Judges 4 points us to a woman by the name of Deborah. Wait a second? A woman? That’s a change! Let’s jump right in to see what the Bible and Deborah has in store for us.
“Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, now that Ehud was dead. So the Lord sold them into the hands of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor.” – Judges 4:1-2
Research shows that spanking your child is actually worse for your child’s future behavior than sitting them down and gently explaining. Humans are smarter than God as he continues to choose harsh punishment over explanations.
“Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading[a] Israel at that time.” – Judges 4:4
Wow! A female leader!!! The author must have been drunk at the time of writing this. I’m glad to see a female leader, but the damage is done and will continue to be done in the Bible. One time respecting women does not overcome the past and the future of misogyny in the Bible.
“’Certainly I will go with you,’ said Deborah. ‘But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.’” – Judges 4:9
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to see a female in charge, but the result is the same. People are being put to death. Sure, the people being put to death are oppressing the Israelites, but why are they doing the oppressing? God. God was upset at the Israelites so he forced the other people to oppress them. Now God will have them killed at the hands of Deborah. Unjustifiable death, whether by man or woman, is still unjustifiable death.
“At Barak’s advance, the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and army by the sword, and Sisera got down from his chariot and fled on foot.” – Judges 4:15
In case there is any confusion, these people die as a direct result of God’s action. They are only oppressing the Israelites because God forced them to because God was having a hissy fit with the Israelites. Sigh. It’s a battle of 3 year olds!
“But Jael, Heber’s wife, picked up a tent peg and a hammer and went quietly to him while he lay fast asleep, exhausted. She drove the peg through his temple into the ground, and he died.” – Judges 4:21
WTF?!?!? Female revenge on the male I suppose, but just weird!
“And the hand of the Israelites pressed harder and harder against Jabin king of Canaan until they destroyed him.” – Judges 4:24
The moral of this verse and the moral of this chapter is that the Israelites are still destroying people. God is still forcing others to oppress the Israelites, causing the Israelites to rise up and under the guidance of God to kill those God caused to oppress. Yes, it’s one big, repetitive circle. Oppression. Destruction. Oppression. Destruction. All at the hands of God. The only difference in this chapter is the leader of the Israelites is a woman. Again, great to see a female leader, but the death and destruction by the hands of God is no less sickening.
Coming Soon: Judges – Chapter 5: The Song of Deborah