Judges 4:21-22 tells us this: “ But Jael the wife of Heber took a tent peg, and took a hammer in her hand. Then she went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple until it went down into the ground while he was lying fast asleep from weariness. So he died. And behold, as Barak was pursuing Sisera, Jael went out to meet him and said to him, “Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking.” So he went in to her tent, and there lay Sisera dead, with the tent peg in his temple.”
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By my understanding, Jael and her husband Heber were not Israelites, but Kenites (a heathen people related to the Midianites). (Heber was in alliance with King Jabin of the Canaanites, who was fighting against Israel.) Jael performed an action (by killing Sisera, the commander of King Jabin's army) that benefited Israel, and was praised for it by the Israelite prophetess Deborah (as described in Judges 4-5). However, despite the beneficial effect of her deed with respect to Israel, her behavior could also be viewed as a violation of the customs of hospitality and as an act of treachery (especially since Jael's own husband was allied with Sisera's king), in that she had welcomed Sisera (who was exhausted) into her tent, given him a drink at his request, and then subsequently killed him while he was sleeping by driving a tent peg through his head. I would say that the insight to be gained from this is that God is able to order or use all events (even actions by those who do not believe in Him -- or who are even actively opposed to Him -- and that also may be considered worthy of condemnation on their face) for His purposes, and for the benefit of His followers.
I like what W.W. Wiersbe says, " “Both Jabin and Sisera had been guilty of mistreating the Jews for years, and if the Canaanite army had won the battle, hundreds of Jewish girls would have been captured and raped (Judges 5:30). Jael not only helped liberate the nation of Israel from slavery but also she helped to protect the women from the most vicious brutality. She wasn’t a Semitic “Lady Macbeth” who murdered her guest for her own personal gain. There was a war on, and this valiant woman finally stopped being neutral and took her stand with the people of God.” Do we need to cease being neutral and take our stand with the people of God today? Be courageous. Be brave.
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