer and went quietly to him (Sisera) while he lay fast asleep, exhausted. She drove the peg through his temple into the ground, and he died.” Judges 4:21
Jael is one of my favorite women in the Bible. Read Judges 4 for the entire story, but to summarize, God used this woman to take out a really bad guy. Imagine Osama Bin Laden being killed by one female Navy seal.
I am a pacifist by nature and choice, so I don’t necessarily rejoice when our enemies or convicted criminals are killed. But I understand that “putting to death” is an action that God used all through the Bible and uses today.
Consider Colossians 3:5: “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”
Paul doesn’t instruct us to reason with our sins or hope they’ll change. He says very simply – put them to death.
When I think of the sins I consistently deal with, number one is eating emotionally instead of going to God. I seek comfort, joy and numbness in eating. Food is fuel, but I’ve perverted it to be much more. I am on a journey to end this. It may take my entire life but I will keep fighting.
One thing that helps me in this battle is to remember Jael and her profound courage and decisiveness. Imagine her in that tent with the sleeping Sisera. She had to be stealth-like to come upon him and not wake him up. Jael possessed no wishy-washiness as she approached Sisera with the tent peg and the hammer. She made a decision and she did it. Wham! Not pretty, and definitely not passive or pacifistic.
Sin in our lives needs to be put to death. When we play around with it and fail to realize its seriousness, we fall prey to its dire consequences and pervasive wickedness.
The other day I was tempted to eat something that was not fuel and was not a blessing from God to me at that moment. It was only a way to numb myself from dealing with a situation. The Spirit brought Jael to mind. I was inspired to get my tent peg and hammer and go to town. “Get behind me Satan!” And WHAM! I put it to death. Someday I’ll look up Jael in Heaven and thank her for her fearless heart. She’s only mentioned in the Bible 6 times, all of which are in Judges 4 and 5, but her influence is great.
The last time she’s named is Judges 5:24: “Most blessed of women be Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, most blessed of tent-dwelling women.”
Most blessed, indeed. Today, fellow sinners, get your tent peg and hammer and get busy in the name of Jesus. With a little nod to Jael.
(Before I send out my Joyvotions, I usually show them to my husband to get his opinion. Yesterday I sent him this and he replied, “Looks good. But I am now frightened to sleep next to you.” )