We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Matt Chow.
Judges 4:4-164 Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. 5 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. 6 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. 7 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’?” 8 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.” 9 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.
Today’s reading comes from the book of Judges. The book of Judges can be described as a cycle of repeated events. The Israelites do evil and abandon God, so God delivers them into the hands of foreign leaders. Then the Israelites cry out to God to save them, he hears them and raises up a judge to deliver them from out of the hands of foreign leaders.
The judge passes away and the people forget about following God, so the cycle starts all over. Deborah is the judge at this time and she is the only female among the 12 judges. During this time many considered it unexpected for God to raise up a woman as a judge. This is the first indication that what God considers as biblical strength does not align with worldly strength. God looks beyond what this world considers as strong and he chooses the best person for the task at hand.
Sisera was commander of the Canaanite army. For 20 years Sisera oppressed the Israelites. Deborah receives word from God to go and fight against Sisera with a man named Barak. During this time Sisera had 900 iron chariots at his disposal and the Israelites had none. Iron chariots would be the equivalent of a tank in today’s world. From an outsider’s perspective this seems like an impossible task for Deborah and Barak. However, because of their trust in God, God granted them victory against impossible odds and allowed them to defeat Sisera.
Heavenly Father, thank you for reminding me that what the world considers as a strength is not the same as your definition of strength. I pray that you give me the strength when I feel weak. I pray that I trust you in all situations, even when it seems that all odds are stacked against me. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
A big part of my faith journey has been stepping out of my comfort zone and doing things that I haven’t been comfortable with. In fact, I never imagined myself leading a FAITH RXD chapter or any type of ministry. I’ve always been a quiet, keep to myself, go with the crowd type of person. However, two years ago God said to follow him to a FAITH RXD camp and to lead a chapter of FAITH RXD. Just like Deborah and Barak, I thought it was an impossible task to accomplish. However, my life has never been the same since and my faith has grown leaps and bounds. What is God calling you to do and put your trust in him? Trust him and watch what happens.
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