There is a reason you rarely hear anyone preach on Judges 4. It is one of those counter-cultural passages that won’t fly too well in our “anything goes” world.
But I’m not scared.
Just because no one else has the brass to put these women in their place doesn’t mean I don’t. Check this out! Pay attention, ladies. I’m about to tell you some hard truths.
Deborah Did Everything Wrong
Judges had extremely important roles in Israel. When the people were in trouble, they would cry out to the LORD and he would raise up someone to rescue them. This is a job you want to get right. You want to do it well. Here are a bunch of reasons why Deborah did it wrong.
- Deborah thought she could just be a Judge whenever she wanted! She usurped God’s role by already being a Judge when trouble came. What arrogance!
- The previous three judges established an effective system for leadership. They knew that even though God wanted Judges to be spiritual leaders, what the people really needed was a burly warrior man to Ultimate Fight the enemy out of Israel. Deborah, due largely to her rebellious contentious spirit, adopted the role of Prophet as well. This would set up a culture of dependency on strong, multi-faceted leadership that Israel didn’t need.
- She took stupid risks. Judges 1 clearly laid out that Iron chariots were too powerful for Israel to overcome. But Deborah recklessly sent 10,000 good Israelite men into battle against them.
- Barak was too afraid to go out against Sisera’s chariots alone. He asked Deborah to go with him. She obliged. Deborah enabled cowardice.
- After cruelly ordering Barak to fight a technologically superior enemy, Deborah had the audacity to steal the glory from him. Talk about stepping on a guy’s balls!
- Deborah put herself in Barak’s rightful place as the commander of the Israelite army by giving the command to fight. That was Barak’s role.
You know, it’s times like these that I am thankful for the way Scripture consistently calls us to higher standards. If we didn’t have this story, think about how many mistakes we would be making in the church by letting women like Deborah lead!
Never mind the fact that it all worked perfectly. The ends do not justify the means.
And don’t even get me started on Jael!
Jael: The Worst Hostess EVER!
Arrgh! You got me started!
If Deborah did leadership wrong, Jael did domesticity wrong. Here’s how.
- She let a man into her tent. That is totally inappropriate!
- She led Sisera on. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear this? “Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me; have no fear.” Put yourself in his shoes! He had just come from a horrible defeat and is probably wanting some “comfort.” But Jael KNOWS she isn’t going to put out. That’s just mean.
- She covered him with a rug? Uh, how about something a little cooler? We are in the desert. Girls can be so dumb sometimes.
- Sisera asked for water. Jael gave him milk. “I have just been in a hot, sweaty battle in the desert all day. You know what I want? A warm glass of milk.” – Said no one ever.
- Instead of protecting Sisera, like he asked, she proved once and for all that you can’t trust women by driving a tent peg into his head.
- If that wasn’t bad enough, her husband, Heber, was on peaceful terms with Sisera’s King, Jabin. She totally disobeyed her husband.
Ladies, I hope you have been paying attention here. Let this chapter serve as a cautionary tale for you.
Gentlemen, keep up the good fight. We need to work together to make sure women like this never ever infiltrate our churches, communities, or homes.