Monday, August 8, 2011

Having a Heart like Jael

~Erin Blair

     The Bible is filled with obscure people and places. In the Sunday school classes, teachers don’t often teach about Josiah, Abigail, Jael, and other such people. The book of Judges is a fascinating book that often isn’t taught or read. However, it is filled with battles and journeys of the Jewish people, and how God brought them through those battles. One of the obscure people of the book of Judges is an excellent example for us today.

     Judges chapter 4 begins with Deborah and Barak leading an army to fight Sisera’s army. We are then introduced to Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite. Sisera runs to Heber’s tent, for they were well acquainted. Jael meets him at the door and he tells her to give him water to drink after she covers him in a blanket. Disobeying him, she gave him a bottle of milk to drink. We all know what happens when you are really tired and you drink milk, you fall asleep. Such happened to Sisera. Before he fell asleep, he told her to look out and lie if anyone asked if he was there. When he was fast asleep, she took a tent peg in one hand and a hammer in another and drove the nail into his temple, killing him instantly. When Barak pursued Sisera, Jael went out and met him and showed him what happened. In celebration of the Israelites victory, Deborah mentioned Jael as “blessed among women” (Judges 5:24) and praised her for what she did (Judges 5:24-27).
     Many read this account and see it as nothing more than a woman doing a brave deed and helping the Israelites win the war against Jabin king of Canaan. But really there is more to it than that. It is an example of how far someone is willing to go for God. Deborah prophesied to Barak, “…the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman…” (Judges 4:9). The woman of which she prophesied was Jael. Sisera needed to be killed in order to fulfill prophesy and to give the Israelites a victory.
     How far is someone willing to go for the cause of God? That tent mallet and peg must have been heavy, and I am sure that her hands shook from the seriousness of what she was about to do to her husband’s friend. But she did it anyway. It was bloody and dirty work, but she went an incredible distance for God and for the Israelites who weren’t even her people.
     Sometimes God wants us to do things that aren’t always comfortable or fun, but we need to do them anyway. We need to go out and seek the lost (Matt. 28:19). We need to pick up our cross daily and follow Him (Luke 9:23). It is required that we “do good to all men, especially to those of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). You may not want to invite that new couple over for dinner one night, or to offer to babysit for them, but is denying such things really going far for God? What about going into the “bad” parts of town to spread the gospel? How far are you willing to go for the cause of God? After all, James wrote in James 4:17 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
     True, we probably won’t ever be called do as Jael did and kill a man by nailing a tent stake through his temple, but we will have to reach out to others and get outside our comfort-zone to do what is needed.  The question remains, will you do what is necessary for God? (Matthew 25:35-40).
Erin Blair is the wife of Jordan Blair who preaches for the Gustine church of Christ in Gustine, TX. They will soon begin their work with the church in New Madrid, MO. Erin has always been busy in the work on the Lord's church helping coordinate Youth Rallies, Prom Alternatives, helping teachers with Bible class, and VBS. She is currently busy completing a Paralegal Program in the College of Business at the University of San Antonio where she will graduate in December.

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