Story 4 – Stories of the Valiant
When you are at peace with two peoples who are at war, you must choose your side.
He came from the mountain in the plains of Esdraelon, running for his life. He came to me for refuge because of the peace between our families. I left my tent and called to him, “Captain! Come. Come in, and don’t be afraid.”
He entered my dwelling and fell upon his knees, shattered by the chase. He was out of breath, and his eyes darted about in terror. In them I could read what he was thinking: His armies were gone, every man of them killed. He was the last—their captain, he was the last!
I drew a blanket over his huddled figure. He looked up at me with his wild eyes, sunk into his drawn face, and said, “Please…Give me water. I am…so thirsty.”
I could have given him what he requested, but I placed the skin of milk in his hand instead, the cream risen, smooth and silken, to the top. He drank of the milk until his thirst was quenched, and I covered him once more.
I heard it in his sigh: His weakened body was giving way to the lulling effects of the rich cream.
“Guard the door,” he slurred, commanding, “That way if they come seeking me, you will stop them and tell them you haven’t seen me here.”
Sleep claimed him then.
I stood at the entrance as he slept and withdrew a spike that secured the cords of my house. Approaching him softly, my hammer in my right hand, I heard his heavy breathing. Nothing could have pulled him out of that torpor. Nothing.
I drove the tent nail through his temple and into the ground.
“Come,” I called to his enemy, when he came in search of the dead captain. “I will show you the man you’re looking for.”
It was I to whom the LORD sent the last man standing. To me, Jael, was given the honor of taking down Sisera, the captain of Jabin’s army and the enemy of God’s people.
Sisera, the captain of the armies of Jabin, king of Hazor, went to Jael, the wife of a Kenite, for refuge. She killed him with a tent nail to his temple after giving him milk to drink when he requested water (Judges 4:15-22). Deborah, the judge of Israel, prophesied to Barak, the captain of the Israelite army, that the honor of the battle would not go to him–that Sisera would be delivered into the hand of a woman (Judges 4:9). They sang of Jael in Judges 5:24-27, and how she killed Sisera.