Saturday, August 07, 2010

Meet the Cast of Characters

This Sunday morning the Old Testament story we will be focusing on here at Grace Church is that of Deborah and it also involves a tent spike. I doubt very seriously that there are all that many people reading this posting who know the details to this story. You may have heard parts of it in the past but you probably would be hard-pressed to stand up today and tell its details. So let’s learn this story together. I want to begin by giving you an overview of the cast of characters because you may not be familiar at all with some of them.

Let’s start first with the main character of our story – her name is Deborah. Now according to Judges 4, we know three main things about Deborah. First, she was the wife of a man named Lapidoth. Second, she was a judge in Israel. And third, she was a prophetess. As a judge we learn that Deborah would sit under a palm tree which was coined “Deborah’s palm tree” and people from all over would come to her for help in settling disputes and gaining advice. As a prophetess she also spoke for God. By the way, Deborah was not the only woman prophetess mentioned in Scripture. There was also Miriam, Huldah and Anna.

Deborah’s supporting character in the story is a man named Barak. This would be the man who would lead 10,000 men of Israel in war against their enemy.

The villain in the story is a man named Jabin who was king of the Canaanite city of Hazor. The word Jabin may have been more of a title than a proper name (like Pharaoh) because years earlier Joshua had defeated a King Jabin also of Hazor and burnt the city to the ground.

Every villain has a side-kick and for Jabin it was Sisera who was the Captain of his Army. This army included 900 chariots of iron which would be like going against a company of tanks today armed only with pitchforks.

And then comes the undercover agent in the story who becomes the heroine. Her name is Jael. She is married to a man named Heber who was a Kenite. While most Kenites had sided with Israel, Heber had moved to be a neighbor near King Jabin and had entered into a peace treaty with him.

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