Judges 5:3

 

 

The Bible continues to tell us the song of Deborah and Barak. The Bible says in Judges 5:3-6, “Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel.[4] LORD, when thou wentest out of Seir, when thou marchedst out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds also dropped water.[5] The mountains melted from before the LORD, even that Sinai from before the LORD God of Israel.[6] In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, and the travellers walked through byways.” They are not hiding what they believe. They are singing. Singing is one of the most important things that Christians can do. It is one of the four Biblical activities that a Christian congregation does: singing, prayer, Bible teaching, and fellowship. The most important aspect of singing is what takes place in the heart. It says in Ephesians 5:19, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;” Singing as unto the Lord Jesus in our hearts is the most important part of singing, but there is another aspect to singing: so that others may hear the message of God through song. That is why in Judges 5:3 that Deborah said, “Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes.”

 

In verses four and five Deborah is recognizing that God was involved in everything that happened. She mentioned earthquakes, she mentioned clouds and rain, and she mentioned mountains and the desert of Sinai. In every place and in everything that happens, God is involved doing His will, leading His children from victory to victory. God’s work involves all the people of the world. No one is insignificant to God. Everyone has a purpose. In verse six two people are mentioned: “Shamgar the son of Anath” and Jael. They are mentioned in a way that makes them sound like equals. Shamgar was the judge who God used to deliver Israel before Deborah came on the scene, but who was Jael? She was a woman, but she was not judge. Deborah was the only female judge of Israel. And so we see that Jael is given the highest possible status because of how God used her to bring an end to Sisera.

 

The Bible says in Judges 5:7, “The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel.” Israel needed a leader. They needed someone who would rise up in the name of the Lord and make the right decisions and point the generals in the right direction. Of course, in order to such a leader, they would have to be properly trained and prepared. What prepared Deborah to be such a leader? What experience did she have? She had perhaps the best experience possible: she was “a mother in Israel.” If you are a mother, you already are a leader. You lead your household with your husband, and many times a mother leads a household without a husband being there. A mother makes decisions in caring for the household. She operates under a budget. She thinks about where things are headed and she makes sure that things for everyone in the household are headed in the right direction. She solves problems. She gives wise counsel and advice. She loves. Who in the world would be a better leader than a mother?  

 

The Bible says in Judges 5:8-12, “They chose new gods; then was war in the gates: was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel?[9] My heart is toward the governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless ye the LORD.[10] Speak, ye that ride on white asses, ye that sit in judgment, and walk by the way.[11] They that are delivered from the noise of archers in the places of drawing water, there shall they rehearse the righteous acts of the LORD, even the righteous acts toward the inhabitants of his villages in Israel: then shall the people of the LORD go down to the gates.[12] Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam.” These verses show the importance of unity in a nation. Deborah was a great judge and prophetess, and she was also a leader. Fortunately, other followed her leading. Barak, the general, followed her leadership. The “the governors of Israel” followed her leadership. She said that they “offered themselves willingly among the people.” The judges followed Deborah’s leadership. The judges are being spoken about in verse ten concerning them “that sit in judgment.” Any nation would be a great nation that had the top leader, the generals, the other leaders, and the judges all on the same page: all following the leader of the nation and all following God. Guess what you will have in a nation if you do not have that: division. This is what Jesus said about a nation that is characterized by division: “A nation that is divided against itself cannot stand

 

A great phrase is found in verse twelve that says, “arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive.” It means to take captive the things that had captured you. Many people are captured by sins or bad habits or other things that waste their precious time. We need to take charge of our lives, fight back, and conquer those things. It is interesting that it says of Jesus in Ephesians 4:8, “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” Jesus conquered everything: all sin, all evil, all failure of men, death and sickness. Therefore, Jesus has the solution to these things. Jesus accomplished the greatest victory of all.

 

The Bible says in Judges 5:13-18, “Then he made him that remaineth have dominion over the nobles among the people: the LORD made me have dominion over the mighty.[14] Out of Ephraim was there a root of them against Amalek; after thee, Benjamin, among thy people; out of Machir came down governors, and out of Zebulun they that handle the pen of the writer.[15] And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah; even Issachar, and also Barak: he was sent on foot into the valley. For the divisions of Reuben there were great thoughts of heart.[16] Why abodest thou among the sheepfolds, to hear the bleatings of the flocks? For the divisions of Reuben there were great searchings of heart.[17] Gilead abode beyond Jordan: and why did Dan remain in ships? Asher continued on the sea shore, and abode in his breaches.[18] Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field.” These are some very interesting verses of the Bible. Deborah is stating the fact that God made her leader over all the people of Israel. She said in verse thirteen, “the LORD made me have dominion.” If she is leader over all the people, then she also has dominion over the others who are local leaders under her. She mentions “the nobles” and “the mighty” in verse thirteen. She mentions “governors” in verse fourteen and “princes” in verse fifteen. But in listing those that are leaders, she also mentions other people who are greatly influential in the nation. In verse fourteen she mentions “they that handle the pen of the writer.” There is a famous saying, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” The potential for great influence by writings is always there. You can write once, but then influence many generations to come. God used writing to create His body of truth for all people.

 

In verse fifteen Deborah mentioned those who have “great thoughts of heart.” Thoughts are everything. If we have the right thoughts, we will have the right actions. Every action, good or bad, is preceded by thoughts that lead us to that action. It says in Proverbs 4:23, “Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.” The Lord wants Christians to learn how to have victory over their thought life. It says in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

 

In verse eighteen Deborah also spoke of “a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death.” This was a time of war and battle, as is often the case in human history. In order to win, not just the leaders, but also the people had to put it all on the line. That is one of the reasons that we honor our veterans so highly. Our veterans have also “jeoparded their lives unto the death” so that the rest of us can be free. Any people that are not willing to fight for their freedoms will lose them. In the Declaration of Independence the founders of America wrote, “And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” Jesus won the victory over sin, death, and the devil; and He did so by giving His life.

 

The Bible says in Judges 5:19-23, “The kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; they took no gain of money.[20] They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.[21] The river of Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon. O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength.[22] Then were the horsehoofs broken by the means of the pransings, the pransings of their mighty ones.[23] Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the LORD, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD against the mighty.” Verse nineteen gives one reason that the Israelites were successful in this particular campaign. It says, “they took no gain of money.” One of the failures of life is when people do things for money instead of doing things based upon what will bring God glory. We have senators and congressmen who become multi-millionaires after a number of years in Washington. They are obviously making decisions based upon how much money they can get out of it. They are poor leaders. They do what is best for themselves instead of what is best for the people. As it says in First Timothy 6:10, “The love of money is the root of all evil

 

Judges 5:20-23 point out an important truth: once God decides to take action against evil, that evil will fail and the judgment of God will make sure that nothing works out for the evil ones. Sisera’s army lost the battle, and then he thought that he was going to escape: no way. When he became exhausted, he saw a tent and thought there was a place where he could hide while he rested: no way He asked Jail to be a lookout for him as he rested: that did not happen. The last thing that he thought possible was that this woman would kill him in his sleep. That is exactly what did happen. Why did so many things go wrong for Sisera? Once God is against you, everything will be against you. Verse twenty says it very well, “They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.” God will use nature (He controls nature), as it says in the first part of verse twenty-one, “The river of Kishon swept them away.” Once God is against the evil one, they will lose their strength, as it also says in verse twenty-one, “thou hast trodden down strength.” Horses were a very important part of Sisera’s army, but it says about the horses in verse twenty-two, “Then were the horsehoofs broken.” Once God rises up against an evil person, what they once relied upon for victory will no longer work for them.

 

Of course, people still have their free will. God does not force anyone to go with Him and to be a part of His victory, but there are consequences. It says in verse twenty-three, “Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the LORD, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD against the mighty.” Notice the phrase, “they came not to the help of the LORD.” We need the Lord to help us, but amazingly, the Lord also needs us to help Him. That is because believers are the body of Christ. We are His feet and His hands and His spokespersons. The Lord often chooses to do nothing without us.

 

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Copyright; 2019 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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