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Now we're turning in our Bibles to the book of Judges chapter 4, and we have been going through a series intermittently - with some interruptions for obvious reasons - in the book of Judges, entitled 'Men for The Hour'. We've looked at a number of the Judges already. We've looked at Othniel, Ehud, and last week we looked at Shamgar. This morning we're going to cover really two chapters, although we're not going to read those, but we're going to cover the subject matter of both chapters 4 and 5 of Judges - looking at Deborah, who I have entitled 'The Exceptional'. Deborah, the exceptional.

God wants them to repent completely and genuinely, yet they still go round in this circle of defeat, the circle of sin and then supplication...we can criticise it, but if you're honest with yourself, many Christians find themselves in this same vicious cycle

We'll read all of chapter 4 together: "And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, when Ehud was dead. And the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose host was Sisera, which dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles. And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel. And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the LORD God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali 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 chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand. And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go. And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honor; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh. And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; and he went up with ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went up with him. Now Heber the Kenite, which was of the children of Hobab the father in law of Moses, had severed himself from the Kenites, and pitched his tent unto the plain of Zaanaim, which is by Kedesh. And they showed Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to mount Tabor. And Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people that were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles unto the river of Kishon. And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which the LORD hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the LORD gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him. And the LORD discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot, and fled away on his feet. But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, unto Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword; and there was not a man left. Howbeit Sisera fled away on his feet to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite: for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And when he had turned in unto her into the tent, she covered him with a mantle. And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him. Again he said unto her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man doth come and inquire of thee, and say, Is there any man here? that thou shalt say, No. 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: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died. And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will show thee the man whom thou seekest. And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail was in his temples. So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel. And the hand of the children of Israel prospered, and prevailed against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan".

The Bible is one message, we know that, it all points essentially to God as the Saviour and Redeemer through our Lord Jesus Christ. Although the Bible is one message, it is often delivered in different forms. For instance, in the book of Romans you have a book of doctrine; then you have in other books, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, narratives, Gospel narratives recording the life of our Lord Jesus here on the earth. Then there is another medium in a sense, which is drama, there are some great dramatic stories in the Bible - and here we have a great drama, the judgeship of Deborah, and the slaying of Sisera by the hand of Jael - another man who lost his head, we didn't know we were going to hear about three of them this morning!

Now in every drama it's important to know the characters. If you ever should lift a play of Shakespeare, you will find in the first few pages that near the contents page there is a page that depicts the acts and scenes, and near it is the 'dramatis personae', that will be the title that is given, the 'dramatis personae'. In other words, it lists all the characters and tells you a little bit of who they are and about them, so that you can understand the story a little bit more. You can't fully understand any story unless you know a little bit about the characters. So, what we're going to do this morning is home in on the primary characters in this great drama.

The first two that I want us to look at are Jabin and Sisera. If you like, in this drama, Jabin is the villan, the baddie. Sisera is his partner in crime, his right-hand man, he is the Captain of his armies. My mind - very unsanctified! - went to James Bond, and I wouldn't advise you to watch those films, but nevertheless often the baddie in James Bond has a sidekick, a heavy. Sisera is Jabin's heavy. Jabin is the king of Hazor in Canaan, he is a tyrant, like all the tyrants that we find ruling over God's people with a hard clenched fist. For 80 years under the judgeship of Ehud, the people of Israel have known peace and victory. Then after Ehud you have Shamgar, who we looked at last week, and he brought victory temporarily upon the people after Ehud had died, and they went back to their sins once more.

Now we find in chapter 4 that the Israelites behaviour is going through the cycle again, and repeating itself once more. It's the pattern that we read about in our first study in chapter 2 verses 10-19, what is it? Well, if you look at it in verse 1 of chapter 1, they sinned, they did evil in the sight of the Lord. Remember that the evil that kept repeating itself in Israel was the worship of Baal, that fertility god, and all of the aspects of worship that were so vile and immoral and an abomination in the sight of God. Then in verse 2 we find that God raises up an oppressor to discipline His people because of their sin, and this is what He does in Jabin, the Canaanite who reigned in Hazor. So the people are oppressed again, they're suffering because of their sins. Then again the cycle in verse 3 is supplication: they sin, God causes them to suffer, and then they cry unto God - verse 3. Then we find in verse 4, which is probably the primary message of the whole of the book of Judges, the message that God is a God of salvation, that God raises up the deliverers, and here He does it again in Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth.

Now, just before we go on any further to look at these two characters Jabin and Sisera, does it not astound you how the people of Israel still have not learnt the message? They still haven't got the point! God wants them to repent completely and genuinely, yet they still go round in this circle of defeat, the circle of sin and then supplication, God saving them, and then they go back to their sin as soon as the Judge dies. We can criticise it, but if you're honest with yourself, many Christians find themselves in this same vicious cycle. They feel they can't get out of it. They feel they want to get out of it, but they are continually defeated, that temptation always takes them.

Until we realise that what we need is not a reformation but a spiritual revival in which the Holy Ghost takes charge of His church and His people, we will go through this continual cycle of sin over and over again

Well, listen carefully to the victory again that we have before us through the deliverer - Deborah, the exceptional - today. What I want you to see before we look at her, or any of the characters, is the difference between religious reformation and spiritual revival. This is terribly important. These people called out to God, and in a sense through the Judges they reformed their external behaviour, there was a religious reformation but there was not a genuine spiritual revival. Reformation is that which temporarily changes the outward conduct, while revival permanently alters the inward character. Israel, throughout the Judges, is like the man in Jesus' parable who got rid of one demon, and the house of his life was swept out, and another seven worse demons came along and inhabited him. The people of Israel seem to get worse and worse and worse after every reformation, because the empty heart is prey for every form of moral evil. Until we realise that what we need is not a reformation but a spiritual revival in which the Holy Ghost takes charge of His church and His people, we will go through this continual cycle of sin over and over again.

Let me say this: these reformations were effected largely by outside pressures. Maybe there's someone in your life, and they want you to be like this, they want you to be like him; or there's a church - though a church should instruct and exhort and encourage - that wants you to be a certain way. That's only right, but you're trying to fulfil their desires and live up to the expectations of others and you're failing! Because although it's good to give instruction from the word of God - and we must always do it - if we're to have genuine revival in our lives, God must do an eternal work by His Spirit, external reformation will not do.

R. Kent Hughes wrote a book on the Beatitudes, and his title is intriguing - he entitled it 'Are Evangelicals Born Again?'. That's a good question, isn't it? We might have all the trappings, but are we born-again - do we have the life of God in our bosom? Are we living the life of Christ? That is the true life that He wishes us to portray. That's the reason why, even in the church today, every man does that which is right in his own eyes. It's why it's going on in the world, lawlessness and chaos and anarchy - because there's no true repentance. That's what I fear at times, there's no deep work of God that has been done in people's hearts. Do you know that? True repentance does not consist of an experience of the supernatural. People say to me: 'Oh, I felt the Lord that night I was saved, I felt His presence and His touch' - all that is tremendous, but has your salvation been manifested in a departure from evil? Repentance is the true fruit of faith in God. Paul said to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2 and verse 19: 'Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity'. Well, my question to you is what Israel needed to answer: is the prayer of your heart, 'Lord, create in me a clean heart'?

Let's look at Jabin, this King of the Canaanite stronghold Hazor, and his commander Sisera who boasted 900 chariots of iron, with which he held the Israelites - as you see in the first couple of verses - under dominion for 20 years. We see here that this oppression brought a cry from God's people, and God who - remember we thought last week - is unconventional, the God who is the unpredictable, surprises the people and does again a new thing: He raises up a woman to be the deliverer. Deborah, she is the heroine of this drama. Her supporting actor, if you like, your male lead, is Barak. Deborah, the woman of faith, the woman of courage, her name means 'bee'.

Now let me just say a little bit of warning before we study Deborah this morning. Some people use Deborah as an excuse for overturning New Testament injunctions regarding the role of women in the church. I have a lot of time for Deborah, as you will see in a moment or two, but we need to remember that the Old Testament Israel is not the New Testament church. The New Testament teaches in 1 Timothy 2 and verse 12 very clearly that we are not to suffer women to usurp authority over the men in the assembly, nor to teach. That's what God has said, whatever our society may think of it. Secondly, we need to remember that the days of the Judges was a time of declension. There was obviously a need of an exception in this particular circumstance - but, having said all that, we cannot diminish the fact that Deborah is an exceptional woman. Whilst we must always keep within the biblical boundaries concerning male and female roles in the church, God used a woman, and used a woman here in a way, I believe, some of the men were uncomfortable with.

She was, as we see in verse 4, a Judge and a prophetess. We see that God led her by His Spirit to summon Barak to deliver Israel in verse 6. She sent for Barak, and called him in the name of the Lord God of Israel to command the people. Then we see in verse 8 that he refused, and Barak said, 'Unless you go with me into the battle, I won't go'. Then we see that in verse 9 Deborah agrees to accompany him to battle, but she tells him that because of his reluctance to lead the people, that the victory promised to the Israelites will be attributed to the hand of a woman. Then in the midst of the battle in verse 14 we see that it is Deborah who encourages and inspires Barak, she says 'Up; for this is the day in which the LORD hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the LORD gone out before thee?'. Then in chapter 5, we'll not have time to look at it of course, but she sings a great song of victory unto the victory that the Lord has brought to the Israelites. Even in chapter 5 she rebukes the tribes of Israel who didn't rise up and didn't help the cause of God - what a woman! What a woman!

Twofold encouragement from Deborah the heroine, and from Barak, her supporting actor, that I want to leave with you. First of all: isn't it wonderful that the weaker vessel is a vessel in which God's power can be displayed? We have been looking at male weaklings in this book. Some of them had great handicaps, Ehud was left-handed, Shamgar was probably a farmer who had no weapons or no military skill, but the point of this book if there is any point is that God is the deliverer of His people! God delights to deliver through weak things, so that the excellency of His power might be displayed, and praise should come unto God rather than men. Here we have a Judge who is the weaker vessel, but the weaker vessel in this period of Israel's history is the vessel in which God's power can be most perfectly displayed.

Now I believe, in a sense, that it was an act of humiliation for the Jews, who lived in a male dominated society, to be delivered by a woman. They wanted, perhaps, a mature and a male leadership. Indeed, Isaiah 3 and verse 12 tells us: 'As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them' - that was a detrimental statement. Could I just say, to make an application to the church of Jesus Christ today, I believe leadership is at a low-ebb more than it has ever been, not just in the political world and in family life, but also in the church - and, can I say, especially among men. Whether it's feminism or political correctness, something in our society has emasculated the leadership role. So, whilst women are more empowered in our age than they have ever been, and I don't think that's necessarily a wrong thing or something unwelcome, many men are confused and demoralised concerning their role in society and the home and the church. I say to you today: one of the reasons why women are taking leadership positions in the church of Jesus Christ is because the men have become more effeminate in their role in the church, and lie back and let them! It's time for you men, as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 16, and we have sung, 'Quit you like men!' - act like men and be strong!

There are many special distinctions of women in the Bible

But nevertheless. God gave His people a woman Judge. He was treating them like children, I believe, but yet we need not underestimate the fact that there are some notable women in the holy Scriptures. Let me name a couple of them to you: Ruth, a faithful woman; Hannah, an ideal mother; the Shunammite woman, the hospitable woman who brought the prophet in and fed him and gave him rest; Esther, the self-sacrificing woman, the woman who was prepared to go in before the King and say 'If I die, I die, if I perish, I perish'. In the New Testament there's the Syro-Phoenician woman, a woman of great faith - Jesus said there wasn't such faith in all of Israel. Mary Magdalene was the transformed woman, delivered from her sin and iniquity. Mary, the mother of the Lord Jesus, the chosen woman of God. Mary of Bethany, the woman who is immortalised by Christ because she poured out that ointment, and Christ said that wherever the Gospel would be preached her name would be mentioned. Martha, the industrious woman; the woman at the well, the evangelising woman; Anna, the praying and fasting woman; Dorcas, the benevolent woman who used her needle and thread to clothe the people of Joppa; Lydia, the businesswoman, who being converted opened her home to the church; Priscilla and Phoebe who served the church of Jesus Christ, serving women. Incidentally, the word that is used for Phoebe's service is the word that we use for 'deacon' in the New Testament.

There are many special distinctions of women in the Bible. Did you know that the last people at the cross were women? The first to the tomb was a woman. The first to proclaim the resurrection was a woman. The first preacher to the Jews in Luke 2 was a woman. Those that attended the first prayer meeting in the upper room were both men and women, the women were there. The first to greet the missionaries in Europe in Acts 16 were women. The first convert to Europe in Acts 16, Lydia, was a woman. Here we have in the Old Testament, Deborah, a woman who says of herself in her song in chapter 5 and verse 7: 'I Deborah arose, a mother in Israel' - a woman! I almost said, 'Hallelujah for women' there, but I may pay for that later on!

The fact of the matter is: whilst we believe in the teaching of the New Testament regarding the role and responsibilities of women, sometimes we denigrate what women can do for Jesus Christ. There is an encouragement that the weaker vessel is a vessel in which God's power can be displayed. But secondly, looking at Barak, though at first he was reluctant, he is commended of God. Barak was a bit like Moses, who said 'I can't speak. You're not going to send me, are You?'. He was a bit like Gideon, who said 'I am of the least of the tribes in Israel'. A bit like Jeremiah, 'I'm only a child, I cannot speak'. Here is Barak, he's reluctant, he says: 'I'm not going to go unless you go with me'. Yet in Hebrews chapter 11 verse 32, Deborah is not mentioned, but Barak is mentioned along with Gideon and other of the Judges for his great faith - isn't that an encouragement? As we look at Deborah, or we look at Barak, or we look at Othniel, Ehud or Shamgar, what God is saying is: 'I use weak people'. In 1 Corinthians chapter 1 that we have read so many times, that is what is outlined for us: God chooses the foolish things that He should confound the mighty, and that His glory should be known.

We've looked at Jabin, the villain, and his partner in crime, the captain Sisera; Deborah the heroine, and the supporting actor, Barak. But thirdly let us look at the Lord, the Lord is in this drama, in fact the Lord is the writer, He is the director, He is the producer. In other words, He is seen and depicted as the one who is in charge of the war and in charge of the weather. The Lord is behind all of the scenes that occur here in this drama. He's not only controlling the enemy army, but He is bringing a trap before them and He's controlling the weather itself and using a storm to defeat Sisera's troops. The message here is: God is our salvation, God has always been the salvation of His people and He always will be such.

The daily notes for the Scripture Union depict this historical scene. Let me read it to you: 'Barak openly showed his force of 10,000 on the southern slopes of Mount Tabor. Sisera arose to the bait, he and his troops crossed the dry Kishon riverbed at the fort just south of Harosheth. They raced southeast along the ancient highway toward Taanach. Israelites from the south, from Ephraim entered the valley of Zaanaim and joined forces with Barak, his northern troops in the valley of Taanach, south of the Kishon. Deborah called for the attack in verse 14, 'Get up! Go!'. The footmen went against the iron chariots, and at the critical moment the rain fell from the hand of God turning the plain into mire, utterly confounding the chariots and horses. The advantage was now fully with the infantry, those on foot. Barak pressed the attack, Sisera was separated from the men and fled. The leaderless troops, not used to fighting on foot, ran to their base. The rains continued, the Kishon rose to a torrent. Those who were not slain by the Israelites in pursuit were swept away by the Kishon as they tried to cross the ford of Harosheth'.

When you're weak enough and low enough, God's power will come upon you and demonstrate what He can do!

This was an unexpected victory, why? Because it came directly from the hand of God. When you're weak enough - this is the message now - when you're weak enough and low enough, God's power will come upon you and demonstrate what He can do! Then fourthly, another character is Jael. I've called her 'the undercover agent' in this drama. She is the wife of Heber, and Heber the Kenite was a neighbour who was at peace with Jabin. He was at peace with him, he was quite happy to live in his kingdom boundaries, and so he was sort of in cahoots with him. But we find that as Sisera runs from Barak and his armies, that he seeks refuge in the tent of Jael. As he goes into that tent she gives him food, she gives him lodging, and while he sleeps, what does Jael do? What a hostess! The hostess with the mostess - she takes a hammer, she takes a tent peg, and she hammers it into his temple! It says she actually hammered his head to the ground!

Then as Barak passes by, she goes out, calls him in - 'Is that the boy you're looking for?'. She was fulfilling verse 9, you remember Deborah said to Barak that Israel would be delivered from Sisera by the hand of a woman - it wasn't Deborah, it was Jael. God used Deborah, who's a mere 'honey bee', to cast down the human reason and the kingdom of the flesh in Jabin when it exalted itself against the knowledge of God. The judgment came upon him, 'Barak' means 'lightning', the judgment of God came upon Sisera and his troops. Here is Jael, which means 'climber' and she uses a tent peg - which is a witness to the fact that she was a nomad, because the women pitched the tents in those days, the good old days! - and she uses this tent peg and this hammer to slay God's enemy.

Does Paul not say in 2 Corinthians that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual to the pulling down of strongholds - mighty through God, casting down imaginations, every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. Now, how do you view Jael? This is a difficult book, Judges, isn't it? It's not the kind of book that you read as a scriptural reading when you're going to preach on the Sermon on the Mount, to love your neighbour, and love your enemy, and turn the other cheek. Would you bless Jael, or would you blame her for what she did? Imagine this: she invited Sisera into her tent, she welcomed him, she treated him kindly, she told him not to be afraid. So ultimately she was deceitful. The Kenites were at peace, as I've already said, with Jabin - so was her husband Heber - and so she violated a treaty and an agreement with the people. She gives Sisera the impression that she would guard the door and keep him safe, and she broke a promise therefore. Then she kills a defenceless man under protection - we would say that makes her a murderess. Yet Deborah sang in her song in chapter 5 verse 24, look at it: 'Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be, blessed shall she be above women in the tent'. The only other woman that that is said of in the holy Scriptures is the Lord Jesus Christ's mother.

What's the point? Well, let's not read back into an era of the Judges spiritual standards that are taught by the Lord Jesus or by the apostles, and let's keep in mind as I said last week that this was a time of oppression. If you look at verse 30 of chapter 5: 'Have they not sped?', this is the troops of Sisera, 'Have they not divided the prey; to every man a damsel or two' - what does that mean? Ultimately, if this evil man Jabin and his captain Sisera had overcome the people of Israel, he would have led the daughters of Israel away, and ultimately raped and pillaged the nation. These were wicked men, these were oppressors, these were the vilest most brutal creatures on the earth. But the fact of the matter is, no matter how terrible the bondage was, Deborah was God's deliverer, chosen of God - and His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts not our thoughts.

I'm going to leave with you finally the chorus that we find in Deborah's victory song in chapter 5. It does three things for us that bring this drama into focus and put it into context, which is almost synonymous with the context of our day and age in which we live. First of all we see from her victory song the details of the desperate days in which they live. Chapter 5 and verse 8, look at it: 'They chose new gods'. Spiritually they chose new gods, they rejected Yahweh the God of Israel, the covenant God; and they chose Baal and Ashteroth the Canaanite gods. That is what is happening today in our age. People in Ulster and the United Kingdom are rejecting their heritage. I watched 'Question Time' on Thursday evening, there was a man on it from 'Christian Voice' - and whilst I might question some of the things that they have done, the fact of the matter is was almost like a setup, an ambush, everyone just came upon him to reject his Christian views! That is the world we're living in. One lesbian even said: 'Your God who you claim has created the world', and put at His feet guilt for some of the things that are going on in our universe. This nation has chosen other gods, but make sure that we don't: materialism, sectarianism, factionalism - we could go on and on and on...comfort.

Not only spiritually were they desperate days, they were socially desperate days. In verse 6 we read: 'In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, and the travellers walked through byways'. Do you know what that means? You couldn't go out at night. You couldn't walk along the highways, the main roads were empty - does that sound familiar? Wasn't so long ago that our main roads were empty, but for a lot of thugs. People had to go round the byways, they had to go the back roads. In verse 7: 'The inhabitants of the villages ceased', the people who lived in villages had to leave their homes and move into the cities. In verse 8, even the cities were not safe, there was war at the gates and the people were disarmed. The city under siege, yet the people weren't equipped - verse 8 says there wasn't 'a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel?'. They felt inhibited. What a day!

In that day, Deborah and her song denounces those who stood away from the work. Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh were those who came to help, but Deborah - and God's Spirit records for us perpetually those who did not help - she said: 'Reuben, he stayed behind in the sheep folds looking after his own interests in comfort and affluence. Gad, did not cross the Jordan, he was so lazy, so pampered, he didn't want to get up and fight. Dan remained in the ships. Asher sat idly at the seashore having his holiday!'. God still notes those who fight in His battle, and those who stand by and spectate. Zebulun and Naphtali were outstanding, so much so that Deborah says they didn't go for any spoils in the battle, in other words they fought without being paid. Meroz is cursed in verses 23 to 27, singled out for failing to come to Jehovah's help.

May God give us, in such desperate days when so many are standing away from the work of God, delight in a new deliverance from His holy hand

Here's the third thing that I want you to notice and finish on: the details of the desperate day that denounces those who stood away from the work, but the delight in God's deliverance. There's a holy sarcasm - you didn't know that existed, perhaps - in chapter 5 in verses 28-31. 'The mother of Sisera', Deborah says, 'looked out at a window, and cried through the lattice, Why is his chariot so long in coming? why tarry the wheels of his chariots? Her wise ladies answered her, yea, she returned answer to herself, Have they not sped? have they not divided the prey; to every man a damsel or two; to Sisera a prey of divers colors, a prey of divers colors of needlework, of divers colors of needlework on both sides, meet for the necks of them that take the spoil?'. She envisages Sisera's mother standing at the window looking for him coming back, 'Where is he?' - but he's not coming, because he's got a tent peg in his head! God delivered the people, and the message is that Deborah delighted in God's salvation. That's why they can rejoice about such a horrific scene and drama, because it came from the hand of God - delighting so much that verse 31 says: 'So let all thine enemies perish, O LORD: but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might. And the land had rest forty years'.

I think you'll agree she was an exceptional Judge, wasn't she? But may God give us, in such desperate days when so many are standing away from the work of God, delight in a new deliverance from His holy hand.

Father, we give thanks this morning for our great Deliverer, the Captain of our salvation, the Captain of the Lord of hosts, our Lord Jesus. We pray, we hope from hearts truly repentant and filled with faith, that You will come and deliver us again in the desperate dark days in which we live, both in state and church. Oh God, may every man put his hand to the work, and every woman. May we know what it is to delight again in the deliverance of our God. Hear us we pray, and bless us as we wait in this place upon our God. Amen.

Don't miss part 6 of 'Men For The Hour': “Gideon, The Fearful

Transcribed by:
Preach The Word.
October 2005

This sermon was delivered at The Iron Hall Assembly in Belfast, Northern Ireland, by Pastor David Legge. It was transcribed from the fifth recording in his 'Men For The Hour' series, entitled "Deborah, The Exceptional" - Transcribed by Preach The Word.

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