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Fear-Pegged! | Judges 4:1-24, 2 Timothy 1:7

Today we’re diving into a story of the strength and confidence of two women, Deborah and Jael from the Book of Judges. They used their faith as a fly swatter, chasing away fear. Let’s dig in firmly and trust in God and face our fears with faith, just like Deborah and Jael did. Okay, let’s get after it!

Show Notes:

  • 2 Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (NLT)
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If you’re a fly in my mom and dad’s house, you don’t stand a chance. They are going to chase you down and get you. They team up to do it. Two humans, one fly swatter, and they get the job done, and that is exactly the way to go after fear. With the fly, swatter of faith and the passion of my parents. Hi, I’m Erica, the proud daughter of Will and Laura. They’re the best parents in the whole world and this is the Bible for Busy People. I’m so glad that you’re here. My friend Craig Denison says,

If you give God a space, He will fill it with something meaningful.

…and today you made the choice. I’m going to open God’s Word with my pal, Erica, and see what He has to say. And he wants to encourage you and me. He loves us so much and he doesn’t want us to live lives where we’re bound up in fear. I’ll never forget one time my husband said, the Bible says God doesn’t give us the spirit of fear. I think that’s in one Timothy. I’ll put it in the show notes, but that means there is a spirit of fear. So we want to chase it away with the fly swatter of faith. Today we are going to meet two incredibly brave, courageous, and faithful women. Their names are Deborah and Jael. So join me now in the Book of Judges chapter four, beginning in verse one. Note here. This is the Message version of the Bible, which I occasionally love to read. Okay.

The People of Israel kept right on doing evil in God’s sight. With Ehud dead, God sold them off to Jabin king of Canaan who ruled from Hazor. Sisera, who lived in Harosheth Haggoyim, was the commander of his army. The People of Israel cried out to God because he had cruelly oppressed them with his nine hundred iron chariots for twenty years.

I dunno what kind of season you’re in right now, but wow, 20 years of oppression. Verse four now.

Deborah was a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth. She was judge over Israel at that time. She held court under Deborah’s Palm between Ramah and Bethel in the hills of Ephraim. The People of Israel went to her in matters of justice.

Think about the significance of that.

She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “It has become clear that God, the God of Israel, commands you: Go to Mount Tabor and prepare for battle. Take ten companies of soldiers from Naphtali and Zebulun. I’ll take care of getting Sisera, the leader of Jabin’s army, to the Kishon River with all his chariots and troops. And I’ll make sure you win the battle.”8 Barak said, “If you go with me, I’ll go. But if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”

Okay. Those are the fear goggles. Remember the kind that King Saul put on when we were together last time?

She said,

This is Deborah now.

“Of course I’ll go with you. But understand that with an attitude like that, there’ll be no glory in it for you. God will use a woman’s hand to take care of Sisera.”

Okay, there’s Deborah putting on the faith goggles or glasses. She’s like, got confidence that God is going to take care of her. She’s heard from him. She’s trusting in him.

Deborah got ready and went with Barak to Kedesh. Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali together at Kedesh. Ten companies of men followed him. And Deborah was with him. It happened that Heber the Kenite had parted company with the other Kenites, the descendants of Hobab, Moses’ in-law. He was now living at Zaanannim Oak near Kedesh.

I don’t know if I’m saying any of these names right, by the way, I’m giving it the old college try here.

They told Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor. Sisera immediately called up all his chariots to the Kishon River—nine hundred iron chariots!—along with all his troops who were with him at Harosheth Haggoyim. Deborah said to Barak, “Charge! This very day God has given you victory over Sisera. Isn’t God marching before you?”

I want to pitch a small tent here, and that’s going to be a pun to you. You may already know this story. If you don’t, you’ll get it in a second. But think about when you’re at a baseball game and you hear that sound effect and you go charge as a crowd because you believe in the batter up at the plate, or you believe in the picture on the mound. Deborah believes that God is going to show up. Okay.

Barak charged down the slopes of Mount Tabor, his ten companies following him. God routed Sisera—all those chariots, all those troops!—before Barak. Sisera jumped out of his chariot and ran. Barak chased the chariots and troops all the way to Harosheth Haggoyim. Sisera’s entire fighting force was killed—not one man left. Meanwhile Sisera, running for his life, headed for the tent of Jael, wife of Heber the Kenite. Jabin king of Hazor and Heber the Kenite were on good terms with one another. Jael stepped out to meet Sisera and said, “Come in, sir. Stay here with me. Don’t be afraid.” So he went with her into her tent. She covered him with a blanket. He said to her, “Please, a little water. I’m thirsty.”She opened a bottle of milk, gave him a drink, and then covered him up again. He then said, “Stand at the tent flap. If anyone comes by and asks you, ‘Is there anyone here?’ tell him, ‘No, not a soul.’” Then while he was fast asleep from exhaustion, Jael wife of Heber took a tent peg and hammer, tiptoed toward him, and drove the tent peg through his temple and all the way into the ground. He convulsed and died. Barak arrived in pursuit of Sisera. Jael went out to greet him. She said, “Come, I’ll show you the man you’re looking for.” He went with her and there he was—Sisera, stretched out, dead, with a tent peg through his temple. On that day God subdued Jabin king of Canaan before the People of Israel. The People of Israel pressed harder and harder on Jabin king of Canaan until there was nothing left of him.

I don’t know. I don’t know if I could do it, drive a tent peg through the temple of an enemy.

I don’t know if I could stand in the midst of a battle and yell charge, but I know this, I would love to have the faith of Jael and of Deborah. I want to trust God so much that I run forward with Him at my side, with Jesus, running with me straight ahead into the unknown. Into the things I’m afraid of, knowing that I’ve got the fly swatter of faith, if any flies of fear want to come at me, don’t you want that too? Alright. Until next time, you are loved.

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