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Day 16 | Jael

Read Judges 4:1-24

Jael and her husband, Heber the Kenite, lived in Kedesh, far from the rest of their tribe. Historically, the Kenites acted as Israel’s allies, providing refuge for Moses when he fled from Egypt and guiding the Israelites on their journey to the Promised Land. But Heber’s family had an alliance with Israel’s enemy, King Jabin of Canaan. When Sisera entered Jael’s tent, she found herself caught between conflicting loyalties – should she help Israel or their oppressors?

Throughout the Old Testament, the Israelites struggled with the decision to remain loyal to God. They continually chose to do “evil in the Lord’s sight” rather than live as God instructed them (4:1). But God repeatedly used people like Jael to bring about Israel’s repentance and redemption. When Jael killed Sisera, “Israel saw God defeat Jabin, the Canaanite king” (4:23). This victory was long-awaited and much celebrated.
Afterward, Israel lived at peace for forty years (5:31). Even so, the Israelites might have saved themselves considerable trouble if they had obeyed God and driven the Canaanites out of the Promised Land 120 years earlier.

Too often, we live like the rebellious Israelites. We procrastinate when what we’re asked to do sounds difficult or painful. We put off the hard work of becoming like Christ, and though it may bring us temporary comfort, it ultimately leads to deeper heartache and unrest. Jael’s actions teach us that we shouldn’t hesitate to deal with things that are opposed to God. This doesn’t mean we’re called to drive a tent peg through someone’s head, because our war is not against flesh and blood but spiritual forces (see Ephesians 6:12). So, how do you deal with the spiritual opposition you face? Do you put it off like the Israelites? Or, like Jael, do you do what it takes to remove the opposition? Though that work may not always be easy, we can draw strength and courage from God, Who will be present with us wherever we may go.

Pray for 10 minutes