I was attending a women’s conference at my church listening to the speaker talk about Jael (Judges 4:17-22) when out of nowhere I heard these words, “Be careful what you let in. You just might have to kill it”. I was stunned, but alert enough to write down what just cut across my mind.
In Judges 4, the warrior-commander Sisera who had been terrorizing Israel for twenty years was now running for his life. The Israelites had diverted and pursued the Canaanite army killing all but Sisera who fled on foot straight toward the closest hiding place near the battleground—the tent of Jael…and she let him in. She knew who this man was, offered him food and shelter but she had a hidden agenda. Sometimes the enemy of all believers can devise and send evil things that crash into our lives, but sometimes we leave the door of our hearts open for Satan’s cohorts. And if these agents of ill intent are not confronted (Galatians 5:19-21), you will be held hostage in your body, mind, soul and heart until you take action.
“Be careful what you let in. You just might have to kill it”.
What did Jael have to kill her enemy? She had three things: a hammer or mallet, a tent peg and a bowl of milk. These three point to one thing that will defeat our enemy—the Word of God.
Starting with milk is to start with what is foundational—the elementary truths of God’s word (Hebrews 5:12-13). We have to know the basics of what we believe in order to have a firm footing in a fight with the enemy. Secondly, your tent peg must be sharp. The Message version of Isaiah 54:2 says to “drive the tent pegs deep”. My last post “Go Deep” talked about having tent peg verses, the ones that firmly root you in God, but your tent pegs are also weapons for close and personal battles. When you speak a verse for a specific fight, you have done some offensive damage, yet you cannot relax because the enemy will try you again and again. Keep your tent pegs sharp and use them.
Lastly, Jael had to be physically strong to drive that peg into Sisera’s skull. She had to have the strength to swing the mallet up, and bring it down with full force. This desert-living woman had plenty of practice driving tent pegs and knew how to hit them accurately. We need to skillfully know how to use the Word to be ready for the fight. Like a sledgehammer, God’s Word can break the enemy (Jeremiah 23:29).
Jael had one more thing. She had the nerve. While the enemy was in her presence, she kept a cool head and a watching eye for the best time to strike. Armed with a plan, she had the courage to follow it through to the end. When we stay in God’s presence in prayer and meditation, reading and studying his Word, we will have the arsenal to come through every skirmish, brawl or all-out war. The question is do we have the junkyard dog in us to fight using the Word of God with the intent to kill.
Jael let her enemy in, but God wants us to keep our enemy out. He wants us to have a clean heart, pure thoughts and holy desires (Psalm 51:10 The Passion Translation). He also knows that we are imperfect beings living in an imperfect world. Things happen. Mistakes are made. Isn't good to know that we have a Living God, a Good Father who has made sure that we are fully equipped to fight and defeat our enemy.
Like Jael, it can be done.