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Judges 4-5. Deborah's song, part 7.

JUDGES-5-170219
length: 75:57 - taught on Feb, 19 2017
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Title: Judges 4-5. Deborah's song, part 7.        

 

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JDG 5:19 "The kings came and fought; Then fought the kings of Canaan At Taanach near the waters of Megiddo; They took no plunder in silver.

 

JDG 5:20 "The stars fought from heaven, From their courses they fought against Sisera.

 

"The stars from heaven" = The power of God in heaven which threw the enemy into confusion, including the storm that brought the rains. He is the true Victor.

 

JDG 5:21 "The torrent of Kishon swept them away, The ancient torrent, the torrent Kishon. O my soul, march on with strength.

 

The kings of Canaan were no match for thousands of cubic feet of mud. This explains why Sisera fled on foot. His chariot was stuck in the mud, which was obviously the quickest way to flee, but the chariots were useless. The torrent of Kishon was more than enough to neutralize their so-called strength. God is stronger than the strength of man and wiser than the wisdom of man. God always knows exactly what to do.

 

1CO 1:25

Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

 

The torrent "swept them away" - it was overwhelming.

"The ancient torrent" - a river flowing from time immemorial.

 

The picture is one of a newcomer who thinks he is most powerful but it is only his youth that makes him proud for he does not know of the things around him that have real power.

 

The kings of Canaan and Sisera have lived on the earth for a few decades. The Kishon has flowed from time immemorial and it is far stronger than them, though it looks harmless.

 

God said “Let there be light” an unknown, very long time ago. Then and millennia before then, what He was going to do and how He was going to do it was already determined. It is not new, even though it is new to us. It is unchangeable even though we sometimes feel the temptation to change it. None of us came into this world with more wisdom and power than anyone before us. We must learn the ways of God and the person of God in the person of Jesus Christ who is eternal and the only thing to do with that wisdom is to conform to it.

 

A new generation always thinks that they know more than those who have gone before them. They always have it figured out better than anyone. They believe that time is progress. They reject the wisdom of godly men and women who have lived long ago as old fashioned. But everyone learns eventually, and sadly, as in the case of these Canaanites, some learn the power of God in death.

 

JDG 5:21 "The torrent of Kishon swept them away, The ancient torrent, the torrent Kishon. O my soul, march on with strength.

 

Deborah interrupts her description of the victory out of pure passion for the entire event and bids herself to march on with strength. She likely refers to the continuation of the son as well as the continuation of her life.

 

"O my soul march on with strength."

The energy and courage to finish the song mirrors the energy and courage that all should bear towards life when it is known that Jehovah is going to fight for them.

 

It is right to celebrate this victory, but another battle will follow soon enough and then another and another. Are you growing weary of the war? Are you tired of going onward? Is conflict growing old? "O my soul, march on with strength." Give me strength Lord to live one day at a time, to not relish in old victories and to not fear new battles.

 

Deborah has one more section to finish and she will persevere until it is finished.

 

JDG 5:22 "Then the horses' hoofs beat From the dashing, the dashing of his valiant steeds.

 

vs. 22: the flight of the Canaanite army. The picture is the irony of strength and valiance running away.

 

JDG 5:23 ' Curse Meroz,' said the angel of the Lord, 'Utterly curse its inhabitants; Because they did not come to the help of the Lord, To the help of the Lord against the warriors.'

 

Meroz is only mentioned here and we are so far at a loss to know where it is. It is likely that it was a city of Israel near the battle in that the retreating army of Canaanites passed through it and the people of Meroz did nothing to stop them. We may incur this from the fact that they are contrasted with Jael in vs. 24 who is praised by Deborah for putting an end to the fleeing Sisera and she was not even an Israelite. It may have also been a city which Sisera passed through on his retreat and they let him through unscratched. Wherever they were, they obviously had opportunity to assist in the struggle but chose not to and thus incurred a curse from the Angel of the Lord.

 

The Angel of the Lord fought for His people and He curses this place which had a perfect opportunity to fight but remained indifferent.

 

Helping their fellow countrymen fight those that oppose God is seen as helping the Lord. Meroz had a fine opportunity but did nothing and so incurred the Lord's curse.

 

LUK 9:45

"Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for he who is least among you, this is the one who is great."

 

MAT 10:40

"He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me."

 

JDG 5:24 "Most blessed of women is Jael, The wife of Heber the Kenite; Most blessed is she of women in the tent.

 

Literally: "Blessed removed away from women." The idea is that she is blessed and sanctified or set apart in that she behaved differently than any other nomadic, Gentile woman.

 

The phrase women in the tent refers to nomadic women who were generally shepherds of flocks. Sisera ran through the hills of Galilee and into the nomadic areas where many lived in tents or temporary shelters and who moved from season to season as climate dictated where they could water and feed their herds. Tents dotted about in order to afford enough room for each family or tribe in the north and out of all the women who lived among them, only Jael planned a wicked scheme to fight for Israel by killing the general who came to her tent as he was familiar with her husband, a collaborator with Hazor. We do not approve of her method, but she did fight for Israel and she became the sword in Jehovah's hand that brought judgment and death upon the leader of the army that opposed Him.

 

Then Deborah describes the event in more detail as Jael would have certainly told it all to Barak who followed Sisera to her tent.

 

JDG 5:25 " He asked for water and she gave him milk; In a magnificent bowl she brought him curds.

 

"curds" - chem-aah = thick, curdled milk. A common drink in nomad tents. Given in a stately bowl to show him hospitality to make him feel secure.

 

The whole verse is simply intended to express the thought, that Jael had given to her guest Sisera a friendly reception, and treated him honorably and hospitably, simply in order to make him feel secure.

 

JDG 5:26 " She reached out her hand for the tent peg, And her right hand for the workmen's hammer. Then she struck Sisera, she smashed his head; And she shattered and pierced his temple.

 

We know that Jael is right handed. It would seem that Deborah is giving enough details so that a clear picture can be presented to our minds.

 

The workmen's hammer is a large heavy hammer and she has no problem wielding it since she has put up many a tent in her days.

 

A heaping up of words, "struck him, smashed his head, shattered and pierced," enlarges the thought that Sisera, the terror of Israel for so long, was killed with a single blow from a woman.

 

JDG 5:27 "Between her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay; Between her feet he bowed, he fell; Where he bowed, there he fell dead.

 

It would appear that the blow caused him to roll off the shallow bed and fall at her feet, which is a picture of servitude. Sisera is no longer the master but a servant of a common shepherd girl.

 

The last section or stanza we find the mother of Sisera awaiting his return with dreams of the plunder from war that he would be bringing with him. Deborah paints the picture of a lamenting widow pining at the window for her son to return.

 

Since her son is the commander of the armies of all the northern Canaanite kings they would have been a family of some prominence in the kingdom of Hazor. Also, being a military man, it would make sense that Sisera's father was also a soldier and likely a commander. His mother is a widow, which we may infer that her husband also died in battle, and now this Canaanite woman who opposes God and Israel, God's client nation, has lost both her husband and her son to war. Might it be that her husband died fighting Joshua in the same valley of Jezreel and her son Sisera was her hope for vengeance? There is a slim chance. Now she has lost the family of her pride to Israelite armies who were at both times severe underdogs to the Canaanite army.

 

JDG 5:28 "Out of the window she looked and lamented, The mother of Sisera through the lattice, 'Why does his chariot delay in coming? Why do the hoofbeats of his chariots tarry?'

 

Sisera should have returned by now and his mother impatiently peers out the window, looking to the horizon in the hope of spotting his familiar chariot.

 

 

 

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