The Tent Peg

Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Saviour Teach Me Day By Day"1 (Lyrics)

Judges 4:20-21 – "Stand in the doorway of the tent," [Sisera] told [Jael]. "If someone comes by and asks you, 'Is anyone here?' Say 'No.'" 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. (NIV)

My daughter bought me the Bible on CD for Christmas, and I enjoy listening to it while I do my workout on the treadmill. As I was listening to the end of chapter 4 from Judges, I began to laugh. This passage describes the downfall of Sisera, the commander of the armies of Jabin, the Canaanite king to whom God had given over the Israelites, due to the evil they had committed in His sight. It struck me as hilarious that after Jael drove a tent peg through Sisera's temple that the next words were "and he died". The whole scene was one of such violence that it seemed to go without saying that indeed surely he would be dead.

But as I laughed amidst my pounding along on my treadmill, this vision of a tent peg being driven through someone's temple, causing death, suddenly brought another thought to my mind.

Romans 12:2 – Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will. (NIV)

The Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord and thus became captives of the ungodly Jabin, a king of Canaan. When we conform to the pattern of this world, we also do evil in the sight of the Lord, and we become captives of that evil. It invades our minds, our thoughts, and our actions, and the only way back to freedom in Christ is to drive the tent peg of God's truth from Scripture into the lies to which we have fallen prey, that they too might die through the transformation and renewal of our minds.

Suddenly, I wasn't laughing any more. I was amazed at the sobering power and truth of this thought. Being able to test and approve what God's will is — His good, pleasing, and perfect will — should be our goal as His children. And how can we achieve this goal if indeed we are not willing to allow Scripture on a regular basis to transform and renew our minds according to His truth? His truth is much like Jael's tent peg with the power to kill the lies of the prince of this world, who continually seeks to recapture the minds of God's children and lure us back into the conformity of this world.

Prayer: Father God, help us this day to allow the truth of Your Word to be driven deeply into our minds that we may no longer conform in any way, shape, or form to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we might be able to test and approve what Your will is — Your good, pleasing, and perfect will. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.

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Lynne Phipps <>
Tawatinaw, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    A good reminder Lynne.

    Very uplifting as always. Keep writing.
    Love and blessings.

    Lynne – that’s one analogy I’m not likely to forget! I like how you turned that gruesome story into a great application. Thanks as always for sharing your insights.

    Excellent analogy and excellent reminder, Lynne. While we are washed in the blood of Christ, we still get daily grime on our minds which need to be constantly cleansed.
    Thanks so much.

    Stand back satan!
    Your devotional gave me a jolt to my spirit as I took on the metaphor of God’s word as a stake…but it’s true! And as we memorize scripture and use it in this way, our minds will be cleared of the junk that gets in from an average day of living in 2013. Many thanks for your encouragement!
    (BC Canada)

    Thank you, Lynne Phipps, for your excellent, helpful Devotional. I was especially pleased by your interest in looking after your own health & your God-given body, for it says in the Bible:
    “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body…” 1 Cor. 6:19-20

    One might even say God’s Word is, sharper than a two edged sword????

    Lynne – what a great spiritual application from a story of one’s physical demise-death to those things that would distract us from instilling God’s principals into our minds. Thank you for writing and may God continue to bless you.

    Dear Lynne,
    you are just so real with real and practical experiences.

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