All throughout the Old Testament we see again and again where God’s chosen people, the Israelites, rebel against God. They turn their back on God and begin to worship false gods.
In Judges 4 we have yet again a rebellion of the Israelite community.
Previous to this rebellion, the Israelites had seen about 80 years of peace while Ehud was the leader. This is the longest period of peace recorded in the book of Judges.
I want you to see something in vs.3 that I believe we all relate with. We see where the Israelites cry out for help! Something that we commonly do when we mess up in life. The first thing we do is cry for out help, God get me out of this situation! Help me Lord! Our thoughts turn to selfish desires and we are worried about ourselves. What we need to do first off, is turn to God and ask for repentance. To ask God for comfort and not cleansing is only to sow seeds of selfishness that will eventually produce another bitter harvest. I love the Psalm of David, which says “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Ps. 51:10)
To help with the situation, God raised a courageous woman named Deborah to judge the land. Very interesting that God would put a woman in charge. This was an act of grace but also an act of humiliation for the Jews since they lived in a male-dominated society. Deborah took on the role as a mother(Judg. 5:7) and she started giving orders! When God wants to glorify Himself through His people, He always has a perfect plan for us to follow. God had revealed to Deborah his plan, and man was it a good one.
Deborah ordered a man named Barak who was a Jewish general to gather 10,000 men and sent him to meet King Jabins army, which consisted of 900 chariots at the Kishon river. Verse 7 says, “I will give him into your hand” there, or would she? Verse 8 tells us that the glory would go to a womann not Barak. Barak was hesitant in the orders. We probably would have been as well. We can learn from Barak that we should always obey God’s will in spite of circumstances, feelings, or consequences.
Here we go! The armies are gathered for war! Deborah yells out to Barak, “UP! Today is the day that the LORD has given Sisera into your hand.” Barak heads sown to off the Tabor Mountain with 10,000 men following. The battle begins and the Lord’s plan comes together. God routed Sisera and all his chariots and army before Barak by the edge of the sword and not a man was left.
I want you to see the word routed in vs 15. It means to cause confusion, thrown into panic. When we look a little deeper into Scripture, you would see where it was the dry season and the river would have been very low and the land would be very dry. Which would be great for chariots right? The confusion comes from a torrential rainfall that fell during the battle and caused the chariots to get stuck in the mud and the Kishon River to wipe them away which we can see in Chapter 5:20-22. Pretty cool stuff! Gods plan is always perfect!
Of course it didn't end there…the captain of the army, Sisera got away but not for long. Like I said Gods plan is always perfect and it always complete. Sisera fled on foot to the tent of Jael. Well I would tell you the rest of the story, but I would love for you to go read it for yourself. After all Gods plan did say that He would sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. Judges 4:17-24