If we are honest, we should admit that Deborah’s song of victory over Sisera is a disturbing one. This is a song which celebrates, in graphic details, the death of the chief captain of the enemy. We know that we are celebrating Israel’s victory, yet, we feel unease when reading the song. Jael, the wife of Heber, the kenite invites into her house the fleeing Sisera. ‘He asked water, and she gave him milk; she brought forth buttery in a lordly dish. She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workmen’s hammer; and with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote off his head, when she had pierced and stricken through his temples.’
However, in this song, which bears the marks of cruelty of the age, powerful insights are emerging. Amidst wars, there is a profound desire for peace. ‘They are delivered from the noise if archers in places of drawing water, there shall they rehearse the righteous acts of the Lord.’ Beautiful lines, indeed. Radiant of yearning for peace and the Light of the Law.
Today, there is such a danger of sinking back into this ‘violent chaos of warfare’! That is why the consolation offered by Saint Paul is so important! This is God’s all penetrating and all enlightening Spirit that can dispel the chaos of violence and endless wars. ‘For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.’
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..