In today’s reading we have the story of Deborah and Barak. It’s a great story, in my opinion, because we get to see not one, but two, count ‘em, TWO women who are strong and courageous and each plays a very important role in the Israelites’ defeat of their enemies.
The Israelites had been oppressed by the Canaanites and their king, whose name was Jabin. The commander of the Canaanite army was a man by the name of Sisera. After being oppressed by these people for about twenty years, the Israelites cry out to the Lord for help.
At the time Deborah, a prophetess is leading Israel, judging and deciding disputes among the people. She calls for Barak, tells him that the Lord has commanded him to take 10,000 troops and attack Jabin’s army.
Well, Barak is afraid to do this by himself. He says that if Deborah will go with him, he will go, but if Deborah will not accompany him, he won’t go.
Deborah, being the good leader that she is, agrees to go with Barak to attack Jabin’s army, but she tells him that because of this, the honor will not be his, “for the Lord will hand Sisera over to a woman.”
Sure enough, Sisera ends up going to the tent of a man named Heber. Heber’s wife, Jael, had invited him in, saying, “Come, my lord, come right in. Don’t be afraid.” He asked for a drink, so she gave him some milk, and she gave him a covering, and he went to sleep.
So while Sisera was asleep, Jael went to him and…
Well, if you’ve not read the story I won’t ruin it for you! It’s a good ending! Look it up, Judges 4-5!