So, was Jael an ordinary woman or Xena Warrior Princess? I’m going with ordinary woman. She was patient, didn’t rush during a tense situation, she didn’t make promises to lie, she kept quiet and then she used her peg and nail at just the right time. And ya know what? She was praised in Deborah’s song celebrating the victory God gave Israel on that day of deliverance.
24 “Most blessed of women be Jael,
the wife of Heber the Kenite,
most blessed of tent-dwelling women.
25 He asked for water, and she gave him milk;
in a bowl fit for nobles she brought him curdled milk.
26 Her hand reached for the tent peg,
her right hand for the workman’s hammer.
She struck Sisera, she crushed his head,
she shattered and pierced his temple.
27 At her feet he sank,
he fell; there he lay.
At her feet he sank, he fell;
where he sank, there he fell—dead.”
Catchy, isn’t it? It’s going to be stuck in my head all day, now…Especially the part about the crushed head, shattered and pierced temple, and him laying at her feet–dead. Lalala lalalala!
The Lord most definitely delivered Sisera into the hands of a woman — our girl, Jael! And the story is told twice in the Bible, once as a narrative and then again in Deborah’s song. It’s a pretty amazing story, isn’t it? God used the honor of a woman who was not an Israelite, but who pledged her allegiance to Jehovah. God used an ordinary woman, and she used ordinary things with which she was familiar to get the job done. God used all of this ordinary-ness to deliver Israel from an oppressor in an extraordinary way. Isn’t that just like God? Finding a way to bless those who choose him with opportunities to serve him, often times with tools he’s already equipped us with but we just haven’t recognized it.
Jael’s story is very encouraging, I love it! As an ordinary woman, Jael must have needed patience, and a lot of it! God replenished her “patience tank,” allowing her to realize all of that patience potential she possessed. Apply that to today with our sweet toddlers and all of their…challenges, we can be sure God will help us to realize that His grace, and patience is sufficient in our life.
Though I’m tempted to call Jael a Bible time Xena Warrior Princess, she was neither a warrior nor a princess but rather an ordinary tent dweller who lived an ordinary woman’s life in her tribe, with no extraordinary possessions or strength. But, God loves to use ordinary people, including ordinary women for His glory. Why? So that in our weakness, we can know He is strong. When God uses an ordinary person to do extraordinary things for His Kingdom, there’s no doubt to whom the glory should go.
I’m thankful God uses ordinary people because it means He could use little ole, ordinary me. See, I told you that was a cool story, didn’t I?
(Judges 4: 15-24)