Women of the Word: Sisera’s Mother

Sisera was the captain of the army of King Jabin of Canaan. Together, they and the powerful Canaanite army were enemies of Israel and often oppressed them and fought against them. One day, Jabin sent Sisera and the Canaanite army to fight against Barak, Deborah, and the Israelite army. To Sisera’s shock, he and the Canaanite army were defeated and Sisera fled from the battle scene on foot. He soon came to the tent of a man named Heber the Kenite. But Heber wasn’t home. Only his wife, Jael, was. Jael welcomed Sisera into the tent and gave him milk to drink. Tired from fighting, Sisera lay down and soon sank into a deep sleep. When Jael saw that he was sleeping, she took a tent peg and a mallet (which is a hammer) and used these items to kill him.

When Barak and Deborah found out how and by whom Sisera died, they sang Jael’s praises in a song which is recorded in Judges 5:24-27:

Most blessed among women is Jael,
The wife of Heber the Kenite;
Blessed is she among women in tents.
He asked for water, she gave milk;
She brought out cream in a lordly bowl.
She stretched her hand to the tent peg,
Her right hand to the workmen’s hammer;
She pounded Sisera, she pierced his head,
She split and struck through his temple.
At her feet he sank, he fell, he lay still;
At her feet he sank, he fell;
Where he sank, there he fell dead.

The stanza following this one (Judges 5:28-31) makes mention of Sisera’s mother. Barak and Deborah imagine that when Sisera’s mother did not see him returning home victorious, she peered out the window and cried: “Why is his chariot so long in coming? Why is the clatter of his chariots delayed?”

Barak and Deborah further imagine that a wise lady tried to assuage the concerns of Sisera’s mother by suggesting that he was dividing the spoils and captives of the Israelite army of which he had conquered. But this was not the case. It was not Sisera and the Canaanite army who had conquered, but Barak, Deborah, Jael, and the Israelite army.

We don’t know the exact response of Sisera’s mother to her son’s delay or how she reacted when she found out about his death. We can imagine, like Barak and Deborah, that she was initially worried and then grief-stricken when she learned of his fate. Sisera’s mother may have found it hard to believe that her son – a fearless warrior, mighty army captain, and all that jazz – was felled by a simple stay-at-home (or in those days, stay-at-tent) wife and an audacious female judge. What she probably did not realize was that it was not two women who defeated Sisera and the Canaanite army. It was the God in those two women. Continue reading

Women of the Word (Recap 11)

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When God created woman, He made a very special creation. He made us beautiful and unique. He made us strong and resilient, gutsy and spirited, sassy and sweet. And He loves us. God really, really loves His girls. And the Bible is filled with many women – some good, some bad – all of who God made, who God loved, and who we can learn many lessons from.

So far in our Women of the Word series, we have looked at over 110 different female figures in the Bible. They all have something to teach us. So, (drum roll, please). Here is our eleventh series recap:

  • The daughters of Zion were haughty, flirted with their eyes, were obsessed with their outward appearance, and were judged for their behavior.
  • David’s ten concubines were not treated the way God intended for women to be treated.
  • Rebekah’s nurse Deborah saw her service as an act of love, was busy, and was the unsung hero of the family.
  • Drusilla heard the Gospel from Paul, but we have no evidence that she gave her heart to Jesus.
  • Dorcas was always doing good, was always helping the poor, left behind a legacy of love, and caused many people to believe in the Lord.
  • Elisha’s mother was godly and loving.
  • Gilead’s wife and Jephthah’s mother did not give birth to an illegitimate child.
  • Jabez’s mother cared for her son.
  • Jeremiah’s mother was a godly woman who raised her son to serve the Lord.
  • We have two things in common with Jesus’ sisters: we too are Jesus’ sisters and Jesus is also our brother and our Savior.

View the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth series recaps.

Women of the Word: Deborah, Nurse of Rebekah

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There are two notable women named Deborah in the Bible. One is Deborah the judge, and the other is Deborah the nurse. This latter Deborah is mentioned twice in the Old Testament. Genesis 24:59 reads,

So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men.

And Genesis 35:8 reads,

Now Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died and was buried under the oak outside Bethel. So it was named Allon Bakuth.

When Rebekah left her home to become the wife of Isaac, Deborah traveled with her. Deborah took good care of Rebekah, and she probably spent a great deal of her time taking care of Jacob and Esau when they were born to Isaac and Rebekah. We aren’t given much information about the background of Deborah, but from the spotlight that is placed on her funeral at the end of her life, it is safe to assume that she was much-loved by the family she spent nearly all of her life taking care of. In Walking with the Women of the Bible, Elizabeth George writes: “Age brought an end to Deborah’s active role of caregiver, and then Jacob’s family cared for her. She loved them, and they loved her…Deborah was buried under “the oak of weeping” and was lamented with sadness and tears usually reserved for family.”

Even though she only has a small role in the Bible, Deborah the nurse has a wealth of lessons from which we can learn. Continue reading

Women of the Word: Deborah

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Deborah’s story is found in Judges 4:1-22 and followed by her song of victory in Judges 5. She was a judge, prophetess, wife, and probably a mom, too. She was the driving force behind Israel winning one of their toughest battles against Jabin, Sisera, and the powerful Canaanite army. Here are five things we can learn from the life of Deborah.

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