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: Jabez’s Mother

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We are introduced to Jabez in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 via way of his mother who gave birth to him in pain. The passage reads:

Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. Continue reading

God’s Grace Is Enough

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When we have a pain or problem in life that won’t go away, no matter how many times we pray about it, we should remember God’s words: “My grace is sufficient for you.” God is enough. His grace will satisfy our needs. He will give us the strength to fulfill the purpose He put us on earth to accomplish.

A Wall of Isolation

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For one of my college assignments this week, I had to take a Walls Evaluation. After completing the evaluation, I found that the wall I have in my life involves a mindset of Isolation. According to the evaluation website: “Isolation can be defined as a withdrawal from healthy relationships to avoid pain or responsibility. Such a Wall can hinder you from the meaningful connections with other people who God created you to enjoy. Even more, if you’re a parent, this Wall can have a major impact on how your children relate to others as well!”

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Hamartiology: The Problem of Evil

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The problem of evil is a question of how evil, pain and suffering can exist in our world with a perfect, all-powerful and loving God. This problem is usually raised by non-believers who argue the problem of evil in examples like the ones below:

1. If God is perfectly loving, He must wish to abolish evil
2. If He is all-powerful, He must be able to abolish evil
3. But evil exists…therefore, an all-powerful, loving God does not exist

OR

1. God is the author of everything
2. Evil is something
3. Therefore God is the author of evil

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A Glorious End

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Then the dust will return to the earth as it was,
And the spirit will return to God who gave it.
– Ecclesiastes 12:7

Perhaps the only certain thing about life is death. We may or may not find true love, become rich, gain fame, or have friends who always stick around. But one thing we can be certain of is that one day we will leave this world behind.

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