Introduction: A key idea in to today’s Sunday School material is that Deborah, Barak, and 10,000 soldiers are preparing for battle. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to have enough faith to fight in God’s army.
Read Judges 4:1-3
I. Cry to God. The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s eyes again. The Lord sold them into the hands of Jabin. After 20 years of oppression, the people cried unto the Lord.
- Evil in the Lord’s eyes. Notice in vs. 1 that the people did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord. There are too many who think what they are doing is not really that bad. However, it is not what we think that really matters.
It is what God thinks that really counts. Let’s live according to God’s will. This means prayerfully studying and obeying God’s word, even when our culture gives us permission to do otherwise.
- God’s punishment. Notice in vs. 2 that the evilness of the people led to God’s punishment. In like manner, we should avoid disobedience, because God still punishes sin. God can send mean people into our lives to cause all kinds of stress. Our lives are stressful enough without God’s punishment.
Let’s live like we believe that God will punish sin. This kind of living should be known for turning from sin to obeying God’s word.
- Immediate repentance. Notice in vs. 3 that it was 20 years of suffering, before the people apparently cried out to the Lord with repentance. One can only wonder how long it will take believers today to cry out to the Lord with repentance. Some have to experience much more pain. Some have to grow more convinced that God is the source of their pain.
And then some have to fight through their pride and repent. Let’s turn back to God immediately. Every day that we wait, the worse things get in our lives and the less of a blessing we will be to others.
Read Judges 4:4-7
II. Challenge Others. Deborah is introduced as a wife, prophet, and leading judge. She calls for Barak. The Lord is commanding him to fight against Jabin.
- God’s choice. Notice in vss. 4-6 that God used Deborah in a mighty way. She was a wife, prophet, and judge. No serious Bible student can read this text and then say that God doesn’t use women in church leadership and as clergy. God can use whomever He wants to use, including women.
Therefore, we should be open to God using us and others. Let’s be open to God’s use of whomever He chooses. We should judge the tree by the fruit that it bears, not just gender and our other prejudices.
Read Judges 4:8-10
III. Collaborate as Needed. Barak said that he would not go without Deborah. She consented to go. An army of 10,000 Israelites is rounded up.
- Fear. Notice in vs. 8 that Barak may have been afraid to fight without Deborah. (There are a couple of theories about why he did not want to go without her.) If he was afraid, the lesson we should learn from him is to work on trusting God more than fearing the circumstances before us.
Prayerfully studying and obeying God’s word with the support of other disciples will help us in this area. Let’s work on having more faith in God than fear of circumstances.
- Faith to fight. Notice in vss. 9-10 that Deborah and the 10,000 men were willing to go and fight with faith in God. First, we need more people who are willing to go and fight for the Lord’s agenda today. Think about how passive many people are with evangelizing the lost, edifying those who are members of the church, and giving diligence to seeing that God’s agenda for the church is carried out.
Second, our greatest confidence should be in God, not just our military might. If God be for us, He is more than the whole world against us. If God is not for us then anything can happen.Let’s work on having enough faith in God to go and fight for God’s will be to done.
Conclusion: Let’s work on having enough faith to fight in God’s army. God has much for those who obey His will.
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