2024_02_07 Insight Post- Rusty Coram


This week’s reading- Judges 4, Judges 5Hebrews 11:32-34

Sometimes what we read in the Bible is uncomfortable, to say the least. Not everything we read is G-rated or an easy fit for a children’s Bible Class. Our reading this week in Judges chapters 4 and 5 is one of these. Deborah was the spiritual leader “judge” of Israel at the time. She was one of many that God raised up to rescue His people after a period of rebellion followed by repentance. During her time, Israel was under the “ruthless oppression” of Canaan’s king Hazor and his military leader Sisera.

God made it clear to Deborah that He was going to rescue His people from their 20-year Canaanite tyranny. She summoned a key leader of the Israelites named Barak and told him, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: Call out 10,000 warriors from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun at Mount Tabor. And I will call out Sisera, commander of Jabin’s army, along with his chariots and warriors, to the Kishon River. There I will give you victory over him.” Barak told her, “I will go, but only if you go with me.” “Very well,” she replied, “I will go with you. But you will receive no honor in this venture, for the Lord’s victory over Sisera will be at the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh.”  Judges 4:6–9 (NLT)

It appears that Barak was understandably fearful of the military assignment, but rather than deal with his fear before God, he immediately laid out conditions to Deborah – that he would only lead the militia if she accompanied him. She showed her faith in God by agreeing, but then let Barak know that the victory for this will be attributed to God and a woman, not him. Soon everyone would see the victory won by a woman named Jael, who was not a combatant but involuntarily thrust into the battle when Sisera fled the fight and sought refuge in her tent.

While not all of Jael’s actions (Judges 5:17-23) are in line with God’s character, her courageous act to rescue her people from the Canaanite oppression was noble. Delivering the Israelites this way is a lasting reminder that God is able to do whatever He wants and He will do it in ways that encourage us to trust Him and not our own ingenuity and effort. Just like us, the Israelites had short “spiritual attention spans”. God wanted them to see that He was always the best place to put their trust and He used unexpected and unlikely ways to prove it.

Later we will read about how God used Gideon to win the nation’s freedom. When Gideon was raising an army God continued to have him reduce the size until it was minuscule. Explaining why God told him, “You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength.”(Judges 7:2)

God wants us to see that He is the one working on our behalf so we will put our confidence and hope in Him and Him alone.

Rusty Coram
Senior Pastor