Judges 4 is about the power of a woman in control. As predicted, “the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord after Ehud died”. A godly leader dies and the train goes off the track. Ehud had just defeated the enemy and given the people their freedom, but after he passes, they turn away and become oppressed for 20 years. Deborah is the sitting judge during this time, and God had her speak to Barak about going to battle.
She has a plan – to draw out the general of the 900 chariots of iron – Sisera. He led Jabin’s army and was the guy in charge. She tells Barak to gather 10,000 troops and prepare for battle. Of course the odds don’t seem very fair as the enemy has chariots of iron and has routed the army of Israel before. So Barak says he isn’t going if Deborah doesn’t go along. She says get ready – she is going – and they will win.
So after Barak has them assembled, one morning Deborah comes along and says “Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has given Sisera into your hand”. Not a lot of warm up or preparation. Get up – we’re leaving – God is going to help us win. So Barak goes down with his 10,000 and they destroy the enemy. Every one was killed except for Sisera who fled and ran to the tent of a woman who was related to someone who had a treaty with Jabin, king of Hazor which is the enemy.
Sisera thinks he is safe, and Jael plays along. She allows him in and while he is sleeping, she “took a tent peg, and took a hammer in her hand. Then she went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple until it went down into the ground”. Not exactly a friendly woman. She wiped out the general of the army and God used Deborah and Jael to subdue Jabin, king of the enemy. Barak comes looking for Sisera and finds him dead. Pretty easy way to clean up the battle. Two women take on the leadership here and get rid of the enemy. God uses those willing to serve. We need to be willing to trust and obey and follow His lead.