August 4, 2018

Hammer & Peg

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 5:26 am by Broken & Brave

Let’s hammer some tent pegs…

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“So may all your enemies perish, Lord!
    But may all who love you be like the sun
    when it rises in its strength.”

Judges 5:31

In the passages found in Judges chapter 4 and 5 we study one of my favorite Bible characters—that of Deborah. Deborah was fully Warrior yet fully feminine, absolutely love this stoic woman of faith and her resolute heart of Compassion for God’s people coupled with her tender ear for the Lord’s Voice. She knew exactly who her Daddy was and she “camped out”—as in sat, under a palm tree to share His love with His people daily.

Speaking of camping…

Have you ever been camping? Not RV camping. Not lodging. I mean camping-like pitch a tent, propane stoves or fire pits, no showers (ugh)?

My parents love to camp. They still camp to this day. Now they’ve upgraded and have a beautiful and cozy RV for their trips, but they just love all that. I spent my entire childhood camping. Nearly every family vacation or weekend trip involved a lake, a boat, a lot of water skiing and tent dwelling. I didn’t mind camping as a kid. I enjoyed the change of scenery. Who doesn’t love fresh air, pine trees and nature? I really enjoyed sitting near the camp fire at night. But what kept me interested was probably the boating and skiing. I absolutely loved to water ski and loved riding in the boat. Driving fast across the water, wind whipping my hair in my eyes. I loved that.

What I didn’t love was setting up camp. Helping my Dad pitch the tents, getting all of our things inside the tent. All the little frustrations that go along with setting up. I can honestly say, and I frequently do when the subject of camping comes up, I reached my quota for camping by the time I was a teen. I don’t camp anymore. My idea of camping is a higher end hotel. I am thankful my husband shares this sentiment—he never drags me on an outdoor camping trip.

Because my folks love it they sometimes take our kids camping. But last week my middle son went camping in Lake Tahoe with a huge group of families we know. He slept in a tent, etc. He had a blast!

I found listening to his stories of his trip both interesting (mostly because I adore this kid and his stories) and timely because I was just studying in the book of Judges last week. I’m a long time fan of Deborah, Israel’s female judge and prophetess. But Jael was a new little twist for me—hadn’t spent much time studying her story. What a Story!

I’m not going to recap her story, you can read it in Judges 4 and 5, but I’d like to draw a few nuggets I gleaned from her life.

1. You are equipped.

When God gives you an assignment there isn’t anything you will lack to complete the task. Jael was a nomadic, tent dwelling woman who found herself in a unique opportunity to serve the God of Israel and she took it. She was from a band of people who were neutral in the war and amiable with Sisera—oppressor of Israel. Who knows why she decided to kill him, but that’s what she did and she went from a no name tent dweller to the delivered of Israel. God not only gave her an open door of opportunity, the opportunity walked right through her door—it came to her.

2. You have no lack.

Jael used the very tools and resources God had equipped her with—a hammer and a tent peg. Gruesome way to kill Sisera, but she was a woman well experienced with both tools and knew how to wield them well. She didn’t have to think about how to hold the peg or how to aim the hammer. God used a task that she was accustomed to and performed daily to seal the fate of the 20 year source of pain for Israel. God loves to be unique! She didn’t have to have the latest sword, a fast horse or a title or position. She understood her commission and didn’t hesitate. She took what she knew and applied it with force.

3. Don’t shrink back because you are meek.

The Bible says that the meek shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5).
I see this principle played out in this Old Testament account of radical deliverance. I’m sure it would’ve been easy for Jael to rationalize her way out of advancing, but she didn’t. She didn’t stop and evaluate her position in society as a female, a nomad, a person of a not so spectacular lineage—but instead she seized the moment and invited destiny in. Because of her faithfulness the Israelites recaptured the land. She inherited the earth alright and not just for herself, for an entire nation of God’s chosen people. If God can use her, why can’t He use you?

So when you find yourself in situations where you feel ill-equipped, less than, unqualified…think of Jael!

Let’s go drive some tent pegs!

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