I normally wouldn’t recommend naming your kid after the woman who murdered a man while he was sleeping. But when I met one of my wife’s preschool students named Jael, I couldn’t help but smile and think of the story.
“But Jael, Heber’s wife, picked up a tent peg and a hammer and went quietly to [Sisera] while he lay fast asleep, exhausted. She drove the peg through his temple into the ground, and he died” (Judges 4:21). That verse isn’t in any children’s Bibles! Jael, that quiet tent-wife in northern Israel, seized her opportunity to put the murdering rapist named Sisera to death. Why would she do that? Because God directed the leaders of Israel to deliver the nation from Sisera, so Jael was doing God’s will.
Where is the lesson for us? Perhaps that God saves in mysterious ways. He saved Israel from Sisera’s cruel oppression through a tent peg. Just like he previously saved Israel from Pharaoh’s cruel oppression through a Passover lamb and the salty waters of the Red Sea.
Just like he would later save you from sin’s cruel oppression through a few “pegs” (nails) and a wooden cross. Your insecurity or pride or worry or spiritual forgetfulness might dominate you like Sisera dominated Israel, but God put those sins to death. He drove them into the cross, and that is where they will stay. Forever. So take a breath today. Your “Sisera” is dead. You are free to live with God’s constant approval.
Thank God for Jael. Thank God even more for Jesus.