She saw a man fast approaching her tent. A dust cloud followed right behind him. When he got closer to her tent, stumbled towards her. He looked like a soldier.
He called out a greeting. That wasn’t any regular soldier, Jael realised. That was the commander of the Canaanite army. Sisera.
She hurried out to meet him. “Come aside here, my lord. Don’t be afraid.”
And so he did. Her family was on good terms with the king. Surely he must think he would be safe here.
Jael knew she seemed harmless. What was any woman’s business with national matters? With war? With anything?
But she knew who he was and why he was running.
She brought out her blanket and some warm milk even though he had asked for water.
Was she afraid? It’s very likely. Did her heart beat a thousand miles a second? Probably. Jael had a choice: wait for help which might not come soon enough, or seize this opportunity to do the right thing.
She might not have a sword, but she lived in a tent! She knew how to drive a tent peg into the ground. And so she knew what to do to the unsuspecting Sisera whose reign of terror was about to be over.
Jael wasn’t an Israelite, but she must have known there was something special about these people. She was a woman who wanted to be on the right side.
The honour of the war went to her. She single handedly defeated a powerful commander of a powerful nation. Barak the Israelite commander had cowered, but Jael didn’t.
I will think some more about this woman and why she had the guts to do what she did. It might have been a simple even though difficult choice for her. To Jael it was not an option to cower. She must have realised that what was happening was way bigger than her, bigger than her fears, bigger than the place her society might have given her.
Women of faith think like that too. They realise they’re in a war that’s way bigger than them. That’s way bigger than their individual dreams and hopes. They know they must have faith. They know who their God is. They know what they’re capable of through Him. And that’s Jael’s story.