Verse 1 – Our sin harms both others, and ourselves but all sin is ultimately against God because it disregards his commands and His authority over us. Recognizing the seriousness of sin is the first step toward removing it from our lives.
Verses 2, 3 – The Canaanite army had 900 iron chariots. Israel was not powerful enough to defeat such an invincible army. Therefore, Jabin and Sisera had no trouble oppressing the people – until a faithful woman named Deborah called upon God. After 20 years of this treatment, the Israelites finally cried to the Lord for help. When struggles come our way, God wants us to come to Him first, seeking His strength, wisdom, and guidance.
Verse 4 – God can choose anyone to lead His people, young or old, man, or woman. Obviously, Deborah was the best person to lead Israel. The Bible records several women who held national leadership positions.
Verses 6-8 – Barak wanted Deborah to go with him. Barak’s request shows that he trusted human strength more than God’s promise. There will be times when we will have to step out, and go with no other person – you and God are a majority!
Verse 9 – How did Deborah command such respect? She was responsible for leading Israel into battle and influencing them to live for God after the battle was over. She was also a prophetess, whose main role was to encourage the people to obey God. Those who lead must not forget about the spiritual condition of those being led. Being a true leader is being concerned for the people, not just recognition of success.
Verse 11 – Heber was Jael’s husband (4:21). He was from the Kenite tribe, a longtime ally of Israel. But, for some reason, Heber decided to side with Jabin. Although Heber threw in his lot with Jabin and his forces, his wife Jael, did not (4:21).
Verses 18-21 – Sisera couldn’t have been more pleased when Jael offered him her tent as a hiding place. First, because Jael was the wife of Heber, a man loyal to Sisera’s forces, so he thought she could be trusted. Second, because men were never allowed to enter a woman’s tent, no one would think to look for Sisera there. Woman of that day were responsible for pitching the tent so Jael had no problem driving the tent-peg into Sisera’s head while he slept.