Definitely one of my absolute favorite women in the Bible! Though the more I’m learning to see them through Abba’s eyes, the more they’re all becoming my favorites. But Jael is still one of those top 5 women that I love in the Bible. Truly, this woman was an extremely wise home builder.
What do we know about Jael from Scripture? Her name Jael means mountain goat. Mountain goats were swift, sure footed, and dwelled upon high cliffs. She was the wife of Heber, the Kenite. The Kenites traveled with the Israelites and are related to them through Moses they were descendants of Hobab who was Moses’ brother in law.
Judges 4:11 says that Heber severed himself from the other Kenites. And he pitched his tent as far as the oak in Zaanaim. Zaanaim means sleepwalking. It does seem Heber was sleepwalking through life…. not awake to the plans and heartbeat of God. Zaanaim is near Kadesh and yet at the same time not far from Hazor where Jabin the cruel Canaanite King lives. Heber distanced himself from the covenant people to live on the border of Canaanite (enemy) territory.
Verse 17 tells us that Sisera, the commander of the Canaanite army, ran to Jael’s tent because there was peace between Jabin and Heber. He was a fence -sitter that played both sides between Israel and Israel’s enemy King Jabin. He wanted to make sure he was allied with both in order to save himself. Her husband had never taken a position….. but she did! She was allied only with God.
It was by her hand that King Sisera met his demise. She was a righteous warrior of her home and for the people of Israel. When the enemy of Israel came to find refuge in her tent because of her husband’s alliance with King Jabin, she hammered a tent peg through his head!
She took a bold stand against the enemy
She wasn’t neutral when it came to her enemy and the future of her people. This hospitable, house-wife, took a stake and nailed her enemy in the head. She didn’t wait for consensus. She didn’t listen to excuses or diplomacy. She refused to let fear make her choice.
She seized an opportunity! He fled to her tent and she let him come in to sleep and while he was sleeping she killed him. She was decisive and courageous and helped God’s people at a critical moment in history. She was an instrument of deliverance and victory for her community.
Deborah made a song about her, calling her the most blessed of women!
What about you? You must take a nail to neutrality! If a battle shows up in your home, stake it with the Word. Let the Word make your decisions for you and refuse to compromise. Be bold and courageous against the enemy for your family, your neighborhood, your city…. your nation!
Her choice to take the correct position not only saved her family, it also saved her nation!