The Lord uses other nations to test Israel's loyalty (Judg. 3:1,4). Notice the sequence. First servitude — Mesopotamia — 1st Judge Othniel. Second servitude — Moab — 2nd Judge Ehud. Third servitude — Philistia — 3rd Judge Shamgar (3:8-31). Fourth servitude — Canaan — 4th Judge Deborah (Barak).
Verses for Today:
The children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord. . . . the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin King of Canaan. . . . And the children of Israel cried unto the Lord: for he (Jabin) had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel. And Deborah, a prophetess . . . judged Israel. . . . She sent and called Barak . . . and said unto him . . . the Lord God of Israel commanded . . . Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and and of the children of Zebulun? And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army, with his (nine hundred) chariots (of iron) and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand (Judg. 4:1-7).
Deborah was the messenger of God to bring His Word of deliverance to His people and free them from oppression. Then Jael Heber's wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground. . . . So he (Sisera) died (4:21). So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel. . . . Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoram on that day, saying, Praise ye the Lord for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves (4:23-24; 5:1-2). Through Deborah's spiritual leadership, God brought peace to the land for 40 years (5:31).
Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted. . . . and they draw near unto the gates of death. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and He saveth them out of their distresses. He sent His Word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions (Ps. 107:17-20). It is obedience by faith in the Word of God and intercessory prayer that enables us to be victorious.
The Lord is seeking Christians today who will intercede in prayer on behalf of others.
And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none (Ezek. 22:30).
And He saw that there was no intercessor (Is. 59:16).
Thought for Today:
And this is love, that we walk after His Commandments. This is the Commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it (II John 1:6).
By Othniel, a deliverer upon whom the Spirit of the Lord rested (Judg. 3:9-11). The Spirit of God was also upon Christ, our Deliverer (Matt. 3:16). There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob (Rom. 11:26). Jesus declared: The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me . . . to preach deliverance to the captives (Luke 4:18).
3:7 groves =for idol worship; 3:13 gathered =recruited; 3:18 made an end to offer the present =finished giving the tribute; bare =arried; 3:19 Keep silence =leave us alone; 3:24 covereth his feet =taking a nap; 4:13 Gentiles =nations; 4:15 discomfited =stark terror; 4:16 host =army; fell upon the edge of the sword =were killed; 5:10 ride on white asses =hold public office; 5:11 go down to the gates =defend themselves; 5:14 root =ew; 5:15 princes =rulers; 5:18 jeoparded =risked; 5:30 sped =ound; divers =various.
Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Pam Pendergrast • Staff: Clarence Rathbone • Government Official: Gov. Michael Easley (NC) • Country: Central African Republic (3 million) in the center of the African continent • Major languages: French and Sangho • Religious freedom • 47% Protestant; 34% Roman Catholic; 12% animist; 3% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Depend upon the Holy Spirit to help you in your prayers (Rom. 8:26-27).
Optional Reading: John 14
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:9-10