By Jon Kauffman
Mary and Jael are the only two women who are called “Blessed among Women” in the Bible.
Mary was called Blessed by Elizabeth when she was pregnant with Jesus and she went to visit Elizabeth.
41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women,and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1:41-45, NIV
Jael was called blessed because she crushed the head of her enemy Sisera. Here is the story from Judges.
18 Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Come, my lord, come right in. Don’t be afraid.” So he entered her tent, and she covered him with a blanket. 19 “I’m thirsty,” he said. “Please give me some water.” She opened a skin of milk, gave him a drink, and covered him up. 20 “Stand in the doorway of the tent,” he told her. “If someone comes by and asks you, ‘Is anyone in there?’ say ‘No.’” 21 But Jael, Heber’s wife, picked up a tent peg and a hammer and went quietly to him while he lay fast asleep, exhausted. She drove the peg through his temple into the ground, and he died. 22 Just then Barak came by in pursuit of Sisera, and Jael went out to meet him. “Come,” she said, “I will show you the man you’re looking for.” So he went in with her, and there lay Sisera with the tent peg through his temple—dead. Judges 4:18-22, NIV
Jael is remembered in the “Song of Deborah” as blessed.
“Most blessed of women be Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, most blessed of tent-dwelling women. Joshua 5:24, NIV
Jael’s story of crushing the head of her temporal enemy foreshadows Mary’s Son crushing the head of our true enemy Satan, the serpent. The prophecy that is fulfilled through Mary is found in Genesis.
15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:15, NIV
Revelation 12 speaks of Mary’s final victory over the dragon.
Jael was the magnificent warrior as she crushed the violent physical enemy of Israel. Mary was the magnificent warrior as she crushed our true enemy through her son.
When Jesus came to earth the enemy we fight changed. Before Jesus Israel was God’s Kingdom on earth. Israel could fight her earthly physical enemies. This foreshadows the spiritual battles involving the church against spiritual forces in heavenly realms. The war we are now fighting is more violent and more important that any physical battle that we could fight.
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12, NIV
3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:2&3, NIV
We no longer are called to fight physical battles against temporal human enemies but we are called to “Love our enemies” Matthew 5:43. Jesus has won the eternally significant war and we continue to fight mop up battles. We must love our enemies. The state may claim that someone is our enemy, but if that enemy is a follower of Jesus or a potential follower of Jesus, we do violence against the Kingdom of God if we kill them.
Israel was the Kingdom of God on earth before the coming of Jesus. With the coming of the church, the Kingdom of God is part of every tongue and every nation. Any earthly government or empire must be subservient to the Kingdom of God.
I think that it is likely that when we get to heaven, Jesus will point out to each of us how our own spiritual battles were foreshadowed in the Old Testament.
Copyright © 2019 by Jon Kauffman. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given. Permission is gladly given to re-blog this post.
Picture: Copyright © 2019 by Leon Kauffman