Wednesday, June 12, 2019

2019.06.12 Hopewell @Home ▫ Judges 4

Read Judges 4
Questions for Littles: What has just happened (Judges 4:1)? What did the children of Israel do again? What did Yahweh do again (Judges 4:2a)? Into whose hands? Who was the commander of their army? What did Israel do again in Judges 4:3? Why? Who was doing the work of judging Israel (Judges 4:4)? What was her actual role? But for what were the children of Israel coming to her (Judges 4:5)? Whom did she call in Judges 4:6? Who had commanded Barak to do what? Whom else was Yahweh going to bring to Mount Tabor and for what purpose (Judges 4:7)? How does Barak answer (Judges 4:8)? How does Deborah answer such cowardice (Judges 4:9)? Where does Barak take the ten thousand men, and Deborah (Judges 4:10)? Who else was there (Judges 4:11)? Whom does Yahweh bring there (Judges 4:12)? With what and whom (Judges 4:13)? Who ends up having to give the command to attack (Judges 4:14)? Who wins the battle (Judges 4:15)? What does Barak do, when he sees how things are going (Judges 4:16)? But where does Sisera go (Judges 4:17)? Who else is there? Whom does she go out to meet (Judges 4:18)? What does she say to him? What does she do for him Judges 4:19-20? Why can’t Sisera see her coming? What does she do (Judges 4:21)? Whom does she go out to meet now (Judges 4:22)? What does she tell him and show him? What had God done by all of this (Judges 4:23-24)?
Israel is still being Israel—wicked. And Yahweh is still being Yahweh—patiently, compassionately delivering. And that is exactly why Barak’s laziness (not judging, so that a prophetess had to take up that task) and cowardice (refusing to go up to the battle unless security-blanket-Deborah came along with him) is so offensive. Because it is the Lord Himself who delivers. When the Lord is the One who is always accomplishing His saving plan, we all ought to have courage and diligence to fulfill whatever roll He has given us.

We can see, explicitly and implicitly, that the Lord is the One who delivers. Explicitly, the Lord says that He is the One who will deploy even Jabin’s army commander (Judges 4:7). The Lord says that He is the One who will give Sisera into Barak’s hand (verse 7). Judges 4:9 says that the Lord is the One who will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. Judges 4:14 says the Lord is the One who has delivered Sisera. The Lord is the one who has gone out before Barak (verse 14). The Lord is the one who routes Sisera in Judges 4:15. God is the one who subdued Jabin, king of Canaan (Judges 4:23).

Even implicitly, there’s that bit of trivia way back in Judges 4:11 about the relocation of a Kenite loner. He took off on his own and “pitched his tent.” Kenites were metalworkers, and there’s a possible implication here of what kind of pegs were used in this tent-pitching. But whether metal or wood, this tent-pitching would eventually become pretty important. If a peg can hold down a tent on the windy slopes of Tabor, it can surely be used to play a rousing game of “pin the Hazorite commander's head to the dirt.”

Sure, Heber the Kenite probably just thought he was increasing his real-estate holdings all those years ago, but at the very same time, Yahweh was putting all the pieces in place to deliver Israel. 900 iron chariots is nothing against one Hebrew gal with a peg and a hammer. And the Living God.

This is the problem in all of our anxiety and all of our laziness. It is God’s ability to handle the situation that we are really doubting. It is God’s assignment to us that we are really shirking. If we are lacking in faith or zeal, we will find near the root of our rebellion a rather small view of God Himself. God forgive us! May the Lord increase our confidence in His sovereign power, wise planning, and loving purpose!
Where do we get big views of God? What are your daily and weekly habits for obtaining them?
Suggested songs: ARP46 “God Is Our Refuge and Our Strength” or TPH539 “Am I a Soldier?”

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