Guest Blog written by: Ethan Pettigrew
When I think of a leader, the first thing that pops in my head is someone strong, smart, and well-liked. In today’s reading, however,we can see that God doesn’t need someone with these attributes to make a leader.
At the end of Judges 4, we see a woman named Jael. Jael took the military leader of Canaan, Sisera, in to her tent. She was seemingly very friendly to Sisera, she gave him something to drink and a place to sleep for the night. In reality, she gave him curdled milk to drink and the place he laid his head was not safe. In the middle of the night, she drove a tent spike through his temple! When I read this, I was astounded. This woman just killed a military commander by hammering a tent spike through his head!
In this reading we also see the story of Gideon. Gideon was a very unlikely leader, he was the youngest member of the weakest family, the lowest of the low. However, God took Gideon and make him a great military leader. Gideon led a force of just 300 men (who God handpicked) against 135,000 soldiers. That’s 450 times larger than Gideon’s men, and they killed all 135,000!
Then in Chapter 11, there’s the story of Jephthah. Jephthah was the son of a prostitute and was thrown out of his family. He became the leader of “lawless” or “worthless” men. Then when the Ammonites began to fight Israel, the Gileadites asked for Jephthah to return and lead Israel. He then led the Israelites to defeat the Ammonite forces with the help of God.
All throughout today’s reading are stories of unlikely leaders, a woman who killed the military leader of Israel’s greatest rival with a tent spike, the lowest of the low in Israel leading a few hundred to defeat an army of over 100,000, and a man cast out of his family to become the leader of all of Israel. If God can take these unlikely people and make them heroes and leaders, what’s holding us back today from allowing God to do the unthinkable through us?