“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Prov 16:18 NIV)
Israel was facing impossible odds: 900 iron chariots against men on foot (See Judges 4:3), experienced warriors against 2 women with no experience at all in warfare. In now-a-days terms we could compare this to indigenous people from the Amazon coming up against modern tanks, machine guns, airplane bombers, etc., with a simple bow and arrow.
There was no way Israel could win, and even less with inexperienced women leading the attack!
When Deborah gave the order (verse 6), doubt naturally arose (verse 8). Even though she had never fought before, she lead the way. She knew without a doubt that with God on her side, she truly had nothing to fear!
What happened next was completely unexpected: the mighty warmongers were defeated by the inexperienced (See verse 15). The battle turned out as prophesied: “Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?” (Judges 4:14 NIV)
Unfortunately however, the commander in chief, Sisera, archenemy of Israel, succeeded in escaping. Still there was no need to worry: God was STILL in charge!
Sisera fled to a nearby tent, where Jael (The 2nd woman in our story), wife of Heber the Kenite, supposedly an ally of Sisera’s army, was there to greet him. (See verse 17). Without hesitation she led him inside her tent and covered him up. A strange way to hide from your enemy, don’t you think! But then when the tide turns against us, we, too, act irrationally!
Now Jael only had a tent peg and a hammer with which to protect herself. What could she do with these? I know what I would do: I would look at these two items for hours, wondering what good they could be to me. Until the hammer fell on my foot that is . . .
But Jael knew what to do with them, and she used these two useless items to defeat the enemy of Israel (See verse 21). Who would have thought that a mighty warrior could be brought down by a tent peg and a hammer! But then, with God nothing is impossible!
In more recent history, the Allies were facing impossible odds as well. The Germans had built a long wall, called the Atlantic wall, that stretched from Norway to the French-Spanish border, and there they entrenched bunkers, heavy batteries, landmines, and a myriad of other destructive devices. They were literally impenetrable.
On August 1942, more than 6100 troops, consisting of 4,963 Canadians, 1,005 British commandos, 50 US rangers and 15 Frenchmen landed on the beaches of Dieppe, France. Only too late did they realize that the Atlantic wall was truly impenetrable. A total of 3,369 men were killed or wounded and 1,946 were taken prisoner. The war started to look grimmer and grimmer.
Did the Allies ever abandon all hope? Never!
On June 6, 1944, two years later, the Allies attacked the enemy on the beaches of Normandy.
The Germans expected the ally invasion to happen, and they were watching. They surmised that the allies would attack on a clear sunny day, during the daytime, and at high tide, and all of their warmonger traps were set for a high tide invasion. These became useless the day the allies came in, in the fog, at low tide, really early in the morning. The Nazis didn’t realize they were there until they were too close for comfort. They quickly tried to reach their Fuhrer for directions, but he was fast asleep, and due to his extravagant temper, no one dared wake him up. And the rest is history!
Hilarious odds can be expected when our hope is in God! We will hopefully all learn sooner or later: “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor 12:10 NIV)
We may be facing unimaginable odds, but if we rely on God, we will truly have nothing to fear. Those iron chariots or German booby traps, as well as all the other warmongers from hell, are nothing compared to the power of God! Doubt will lead to utter defeat as well as depression, but faith will lead us to victory.
What are you waiting for? Stop wondering what you can do with that tent peg and hammer. Trust God and let Him guide!
(To access the entire “Facing Unimaginable Odds” devotional series, please click here.)