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March 23, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: Judges 13-15
Audio: Judges 13-15

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Judges 4 (ESV)

And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord after Ehud died. And the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-hagoyim. Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, for he had 900 chariots of iron and he oppressed the people of Israel cruelly for twenty years.

Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment.She sent and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali and said to him, “Has not the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded you, ‘Go, gather your men at Mount Tabor, taking 10,000 from the people of Naphtali and the people of Zebulun. And I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to meet you by the river Kishon with his chariots and his troops, and I will give him into your hand’?” Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, I will go, but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” And she said, “I will surely go with you. Nevertheless, the road on which you are going will not lead to your glory, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 And Barak called out Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh. And 10,000 men went up at his heels, and Deborah went up with him.

11 Now Heber the Kenite had separated from the Kenites, the descendants of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far away as the oak in Zaanannim, which is near Kedesh.

12 When Sisera was told that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor, 13 Sisera called out all his chariots, 900 chariots of iron, and all the men who were with him, from Harosheth-hagoyim to the river Kishon. 14 And Deborah said to Barak, “Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has given Sisera into your hand. Does not the Lord go out before you?” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him. 15 And the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army before Barak by the edge of the sword. And Sisera got down from his chariot and fled away on foot. 16 And Barak pursued the chariots and the army to Harosheth-hagoyim, and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; not a man was left.

17 But Sisera fled away on foot 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. 18 And Jael came out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Turn aside, my lord; turn aside to me; do not be afraid.” So he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug. 19 And he said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.” So she opened a skin of milk and gave him a drink and covered him. 20 And he said to her, “Stand at the opening of the tent, and if any man comes and asks you, ‘Is anyone here?’ say, ‘No.’” 21 But Jael the wife of Heber took a tent peg, and took a hammer in her hand. Then she went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple until it went down into the ground while he was lying fast asleep from weariness. So he died. 22 And behold, as Barak was pursuing Sisera, Jael went out to meet him and said to him, “Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking.” So he went in to her tent, and there lay Sisera dead, with the tent peg in his temple.

23 So on that day God subdued Jabin the king of Canaan before the people of Israel. 24 And the hand of the people of Israel pressed harder and harder against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.

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Next: Judges 5

Back: Judges 3

This Post Has One Comment
  1. And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord . . . Judges 4:1


    When you're reading a book, do you find yourself empathizing with those you are reading about? Do you ever get upset with them because of decisions they've made? Do you wish they would do something or hope they don't do something else?

    Isn't that way when we read Scripture? Do we only find ourselves on the pages of Holy Writ when we read about the obedient, the faithful, the blessed? Or do we also relate to those who were rebellious, flawed and in need of God's mercy?

    In the last chapter, when the anger of the Lord was kindled against the people of Israel and "he sold them into the hand of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia. And the people of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years" (Judges 3:8). Then we read the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and the Lord "strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel" for eighteen years (Judges 3:14). 

    In today's chapter, when the people of Israel AGAIN did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, He sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan where he oppressed them "cruelly for twenty years" (Judges 4:3). 

    In each of these cases, the people cried out to the Lord. 

    In Judges 3, we learned that Othniel judged Israel followed by Ehud. In today's chapter, we read of Deborah who is called a "prophetess" who judged Israel after Ehud died. 

    There were four other women in the Old Testament known as prophetess:

    Miriam in Exodus 15:20 "Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing."

    Huldah in 2 Kings 22:14 "So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe (now she lived in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter), and they talked with her."

    Isaiah’s wife in Isaiah 8:3 "And I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and bore a son. Then the Lord said to me, “Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz."

    Noadiah, a false prophetess in Nehemiah 6:14 "Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, O my God, according to these things that they did, and also the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who wanted to make me afraid."

    In his Study Bible, John MacArthur writes of Deborah:

    "She was an unusual woman of wisdom and influence who did the tasks of a judge, except for military leadership. God can use women mightily for civil, religious, or other tasks, e.g., Huldah the prophetess (2 Kin. 22:14), Philip’s daughters in prophesying (Acts 21:8, 9), and Phoebe a deaconess (Rom. 16:1). Deborah’s rise to such a role is the exception in the book because of Barak’s failure to show the courage to lead courageously (vv. 8, 14). God rebuked his cowardice by the pledge that a woman would slay Sisera (v. 9)."

    MacArthur, J., Jr. (Ed.). (1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed., p. 341). Nashville, TN: Word Pub.

    While it's clear from Scripture that women are not to teach men or be in positions of authority over men in the context of church (1 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 3:4–5; Hebrews 3:6), this is not due to a lack of ability on their part but of designation and focus. 

    Women have wonderful gifts of leadership which were even expressed as far back as the Old Testament. The fact that women are excluded from spiritual leadership/authority in the context of the church does not mean women have less value than men. Women are called to teach children and other women (in the church) and although women do not have "final authority" in the context of marriage, they are an equal partner in all family-related matters. Women also can (and do) lead well in the context of workplace, community and government.

    I can say without question that Michelle teaches me a lot as my wife and in the home, even though I am the "head" of the household, there is equality in all things. And as the "head", my role is to love my wife, submit to her (and she does to me) and serve her just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her (Ephesians 5:25).

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