In Judges 4, two women stole the show as the two who led and gave the Israelites triumph over Jabin king of Canaan. The first woman was Deborah. She was the first female judge, a prophetess, the wife of Lapppidoth. She sat under the palm tree between Ramah and Bethel to judge the Israelites. She heard the voice of God concerning Barak’s part in leading 10,000 from the people Naphtali and Zebulun to fight Jabin’s army under his general Sisera. Barak, being a passive man, would not go without Deborah. So Deborah had to lead the army towards Mount Taber.
The second woman in this chapter was Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, descendent of Moses’ father-in-law. Although she was not an Israelite, and the Kenites were at peace with Jabin the Canaanite, she submitted to God’s people and killed Sisera with a tent peg. This gave the Israelites complete victory over Jabin. At the end of that day, two women, one from Israel and one from the Gentiles, became the instrument of God to deliver His people from oppression.
Both women were married, probably had their own children, felt the call of God in their lives. Deborah worked outside of her tent and judged Israel under a psalm tree. All Israel came to her for judgment. She heard from the Lord and was a prophetess. Jael, on the other hand, operated within her own tent as God brought Sisera into her hands. She must have heard from the Lord as to what to do for she did not hesitate in bringing an end to Sisera. Deborah, outside of her own tent, routed the Canaanites while Jael, insider her own tent, sealed up the Israeli victory. Both were used of God to accomplish His purpose.
Many have debated whether wives should work outside of the home. Deborah did leave her tent and worked under the palm tree and then on the battlefield. Jael worked inside of her tent but also did great exploits for God. The answer to whether wives should or should not work outside of the home is: individual woman needs to discern God’s will whether to serve Him inside or outside of the home. There is no one right answer as we learn from this incident. God can use women just as He can use men to do His will. In fact, He gifted many women today for the glory of His Kingdom.
The problem of many a man is being passive in the things of the Kingdom. Due to their inaction and passiveness, women have arisen to take up many leadership positions. Like Barak, men are often timid when they face the enemy. Men of God need to rise up and go to war with other women who are in the battlefield. Whether you are a man or a woman, whether you work inside or outside of the home, you have to find your destiny in the Lord. Be a man or woman of God!
Ps 59:14-17 Judg 4:1-5:31 Luke 22:35-53 Prov 14:3-4