Song of Triumph

KEY VERSE: “I will sing unto the LORD; I will sing praises to the LORD God of Israeli” —Judges 5:3


AFTER TWENTY YEARS of oppression by Jabin, King of Canaan, the Israelites cried unto the Lord for help, and Deborah was the one instrumental in delivering them. Deborah realized her limitations as a woman, so she enlisted the help of Barak to lead an army against Jabin’s general, Sisera.

Barak was somewhat hesitant about attacking the powerful army of Sisera. But he believed that the Lord’s blessing was upon Deborah, so he agreed to the undertaking if she would accompany him, which she did. The Lord gave him a signal victory over Israel’s enemies. They were destroyed; and we are told that as a result the land had rest forty years.—Judges 5:31

In Hebrews 11:32 Barak is mentioned as one of the heroes of faith who lived and served God prior to Jesus’ First Advent. It must have required a great deal of faith on his part to lead a comparatively small army against the well equipped forces of Sisera. Deborah assured him that the Lord had promised to help, and Barak had enough faith to believe that the God of Israel would fulfill his promise.

Deborah is styled a prophetess. Seemingly in her case this title signifies one through whom the Lord sent special messages; as, for example, the directives which enabled Barak and his army to defeat Sisera. Surely the Lord used her, and that because she was a willing and consecrated servant of his cause and of his people. There is a lesson here for all of his people, which is that in order to be used by him in his service, full devotion of heart is essential.

It is a question with some as to whether Deborah should be classed as one of the divinely appointed judges of Israel as well as a prophetess. It is obvious that the Lord used her and that her appointment as a judge was from God. Paul says, “God gave [Israel] judges.” (Acts 13:20) and Deborah judged Israel together with Barak at that time.

In this song of praise to God for avenging Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves, two humble and noble thoughts are expressed. Credit is given to God for the victory, and it properly acknowledges the part Israel’s army played in the effort. It was not merely that Deborah and Barak worked with the Lord, but, in addition, the people willingly offered themselves.

Deborah’s song of praise for Israel’s deliverance eloquently gives God the glory, and acknowledges with gratitude the cooperation of Barak and the others that helped.

Although she sang, “The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel” (Judges 5:7), Deborah was undoubtedly a humble woman. It is not necessarily a sign of pride that she gave recognition of the fact that the Lord had used her, but an expression of thanks for the opportunity of service. When this opportunity of service did present itself to Deborah, she accepted it, and did the best she could to carry it out. She sent encouraging messages to the chief men of various tribes. She was respected; her counsel was appreciated; her advice was sought. In this way she judged and assisted Israel.

There are many opportunities of service among the Lord’s people today. May each one of us perform faithfully whatever part the Lord’s providences indicate as being ours. And let us do it courageously and with praise to the Lord.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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