About Jesus Steve Sweetman
(ch.4:1 - 23)
in verse 1 we see the cycler nature of Israel's existence. They do evil.
They repent and God provides a judge.
They do better for a while. Then
they do evil. They repent. God
provides another judge. The
cycle goes on. If you look
at church history, you will see the same pattern.
God, in various places and at various times, calls his people to
repent through revivals often associated with men of God and their
need to understand here that some of these judges overlapped each other
because they weren't all national judges.
They were regional judges. So,
you might say that Israel
had regional revivals as we have seen in the church over the centuries.
verse 2 we see that God judged Israel
at this stage in their history by selling her into the hands of her
enemies. This is often how
God will judge a nation. He
will sell the nation into the hands of its enemy, or, allow the enemy to
overcome the nation in one way or another, whether by military means,
economic means, or by social means. The
enemy simply takes hold of the judged nation in one way or another.
the word "sell" here. The
Hebrew word translated as "sell" if often used for a man
selling his daughter to a perspective husband.
It's also used as when a slave is sold, or, even selling oneself.
It is also used, as it is here, when God sells His people into
the hands of their enemies. You might wonder what kind of payment that
the Lord gets in this sale. This
is only my thinking, but in verse 3 you will note that because of this
does repent farther down the road in time.
This might well be payment for the sale.
note in verse 3 that the oppression of
in verse 4 that the judge this chapter is concerned with is Deborah.
She is both a judge and a prophetess.
She is one of 4 prophetesses mentioned in the Old Testament.
The other 3 are, Miriam in Exodus 15:20, Huldah in 2 Kings 22:14,
Anna in Luke 2:36. Some
might question Anna as being in the Old Testament, but what we must
remember is that New Testament times really didn't start officially
until Acts 2. When
Jesus was on earth, He ministered in Old Testament times.
this chapter we see that another people invade
5 tells us that she held court under a palm tree in Ephraim.
Ephraim bordered on Judah.
Lord spoke to Deborah. Barak
was to take 10,000 men and capture the Sisera, the captain of the army
of the people to whom Israel
was subject. Of course,
Deborah could not lead the army because she was a woman, so that is why
Barak was chosen by God. Barak
had great respect for Deborah and said that he would only go and fight
if she came along, which I would think was a strange request for a man
in those days.
7 tells us that Deborah would "lure" Sisera so Barak could
verses 8 through 10 we see that Barak would not go and fight unless
Deborah went with him. We
obviously don't know the whole story, but it seems there was some kind
of compromise between Deborah and Barak, because Deborah said that
"because of the way Barak was handling this, he would not get any
glory for the victory". Actually
it would be a woman who would actually capture Sisera and get the glory
and the woman wasn't Deborah. Some
suggest that it might be possible that Barak didn't take the word of the
Lord seriously, and that was the problem as Deborah saw it.
in verses 11 to 13 that Sisera had 900 iron chariots.
You would think that this would be no match for Israel, but if God was with them, who could be against them.
in verse 14 that there was one particular day when
we see with
16 states that Barak's army killed every soldier in Sisera's army by
their swords. Israel
was no match for her enemy, but her enemy was no match for the God of
Israel. Nothing has changed.
this point on, to the end of the chapter, we see a Jewish lady named
Jael, whose husband was a friend of Sisera.
She provided a place for Sisera to sleep and while he was
sleeping she drove a tent peg through his skull and killed him
immediately. She then handed
Sisera over to Barak. As
Deborah said, Barak would not get the glory for killing Sisera.
Jael got the glory.
24 tells us that the hand of the Lord was with Israel
and they eventually freed themselves from this present enemy, that is,
until the cycle continued and Israel
would fall away from their Lord again.