“Most blessed among women is Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite. May she be blessed above all women who live in tents. (Judges 5:24 NLT)
Mountain goat, she that ascends - that's what her name means. Like every woman in her community she wakes up every day with her mind full of tasks to be done.
Tent to be cleaned, meals to be cooked, kids to be nourished and visitors to be entertained. Her home is her dwelling place, her family is her business. Today a stressed visitor enters her tent. He is running in haste from someone. His face covered with sweat and dust fear and terror verbalises the urgency of the situation. What shall she do? She is alone and has heard about the man, he is the enemy.
The responsibility to welcome, honour and protect a guest is a vital part of her tradition, more than just a tradition - an absolute command. So, when the guest asks for water, she offers him curdled milk, a delicatessen beverage for the Eastern people. She makes him a bed, a place to rest.
So far she has kept and respected the tradition. The customs of the old were applied. Yet, her heart is telling her something else. The enemy has entered her domain- he is not only threatening her household but her community also. She is not a fighter, she is just a woman that happens to have some tent pegs lying around. What can she do? She acts. She breaks the rules and kills the guest! She does not know if she will be severely condemned for her action, but she can't leave the enemy sleep inside her tend.
Paul says that : The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 KJV)
Today, we don't need to use pegs or guns to fight the enemy for we don't wage against flesh and blood, but we do need to fight back the darkness that is threatening our lives.
There comes a time when rules must be broken, tradition ignored and customs not kept. We love tradition and customs, but not more than doing what is right. When the enemy of our soul comes and breaks into our families and communities we must take a stand. Like Jael, we must use what we have in our hand to fight evil, to keep him at bay from our homes, our children, our marriages, our friends our communities.
The judge of that time, a woman called Deborah, honoured Jael and names her 'blessed above all women!' There is beauty in cheering up each other girls while combating darkness with bravery! The enemy of this world is freely rampaging into the places where we live. Time has come for us to use what we have on our hands and with wisdom from above to shine the light bright into those dark places.
“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.”
― Anne Frank