Tent Pegs and Temples 


24 “ Most blessed among women is Jael,
the wife of Heber the Kenite.  May she be blessed above all women who live in tents.

25 Sisera asked for water,
and she gave him milk.  In a bowl fit for nobles,  she brought him yogurt.

26 Then with her left hand she reached for a tent peg,
and with her right hand for the workman’s hammer.  She struck Sisera with the hammer, crushing his head.  With a shattering blow, she pierced his temples.

27 He sank, he fell,
he lay still at her feet.  And where he sank,  there he died.” (Judges 5:24-27)

Why is she blessed? She betrayed Middle Eastern hospitality, she went against the peace treaty that her husband had with King Jabin. She used deception and more than likely her sex appeal to gain his trust all so she could end his life. Why is she blessed? The writer blesses her because she was an administer of God’s Justice.

In the brutality of tribal conflict, where there was no real “system” of governance, in a world that was less about law and more about dominance, aggression & control, she fought back fear, summoned up her courage & did what she had to do to end the “ruthless oppression”. In her mind the plundering, the rape and the murder, had to stop and God had given Jael the opportunity to stop it.  In todays western world with the rule of law firmly in place and with my Christian perspective colouring my view of everything, does this passage have any bearing on me? Is there anything to be learned?

Well, I’m pretty sure the lesson is not “grab a tent peg and violently stamp out injustice.”  But it is right for us to hate injustice, it is right for us to become active to try to do what we can to put an end to abuse, to fight against “ruthless oppression” where ever we find it. To sit back and do nothing brings a curse from God. (See Bonhoeffer, Cost of Discipleship, p 117-118)

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About Dennis Arve Wilkinson

Happily married, blessed with four children, thrilled to have started Meta Communities in 2011. Born in Calgary, raised in Winnipeg, undergraduate education in Wisconsin (NIU) & Seminary education in Minnesota (CBTS). During my time in the Midwest I gained about a dozen years of pastoral experience. It has been my privilege to travel to many parts of the globe and divine providence has smiled on me by allowing me to be mentored by several men of great character over the course of my life time. I am a follower of Jesus - though not without struggle. I am committed to joining God in the restoration of all things by telling, showing, and welcoming people into the good news of God's story. God's story of redemption in Jesus is the best story the human has -- I am letting the better story shape my life and helping others do the same.

Posted on October 7, 2016, in Dens Devotions, Good Stories and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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