was leading Israel as judge and prophetess, the Israelites pleaded with
God to rescue them from a Canaanite king, Jabin. The commander of Jabin’s
army, Sisera, had “cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years.”
God had allowed them to be oppressed because, “once again,” they were practicing
evil. (Judges chapters four and five.)
As a result, they were captive to a force too powerful for them to defeat. The enemy had iron chariots. They did not.
When they cried out to God for help, he promised them victory over Sisera and his army. Barak and his 10,000 soldiers defeated the Canaanite army, but its commander, Sisera, escaped. He expected to be safe in the tent of Jael because her husband was an ally.
He could not hide from God. He could not escape the judgment of God. Deborah prophesied “the LORD will hand Sisera over to a woman.” Jael, a woman and wife of Sisera’s ally, pierced him with a tent peg while he slept, and killed him. Jael‘s hand killed the enemy, but it was God who delivered him into her hands and gave her the willingness and strength to do it.
“Barak came by in pursuit of Sisera, and Jael went out to meet him. ’Come,’ she said, ’I will show you the man you’re looking for.’ So he went in with her, and there lay Sisera with the tent peg through his temple--dead. On that day God subdued Jabin, the Canaanite king, before the Israelites. And the hand of the Israelites grew stronger and stronger against Jabin the Canaanite king, until they destroyed him” Judges 4:22-24.)The real oppressor of any people is sin. Sin makes the sinner a slave (Romans 7:14) and produces suffering throughout the community in which he/she lives. But when we grow weary of suffering the consequences of our wrongdoing, we can cry out to God for deliverance. Sin and death is a force too powerful for us to defeat. We need a deliverer.
God has already sent us a deliverer, his Son Jesus the Christ. He was nailed to a crucifixion stake and pierced with a Roman spear. He took our punishment upon himself and defeated our enemies, sin, Satan, and death. Our deliverance only takes effect when we turn back to God desiring to be like him and to practice righteousness, kindness, and justice. Oppression occurs in the absence of these qualities. Peace and freedom result from the expression of them in daily life.
God is compassionate. He waits, longing
for his human children to turn to him. He will hear our sincere prayers.
He will rescue; but only if we want to be rescued. When we genuinely love
God and want him as our ruler, he will give us peace. (Judges 5:31; Romans
For the Scripture References and
related Bible Study Guide, go to Bible
Study Guide: On That Day God Subdued