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Judges 4

Judges 4

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

Posted by Mitch Boles with

Judges 5

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

FRIDAY, APRIL 20

Jeremy Witt

SCRIPTURE:  JUDGES 5

I hate musicals!  Honestly, I truly can’t stand them!  Yes, I am aware that our state has its own musical which tells a story, but I still hate them.  How many times in your day do you break out into song?  Maybe you shouldn’t answer that.  Nevertheless, this chapter is a rare one where two people break out into song.  They sang a song to tell a story, so you just might call it a musical. 

Chapter 5 is this song or poem.  This hymn of victory was undoubtedly written by Deborah and was joined in by Barak but was primarily Deborah’s.  This may also have been contained in another collection such as “Book of the Wars of the LORD” (Numbers 21:14) or the Book of Jashar (Joshua 10:13).  Victory hymns were common in the 15th – 12th centuries in Egypt and Assyria.  Apparently war musicals were the rage then.

With a profound simplicity, this song points to the LORD God or Yahweh.  God was true to His word and covenant in protecting the people.  This song or poem even points out some things not found in chapter 4, but the main theme is of the blessing and cursing.  Verses 2-5 praise the LORD.  Notice that the leaders led and the people volunteered.  They each blessed the LORD!  Now that is a concept we need to take hold of.  Rather than asking for God to bless us, what if we sought ways to bless the LORD?  Now that will preach, but I must move on. 

Verses 6-11 acknowledge Deborah and her key role in leading.  Verses 12-18 point to the tribes and their efforts and verses 19-30 focus on the defeat of the Canaanites.  Verse 31 concludes the song of victory with a blessing and a curse.  The defeat of Israel’s enemies is clearly the curse, and the blessing to those who love Yahweh like “the rising of the sun.”  This phrase was a reference to having a life full of blessing.

The last words of verse 31 also show us an additional blessing on the land.  The land was undisturbed for 40 years.  For those of you who are familiar with the Old Testament, you might think of the curse of sin in Genesis 3 where the land was cursed.  You could also be aware of the law calling for the land to be free of plowing for one year.  You can find this in Leviticus 25:2-4.  Our Jewish friends call this year the Shmita or Shemitah year, the Land’s Sabbath.  Specifically in this case, the land was free of attack and bloodshed for 40 years.

Since this may fall into the line of musical genre, at least there were battles, the good guys win, and a really cool story about a bad guy and a tent peg. (If you need a good place to show your preteen/teenage boy a great story in Scripture, they will love this story in Judges 4 and 5!  In fact the book of Judges is a good one that will keep their attention.)  There were the heroes, Deborah and Barak, and the ultimate one in control, Yahweh. 

Even a battle hymn can remind us of who is in control and that we need to trust Him and follow Him.

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

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