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Sunday: Deborah — 17 Comments

  1. The Israelites finally cried to the Lord for help.but God should be the first place we turn when we are facing struggles or dilemmas The israelites choose to go their own way and got into a mess..
    ...we often do the same.Trying to control our own lives without God's leads to struggle and contrast,when we stay in daily contact with the Lord.we are less likely to create painful circumstances do ourselves..this is a lesson the israelites never fully lerned..when struggles come our way.GOD wants us to come to him first,seeking his strength and guidance..

  2. When Deborah spoke with Barak, she was moved to say that, "The Lord shall sell Sisera [the captain of the Canaanite forces] into the hand of a woman." (Jud 4:9)

    Deborah had pledged to go with Barak, and perhaps Barak expected/imagined that that woman would be none other than Deborah herself. But no, it was going to be somebody else.

    On the day of battle, when Sisera realized that his army was defeated, he removed himself from his chariot, and ran on foot. (It was a very rational tactic, because Barak and his men "pursued after the chariots," and after the main body of fleeing soldiers. (Jud 4:15-16.))

    Sisera runs off in another direction. (Specifically to the tent of Heber and his wife, Jael, because a peace accord then existed between the house of Heber, and Sisera's master, Jabin. (Jud 4:17.)) Sisera is a very intelligent man.

    He reaches his destination - his "safe haven." But all his intelligence is in vain. Jael has seen him coming and has gone out to meet him, encouraging him to come into the tent. Her spirit is generous and genuine, and her friendship increases his confidence and his sense of security. "At first [she is] ignorant of the character of her guest". (EGW, 2BC p.1002.) She really doesn't realize who this person is! But before long it dawns on her, and she decides to kill the man. As he is laying on his side, she nails him to the ground.

    Afterwards, when Deborah and Barak sing the song of victory, they are not jealous for their own name and "station". They are able to acknowledge Jael - "blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be, blessed shall she be above women in the tent." (Jud 5:24)

    • So in the light of your reference about Jael in the bible commentary, what do you make of the comment in the lesson that says we should not use '[Jael's] example to justify deception and violence'?

      • Emmanuel, I agree very much with the comment in the lesson, about not using Jael's example to justify deception and violence. Jael was genuinely kind, completely without ulterior motive for a while... but when she realized who it was, she took deadly advantage of her influence [and opportunity].

        Many years later, when the apostle John asked Jesus about sending fire down on a Samaritan village, John thought he had a good precedent in Elijah. Sometimes people today still think they have good Bible precedents for indulging in violent thoughts and actions. But Jesus' statement to His disciples is significant. He said, "many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which you see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which you hear, and have not heard them." (Luke 10:24)

        Something they had not seen or heard, was Jesus' "Sermon on the mount", in which He taught core elements of the Gospel - loving our enemies, blessing them that curse us, doing good to those that actively hate us, etc. These concepts were unknown, or dimly comprehended by God's people for a long time. And the fact that "the law of self-sacrifice is the law of self-preservation" was often far from their thoughts. (Christ's Object Lessons p.86)

        • God uses violence throughout the Bible to achieve His aims. What is the difference between what she did and what a soldier would have done had he seen him? As a woman she had to use stratagem otherwise, with his superior strength, he would have killed her first! I think we are judging things by the western myth that peaceful democratic dialogue is the way to achieve everything. This ideal, as worthy as it is, cannot exist in a sinful world.

          • Yvette,

            If God frequently uses violence to achieve His aims (as it would appear on the surface that He does), then shouldn't we be representing His character / His way, in our lives? (I mean if God resorts to violence, then shouldn't we be doing the same thing?)

            Is God a Person that says, "Do as I SAY, and not as I DO"? Personally I do not believe that He is like that at all.

          • If we look at the judgment of God on sinners as "violence", then yes, God uses violence, sometime bringing violent and unbelieving people to execute judgment even on His own people (Deuteronomy 8:11-20; 28:47-68). But He is God Almighty, infinitely wise and perfect in righteousness and love; we are only short-sighted and short-lived humans.

      • What they did literally, we should do spiritually. Paul said "pour coals on their heads" by forgiving & being kind to our enemies.

    • Note there is no dispute about gender issue where leadership is concerned. All of God's people work respectfully together against the enemy thus allowing God's power to work victoriously.
      This is a good example for the chorch to become more united in these last days. Let's not continue to spend any more time quarelling over gender issues where leadership is concerned.

  3. This lesson about the men of war putting their confidence in Deborah reminds me of the Canaan exploration story (Numbers 13 and 14). The Israelites rebelled because of the great confidence they had in their leaders (10 of the 12 spies) at the expense of their confidence in God.
    We must be careful of the degree of confidence we put in others (especially our leaders) considering the fallen nature which we all share (Rom 2:23). Man is fallible.
    Psa 118:8 "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man."
    I think we should be praying for our leaders that God keeps them by His power. (1 Thess 5:25) (Jude 24)

  4. The old Testament presents many stories that show salvation, love, grace etc. In Judges chapter 4 we can see how God used a woman of no great stature to deliver the children of Israel from their enemy. What is so amazing is the fact that we, God's remnant and commandment keeping people are no different from the children of Israel. We forget God( as some would say, we place Him on the back burner) until we are in a situation that is beyond our control. It is at that time we call, plead, and beg of His help. God in His mercy never fails to deliver us and in a heart beat we forget Him again. How long will we keep doing this. I can imagine how God's heart is broken every time we so blatantly disregard His sovereignty. Jael knew what she had to do without showing any form of fear etc. Deep within her heart she belonged to God and knew of Him. I trust hat we acknowledge our Savior at all time and bear witness to His Power.

  5. As we look at the story we see the Great Controversy at play yet again. Israel had sold herself to evil yet again and when oppression struck, they called on God. The interesting thing I learn here is that, they chose their own course to follow and they followed evil yet that which pleased them now brought tears to them again. Shows us the true nature of evil, that it only tastes good for that little while but will later turn sour. And when oppression struck, then they remembered the goodness of God. And He in His mercy redeemed them in love. God and Satan are constantly fighting to possess our hearts, there is no rest day or night. From these many bible characters we have tangible examples of the follies of choosing evil, well it would be to stand for the good at all time. Israel only called Him in times of trouble, but we have seen their fate and it is our choice to stay in His camp for good.

  6. Qiniso Mkwanazi. Deborah was a prophetess and a judge.She would sit under a palm tree for people to come to her for judgement. This shows that they trusted her and believed in her prophecy, but when she calls Barak to give him a message from God, he insists that she goes with him. Was it because he did not really trust what she said and wanted to make sure that Deborah believed in what God had promised, or was it because he thought that her presence would make God honour His promise?

    • I think it was both, but I would aim more towards the first suggestion only because in the way that he expressed himself was as if he was highly distressed and struggling with doubt. He seemed scared as well, he probably felt safe with her since she had a connection with God.

  7. learning from the past experience we should learn to always do good not because to avoid the the the curse from God but rather to enjoy the benefits of being obedience to the loving Gog, if God is able to deliver his people who transgresses his will what more can he done with an obedience souls.

  8. Studying Crisis and Conflict:The Judges

    1426-1095 BC. 331 years in the Judges Period of Biblical history.

    Again, God's people turned away from God and worshipped idols. God gave them to their enemies to bring them to repentance. God always sent a deliverer when they repented. Deborah, Gideon, Samson and Samuel. All stories depict God's people leaving Him to serve Baal. All stories show God's grace and mercy to the penitent.

    God is not a playground attendant waiting to push our end of the seesaw back up when we push it as low as it will go. The day is coming soon when we will be stuck in the quicksand we created. Watch and pray. #makeabetterchoicetoday. #talkingtomyself. SMH


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