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Deborah Helps Deliver Israel From Oppression

on September 11, 2013

DEBORAHDeborah Helps Deliver Israel From Oppression

Memory Verse: Judges 4:14

Life Application: God will use us to help deliver others.

Bible Text:

Judges 4:1-24

Judges 5:1-31

Deuteronomy 31:16-19

Joshua 23:11-13

 

The Israelites, God chosen people, were once again worshiping the false idol gods of Canaan. This religion worshiped many false gods.

Judges 4:1  NKJV     “When Ehud was dead, the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord.”

          There were wicked rituals, including prostitution and child sacrifices. Before the Israelites had entered the land of Canaan, God had warned them through Moses of the consequences of disobedience.

Deuteronomy 31:16-19  NKJV     “And the Lord said to Moses: “Behold, you will rest with your fathers; and this people will rise and play the harlot with the gods of the foreigners of the land, where they go to be among them, and they will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them. Then My anger shall be aroused against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured. And many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?’ And I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they have done, in that they have turned to other gods. “Now therefore, write down this song for yourselves, and teach it to the children of Israel; put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for Me against the children of Israel.”

          Later, Joshua also reminded the Israelites that disobedience to God’s commands would lead to terrible national disaster.

Joshua 23:11-13  NKJV     “Therefore take careful heed to yourselves, that you love the Lord your God. Or else, if indeed you do go back, and cling to the remnant of these nations—these that remain among you—and make marriages with them, and go in to them and they to you, know for certain that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations from before you. But they shall be snares and traps to you, and scourges on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the Lord your God has given you.”

          Because of their disobedience, God allowed, a wicked king named Jabin to oppress Israel. King Jabin and his general, General Sisera, oppressed Israel for twenty years. The Israelites were afraid of General Sisera and his nine hundred iron chariots so they cried out to God for deliverance.

Judges 4:2 NKJV     “So the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who dwelt in Harosheth Hagoyim. And the children of Israel cried out to the Lord; for Jabin had nine hundred chariots of iron, and for twenty years he had harshly oppressed the children of Israel.” 

Judges 5:8  NKJV    “They chose new gods; Then there was war in the gates; Not a shield or spear was seen among forty thousand in Israel”

          During this time God had provided judges over the land. Judges were not kings. They were delivers, arbiters, and administrators. They provided periods of rest and stability for portions of Israel. God had chosen Deborah to be one such judge over the people.

The people respected Deborah’s advice because she helped them know what to do. They came to her whenever they needed counsel.

Judges 4:4-5  NKJV     “Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time. And she would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim. And the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.”

          Deborah was the kind of leader that others respected.

Judges 4:6-7  NKJV     “Then she sent and called for Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali, and said to him, “Has not the Lord God of Israel commanded, ‘Go and deploy troops at Mount Tabor; take with you ten thousand men of the sons of Naphtali and of the sons of Zebulun; and against you I will deploy Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude at the River Kishon; and I will deliver him into your hand’?”

          Deborah called Barak to give him God’s instructions for battle and God’s promise of victory against General Sisera. Upon hearing the instructions, Barak asked Deborah  to go with him to help rally 10,000 Israelites to be soldiers as God commanded – even though they had no weapons.

Judges 4:8-9  NKJV     “And Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go!” So she said, “I will surely go with you; nevertheless there will be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh.”

          As Israel’s army gathered with Deborah and Barak at Mt. Tabor, General Sisera’s army marched toward the River Kishon.

Judges 4:10-13  NKJV     “And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; he went up with ten thousand men under his command, and Deborah went up with him. Now Heber the Kenite, of the children of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses, had separated himself from the Kenites and pitched his tent near the terebinth tree at Zaanaim, which is beside Kedesh. And they reported to Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor. So Sisera gathered together all his chariots, nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people who were with him, from Harosheth Hagoyim to the River Kishon.”

          Deborah cheered and encouraged Barak and her army on to victory, reminding them of God’s presence and His promise of success.

Judges 4:14  NKJV     “Then Deborah said to Barak, “Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has delivered Sisera into your hand. Has not the Lord gone out before you?” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him.”

          Deborah was a great leader. Her army was willing to follow her into what seemed like certain death. She helped them before battle and she was with them during the battle. Through out the entire time she showed confidence in God and stressed to the army to trust in God. She pointed the men toward God, not herself.

Deborah listened carefully to God’s instructions and had total confidence in God’s ability to give victory.

Judges 4:13-15  NKJV     “So Sisera gathered together all his chariots, nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people who were with him, from Harosheth Hagoyim to the River Kishon. Then Deborah said to Barak, “Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has delivered Sisera into your hand. Has not the Lord gone out before you?” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him. And the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army with the edge of the sword before Barak; and Sisera alighted from his chariot and fled away on foot.”

Judges 5: 20-22  NKJV     “They fought from the heavens; The stars from their courses fought against Sisera. The torrent of Kishon swept them away, That ancient torrent, the torrent of Kishon. O my soul, march on in strength! Then the horses’ hooves pounded, The galloping, galloping of his steeds.”

          God miraculously sent a storm which cause General Sisera’s chariots to get stuck in the mud, allowing the Israelites victory.

Judges 4:17-20  NKJV     “However, Sisera had fled away on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite; for there was peace between Jabin king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me; do not fear.” And when he had turned aside with her into the tent, she covered him with a blanket. Then he said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.” So she opened a jug of milk, gave him a drink, and covered him. And he said to her, “Stand at the door of the tent, and if any man comes and inquires of you, and says, ‘Is there any man here?’ you shall say, ‘No.’”

          General Sisera panicked by the sudden turn of events. Leaving his men he ran for safety. He came upon the tent of Jael and asked for help. She asked him to come into her tent for safety. Once inside, she gave him some milk to drink and covered him up with a blanket.

Judges 4:21-23  NKJV     “Then Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent peg and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple, and it went down into the ground; for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died. And then, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said to him, “Come, I will show you the man whom you seek.” And when he went into her tent, there lay Sisera, dead with the peg in his temple. So on that day God subdued Jabin king of Canaan in the presence of the children of Israel. And the hand of the children of Israel grew stronger and stronger against Jabin king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.”

          After a period of time General Sisera fell asleep under the blanket because he was very tired. While he was sleeping soundly, Jael hammered a tent peg through his head, killing him.

God used Deborah as a great leader to bring deliverance to the people of Israel.

Judges 4:23  NKJV     “So on that day God subdued Jabin king of Canaan in the presence of the children of Israel. And the hand of the children of Israel grew stronger and stronger against Jabin king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.”

         Deborah and Barak were so happy that they sang praises to God for the victory He had given them.

Judges 5:1-31  NKJV     “Then Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam sang on that day, saying:
“When leaders lead in Israel, When the people willingly offer themselves, Bless the Lord! “Hear, O kings! Give ear, O princes! I, even I, will sing to the Lord; I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel. “Lord, when You went out from Seir, When You marched from the field of Edom, The earth trembled and the heavens poured, The clouds also poured water; The mountains gushed before the Lord, This Sinai, before the Lord God of Israel. “In the days of Shamgar, son of Anath, In the days of Jael, The highways were deserted, And the travelers walked along the byways. Village life ceased, it ceased in Israel, Until I, Deborah, arose, Arose a mother in Israel. They chose new gods; Then there was war in the gates; Not a shield or spear was seen among forty thousand in Israel. My heart is with the rulers of Israel Who offered themselves willingly with the people. Bless the Lord! “Speak, you who ride on white donkeys, Who sit in judges’ attire, And who walk along the road. Far from the noise of the archers, among the watering places, There they shall recount the righteous acts of the Lord, The righteous acts for His villagers in Israel; Then the people of the Lord shall go down to the gates. “Awake, awake, Deborah! Awake, awake, sing a song! Arise, Barak, and lead your captives away, O son of Abinoam! “Then the survivors came down, the people against the nobles; The Lord came down for me against the mighty. From Ephraim were those whose roots were in Amalek. After you, Benjamin, with your peoples, From Machir rulers came down, And from Zebulun those who bear the recruiter’s staff. And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah; As Issachar, so was Barak Sent into the valley under his command; Among the divisions of Reuben there were great resolves of heart.Why did you sit among the sheepfolds, To hear the pipings for the flocks? The divisions of Reuben have great searchings of heart. Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan, And why did Dan remain on ships? Asher continued at the seashore, And stayed by his inlets. Zebulun is a people who jeopardized their lives to the point of death, Naphtali also, on the heights of the battlefield. “The kings came and fought, Then the kings of Canaan fought In Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo; They took no spoils of silver. They fought from the heavens; The stars from their courses fought against Sisera. The torrent of Kishon swept them away, That ancient torrent, the torrent of Kishon. O my soul, march on in strength! Then the horses’ hooves pounded, The galloping, galloping of his steeds. Curse Meroz,’ said the angel of the Lord, ‘Curse its inhabitants bitterly, Because they did not come to the help of the Lord, To the help of the Lord against the mighty.’ “Most blessed among women is Jael, The wife of Heber the Kenite; Blessed is she among women in tents. He asked for water, she gave milk; She brought out cream in a lordly bowl. She stretched her hand to the tent peg, Her right hand to the workmen’s hammer; She pounded Sisera, she pierced his head, She split and struck through his temple. At her feet he sank, he fell, he lay still; At her feet he sank, he fell; Where he sank, there he fell dead. “The mother of Sisera looked through the window, And cried out through the lattice, ‘Why is his chariot so long in coming? Why tarries the clatter of his chariots?’ Her wisest ladies answered her, Yes, she answered herself, ‘Are they not finding and dividing the spoil: To every man a girl or two; For Sisera, plunder of dyed garments, Plunder of garments embroidered and dyed, Two pieces of dyed embroidery for the neck of the looter?’ “Thus let all Your enemies perish, O Lord! But let those who love Him be like the sun When it comes out in full strength.” So the land had rest for forty years.”

Review

1. The Israelites ____________________________ many false gods.

2.  Before the Israelites had entered the land of Canaan, God had warned them through Moses of the __________________________ of disobedience.

3.  Joshua also reminded the Israelites that disobedience to ____________   _____________________would lead to terrible national disaster.

4. Why did God allow a wicked king named Jabin to oppress Israel?

 

5. King Jabin oppressed Israel for ____________ years.

6. The Israelites cried out to God for __________________________.

7. What were judges?

 

8. Judges provided periods of ________________ and stability for portions of Israel.

9. Upon hearing Deborah, Barak asked Deborah to do what?

 

10.  Deborah cheered and encouraged Barak and her army on to victory, reminding them of God’s presence and His _________________ of success.

11. Deborah listened carefully to God’s _____________________________and had total confidence in God’s ability to give victory.

12. God miraculously sent a storm which cause General Sisera’s chariots to get stuck in the __________, allowing the Israelites victory.

13. Who killed General Sisera?

 

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