Term 1 – Week 9
Big Idea – God’s people repeatedly turned from the LORD.
Judges 4-5 (Judges 4:1-3, 4:14-15, 5:31)
- See the victory God gave Israel and the example set by Deborah for trusting God’s promises
- Belief – God goes ‘ahead’ of Israel to win the battle for them. We believe that God goes ‘ahead’ of us to achieve all that he has planned for us, so we can have confidence in him.
- Behaviour – As Deborah and Barak rejoiced in he victory the LORD won, we can celebrate the victory we have through Jesus’ death and resurrection!
The time of the judges continued after Ehud. The Israelites fell into a continuous cycle of sin, bondage, deliverance and peace. Every judge was imperfect, yet God worked though the judges. At the time when the Israelites were oppressed by the king of Canaan, Deborah was the judge of Israel. Deborah sent for Barak and encouraged him to take up an army and fight the army of Canaan and its leader, Sisera.
Deborah reminded Barak that God would hand Sisera and his troops over to him (Judges 4:6-7). Barak agreed to go, but only if Deborah went with him. Deborah went, but she informed Barak that he would get no glory for the battle. When Barak went down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men, Deborah encouraged them on by reminding them of God’s promises, “Go! This is the day the LORD has given Sisera into your hands. Has no the LORD gone ahead of you?”. Barak advanced, and “the LORD routed Sisera and all his chariots and army by the sword”. The LORD had gone ahead and won the victory for Israel (Judges 4:14-15). Everyone in the army dies, but Sisera escaped on foot.
Sisera fled to the tent of Jael, who invited him inside and gave him a drink. While Sisera slept, Jael drove a tent peg through his temple and he died.
Judges 5 records a victory song Deborah and Barak sang on that day, praising God for defeating the Canaanites. The land had rest for 40 years. God fought for the Israelites and used Deborah, Barak and Jael, for the sake of His own glory, to accomplish the Israelites’ victory over Canaan.
Throughout this story Deborah points Barak to God’s purposes and promises, and so when victory is won they break out in song to praise the LORD. We can remind each other of what God has promised and done with an even greater song! God has given us victory over our enemies, sin and death, through Jesus Christ. We have victory through Jesus and so we can celebrate just like Deborah and Barak did in their song. We must never forget how amazing the victory of Jesus is.
‘I rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians. And I delivered you from the hand of all your oppressors; I drove them out before you and gave you their land. 10 I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.”’
A Very Special Tent – Ben Pakula
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