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March 24, 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 16-18
Audio: Judges 16-18

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

Judges 5 (ESV)

Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day:

“That the leaders took the lead in Israel,
    that the people offered themselves willingly,
    bless the Lord!

“Hear, O kings; give ear, O princes;
    to the Lord I will sing;
    I will make melody to the Lord, the God of Israel.

Lord, when you went out from Seir,
    when you marched from the region of Edom,
the earth trembled
    and the heavens dropped,
    yes, the clouds dropped water.
The mountains quaked before the Lord,
    even Sinai before the Lord, the God of Israel.

“In the days of Shamgar, son of Anath,
    in the days of Jael, the highways were abandoned,
    and travelers kept to the byways.
The villagers ceased in Israel;
    they ceased to be until I arose;
    I, Deborah, arose as a mother in Israel.
When new gods were chosen,
    then war was in the gates.
Was shield or spear to be seen
    among forty thousand in Israel?
My heart goes out to the commanders of Israel
    who offered themselves willingly among the people.
    Bless the Lord.

10 “Tell of it, you who ride on white donkeys,
    you who sit on rich carpets
    and you who walk by the way.
11 To the sound of musicians at the watering places,
    there they repeat the righteous triumphs of the Lord,
    the righteous triumphs of his villagers in Israel.

“Then down to the gates marched the people of the Lord.

12 “Awake, awake, Deborah!
    Awake, awake, break out in a song!
Arise, Barak, lead away your captives,
    O son of Abinoam.
13 Then down marched the remnant of the noble;
    the people of the Lord marched down for me against the mighty.
14 From Ephraim their root they marched down into the valley,
    following you, Benjamin, with your kinsmen;
from Machir marched down the commanders,
    and from Zebulun those who bear the lieutenant’s staff;
15 the princes of Issachar came with Deborah,
    and Issachar faithful to Barak;
    into the valley they rushed at his heels.
Among the clans of Reuben
    there were great searchings of heart.
16 Why did you sit still among the sheepfolds,
    to hear the whistling for the flocks?
Among the clans of Reuben
    there were great searchings of heart.
17 Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan;
    and Dan, why did he stay with the ships?
Asher sat still at the coast of the sea,
    staying by his landings.
18 Zebulun is a people who risked their lives to the death;
    Naphtali, too, on the heights of the field.

19 “The kings came, they fought;
    then fought the kings of Canaan,
at Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo;
    they got no spoils of silver.
20 From heaven the stars fought,
    from their courses they fought against Sisera.
21 The torrent Kishon swept them away,
    the ancient torrent, the torrent Kishon.
    March on, my soul, with might!

22 “Then loud beat the horses’ hoofs
    with the galloping, galloping of his steeds.

23 “Curse Meroz, says the angel of the Lord,
    curse its inhabitants thoroughly,
because they did not come to the help of the Lord,
    to the help of the Lord against the mighty.

24 “Most blessed of women be Jael,
    the wife of Heber the Kenite,
    of tent-dwelling women most blessed.
25 He asked for water and she gave him milk;
    she brought him curds in a noble’s bowl.
26 She sent her hand to the tent peg
    and her right hand to the workmen’s mallet;
she struck Sisera;
    she crushed his head;
    she shattered and pierced his temple.
27 Between her feet
    he sank, he fell, he lay still;
between her feet
    he sank, he fell;
where he sank,
    there he fell—dead.

28 “Out of the window she peered,
    the mother of Sisera wailed through the lattice:
‘Why is his chariot so long in coming?
    Why tarry the hoofbeats of his chariots?’
29 Her wisest princesses answer,
    indeed, she answers herself,
30 ‘Have they not found and divided the spoil?—
    A womb or two for every man;
spoil of dyed materials for Sisera,
    spoil of dyed materials embroidered,
    two pieces of dyed work embroidered for the neck as spoil?’

31 “So may all your enemies perish, O Lord!
    But your friends be like the sun as he rises in his might.”

And the land had rest for forty years.

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Next: Judges 6

Back: Judges 4

This Post Has One Comment
  1. A Song to Yahweh

    In Judges 4, we learn that Sisera was the commander of the army of Jabin who was the king of Canaan. Judges 4:3 says, "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."

    Later in Judges 4, we learn that when Sisera pursued Barak with 900 chariots of iron and all the men who were with him, Barak followed him with 10,000 men. Judges 4:15 says, "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."

    We then learn he went to the tent of Jael for safety and after covering him with a rug (which is a sign of protection) and giving him milk to drink, she drove a tent peg into his temple as he slept. 

    In this victory song to God, Judges 5:1 says, "Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day" but it's clear Deborah is leading the song as she makes reference to herself. 

    She sang of the faithfulness of God. She sang of the commanders of Israel's army who lost their lives in battle. And in Judges 5:24-27 she sang of Jael's heroism in taking the life of the ruthless commander of Jabin's army, Sisera:

    “Most blessed of women be Jael,
        the wife of Heber the Kenite,
        of tent-dwelling women most blessed.
    25 He asked for water and she gave him milk;
        she brought him curds in a noble's bowl.
    26 She sent her hand to the tent peg
        and her right hand to the workmen's mallet;
    she struck Sisera;
        she crushed his head;
        she shattered and pierced his temple.
    27 Between her feet
        he sank, he fell, he lay still;
    between her feet
        he sank, he fell;
    where he sank,
        there he fell—dead."

    Charles Spurgeon writes of this chapter:

    “Let them tell the righteous acts of the LORD.” Deborah sang about the overthrow of Israel’s enemies and the deliverance granted to the tribes. We have a far richer theme for music. We have been delivered from worse enemies and saved by a greater salvation. Let our gratitude be deeper; let our song be more jubilant. We can say that our sins, which were like mighty armies, have been swept away, not by the river Kishon but by streams that flowed from Jesus’s side. Our great enemy has been overcome, and his head is broken. Not Sisera, but Satan has been overthrown—the seed of the woman has struck the serpent’s head forever. We are now ransomed from the oppressive yoke; we walk at liberty through the power of the great liberator, the Lord Jesus. The results that accrued from the conquest achieved by Barak are on a small scale compared to those that come to us through the deliverance worked out by the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who went to draw water at the wells after Barak’s victory were no longer disturbed by the robbers who lurked at the fountains to plunder. Instead of drawing the water by stealth and in hasty fear, the women sang of the mighty acts of God; and the citizens who had been cooped up within the town walls ventured beyond the gates into the open country and transacted their business in security. This is an instructive type of the condition into which our Lord Jesus Christ has brought us through the destruction of our sins and the overthrow of the powers of darkness."

    Spurgeon. (2017). The Spurgeon Study Bible: Notes (p. 309). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

    Oh that our hearts would be poured out in song at the mighty deeds of our Lord and the victory that is ours in Christ Jesus!

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