THE SONG OF DEBORAH
"One of the aspects of the Song is that it pokes fun at the religion of Baalism"
Some of it contrasts Baal and God
We saw last week God raised up a mother in Israel, the people turned around and
destroyed the enemy, and now this Song is to be sung in all the watering places
Who led the battle? Barak a Levite
The Song can be broken into 3 parts or "Stanzas"
LOOK AT STANZA 1 Judges 5:2-11
Notice the long hair in vs 2 -- implies the Nazarite vow
Later we will see Samson the Nazarite judge Israel
The Song is LOADED with symbolism
We know that Christ has gone to prepare a place for us,
LOOK BACK AT vs 4 "As Israel came from Egypt to Sinai, they faced Edom and Mt. Seir. As God's glory cloud arose over Sinai, it appeared to be marching from Edom. In other words, God marched from the promised land, where He had been preparing a place for them, through Edom, to meet them at Sinai" (jbj p.94).
Remember there were supposedly many Baals (pluralism)
And they were supposedly storm gods, and sun gods, etc.
vs 4 tells us who the true God of the storm is.
And God brought a rainstorm to defeat the enemies of Israel.
LOOK AT Exodus 19:16-17
A rainstorm like occurence appeared at Sinai.
And that's what God used to stop Sisera's chariots.
Back in Judges - vs 7 Deborah is a mother in Israel
Mother implies birth - that's just what Israel needed: a rebirth
vs 8 seems to say the Israelites had very few weapons
Probably, Sisera & Jabin had taken them away from the Israelites
vs 9 says that both leaders and followers volunteered to fight
LOOK AT Judges 5:12-22
What do you think vs 12 is alluding to?
In the New Testament who led captivity captive?
(Eph 4:8 & O.T. Ps 68:18)
In fact, according to Judges 4:16, there were no captives taken.
it said "there was not a man left."
Then Deborah gives us sort of a roll call, or roster of who fought.
Ephraim came and was joined by Benjamin (vs 14)
Who were the governors or commanders out of Machir?
Manasseh - LOOK BACK AT Judges 1:27
They had originally failed to take this land
Zebulun contributed scribes to enroll men into the army and to collect the atonement money.
"Every time the army of the Lord was mustered, the men paid each a half shekel of silver to atone for the blood spilled in war, which money went to the upkeep of the tabernacle" (jbj p.100-101)
Issachar came with Deborah
But now look at the last part of vs 15...
What does this mean, "great thoughts of heart"?
Reuben didn't come to fight. They had brave talk, but they didn't come fight.
The rest of the tribes didn't make any bold claims or promises, they just plain didn't show up.
Judah and Simeon, however, were in the South and were occupied with the Philistines.
They fought with Shamgar - remember the "Surprise! Judge"
LOOK AT vs 20 AGAIN
What does it mean "the stars fought"?
Did Alpha Centauri fall to Earth and fight?
LOOK AT Job 38:7 Isa 14:13 Rev 12:4
Just as storms can represent God's presence, and the presence of Angels in some cases, STARS can often represent God's host/angels
(angels as storms - Ezek 1:1-10; Ps 18:9-12; 104:2-4)
God's host fought the battle.
And evidently, the Kishon river flooded in the storm and swept away the army.
These great big chariots, horses and soldiers were trapped in mud.
LOOK AT Judges 5:23-31
Does anyone know where Meroz is located? LOOK AT vs 23
Or maybe I should ask "where Meroz WAS located?"
No one today knows where Meroz was located. It was cursed!
LOOK BACK AT vs 26
Jael literally "hit the nail on the head" in this one.
Remember Gen 3:15?
"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Before we go on with what Jael did and how she did it, I want to wrap up discussion on the Song.
Basically, there was a roll call of the faithful tribes,
and there was open ridicule of the tribes who didn't come help
This Song is not at the Second Coming. It's even prior to the First Coming.
I think here we can see there is some virtue in name calling.
Deborah didn't seek personal vengeance, but she also didn't shy away from the truth and exposing the compromisers and apostasizers.
It's something to think about, at least.
Now, what about some of the charges that have been leveled against Jael?
And how do they relate to the women in Grace Bible Fellowship?
SOME CHARGES AGAINST JAEL
(Taken From James Jordan's Commentary on Judges)
1. Disobedience to her husband in breaking his treaty with Jabin, (4:17).
2. Actively going out of her way to deceive Sisera, (4:18).
3. Lying to Sisera, saying "fear not," when he had, in fact, much to fear, (4:18).
4. Violating the laws or rules of hospitality, (4:18-21).
5. Murder, (4:21).
Let's just look at the first one.
Now before we pass judgment on Jael, let's see what God has to say about her:
LOOK AT Judges 5:24
Anyone want to argue with God?
LOOK AT I Pet 3:6
OK women, "Is it ever right for a wife to disobey her lord/husband?"
And remember, Scripture doesn't say ONLY believing husbands must be obeyed.
If a husband tells his wife to get an abortion, should she do it?
I'm going to take a step out on a limb and say, no.
LOOK AT Matt 6:33
I will grant that is somewhat out of context, but it's supported elsewhere in Scripture.
LOOK AT Matt 10:34-37
Should a wife or a husband love their spouse more than they love Jesus Christ?
Did it not say that there may come a time when your enemies will come from your very own household?
LOOK AT Luke 14:26 To whom do we owe our greatest love and alegiance?
Jael's husband was essentially an unbeliever; he had a treaty with the enemy of God.
Whose honor did Jael seek first?
I think there's some wrong teaching going around about mindless submission on the part of women to their husbands.
A single Christian girl can have knowledge, study the Bible, witness, and share with other believers.
But the minute she gets married, all of a sudden she must turn into a robot.
She's not to speak unless spoken to first.
And the Mormons have gone so far with this, that women won't go to heaven if their husband doesn't call them out of the grave.
Can you see how that can be held over their heads. Literally "lorded over their heads."
Do you ever wonder why a husband can get so bumbed out, or depressed?
Often times, not always, but often the wife is not being a helpmeet.
The wife has to be told everything by her husband.
She can't make any decisions on her own.
I'm not talking about making decisions before talking with her husband;
I'm talking about not being able to make any decisions at all period.
LOOK... Jael made a decision... the woman in Proverbs 31 is characterized by her ability to make wise decisions...
AND LOOK AT HANNAH IN I Sam 1:9-11 & 20-23
If the husband cannot trust his wife, then it's not because she is being submissive; it's because she's not being a helpmeet.
She's being a stumbling block to her husband's spiritual and mental welfare.
LOOK BACK AT I Pet 3:6
We always hear about Abraham's faith, but did you know that Sarah made the HEBREWS 11 hall of fame?
And Hebrews 11 doesn't say her submission to Abraham, but rather her submission to God.
She believed God was faithful. She did what was right.
That's what Peter says in I Pet 3:6... "as long as you do well"
"as long as you do right"
Somehow people have taken the notion that because Sarah called Abraham "lord" that wives are to submit to their husbands as if they were the Lord Jesus Christ.
I'm not making it up. Let me read you a quote from a book that's got quite a few unscriptural teachings in it about the role of wives.
And this book is used to teach women how to obey their husbands.
"Suppose a woman feels God is leading her definitely opposite to what her husband has commanded. Whom should she obey? The Scriptures say a woman must ignore her "feelings" about the will of God, and do what her husband says. She is to obey her husband as if he were God Himself. She can be as certain of God's will, when her husband speaks, as if God had spoken audibly from Heaven!" (Handford p.28).
I don't have a problem with the part about ignoring feelings. It's true that we get our guidance from the Bible, not from feelings.
The part I have problems with is the husband becoming the voice of God in the life of the woman.
This is nothing more than Mormonism; however, the book is not written by a Mormon. It's written by a Baptist.
One more quote, and this one is under a subtitle heading that reads:
"You Have Freedom From the Consequence of Decisions"
"You have another privilege. (You thought it was a liability, but you'll discover it's a privilege!) You have freedom from having to take the consequences of making decisions. When you give back to your husband the responsibility for the direction of the home and the making of decisions, you also give him the responsibility for the consequences of his decisions. My friend Marty said it this way: 'When I found out Dave was supposed to be the head of this family, it sure made life simple. Now he makes the decisions, and he's stuck with them!'" (Handford, pp.55-56).
Brethren, this kind of authoritarian notion is at the root of many cults.
LOOK AT Gen 18:12
The word lord there is used for sovereign, like a sovereign ruler or sovereign state, and for controller, master or owner.
It's the word 'adown ( aw - done' ) in Hebrew, similar to names with Adoni-- Remember Adoni-bezek of Judges chapter 1?
NOW LOOK AT Gen 18:13
The word Lord here is Yehovah the self-Existent or Eternal.
This is the Jewish national name of God: Jehovah the Lord.
Take all of this back to I Pet 3:6 and show me how Peter is saying that wives must blindly obey their husbands.
Peter says if the women do well, and I don't think Peter is going to contradict Scripture, do you?
LOOK AT Col 3:18-23
Paul basically says the same as Peter.
Paul says wives submit to husbands as is fitting in the Lord.
Now, does Paul mean here that it is fitting to submit, or does he mean submit if it is fitting?
Either way, submission (or subordination) does not mean passive and blind obedience to a husband.
LOOK AT Eph 5:21
Just before Paul tells wives to submit to their own husbands, he qualifies it and says "in the fear of God."
Did you know you can be submissive without obeying your husband?
Subordination does not equal blind obedience to just anything a husband says, or for example anything a government might say.
LOOK AT Phil 2:5-8
Whom was Christ obedient to? To the State or the Father?
The religious leaders and the Roman govt. would have had Christ deny Himself. - Did He obey them and deny Himself?
Of course not.
Christ did not obey the Roman govt. when the govt. demanded Him to give worship and allegiance to Rome.
Remember Shadrach Meshach and Abednigo? They did not obey the Government's order to worship an idol.
But all of these people were in submission to the government.
Now how do you suppose I can say that?
Christ accepted subordination to Caesar.
Christ gave Himself willingly, remember? Christ permitted Rome to crucify Him. Christ explained to Pilate that Pilate only did what God ordained.
Christ was subordinate to Rome and was put to death by Rome because He was obeying--not Rome--but the Father.
You see, your submission to the government may one day cost your life.
You may remain here and the government may say we can no longer worship God. We will worship God because we obey God first.
And that means we will also submit or subordinate ourselves to the penalties that the government will impose upon us.
The radical nature of that kind of submission is that Christ did this willingly; He didn't fight, remember?
And we are called to submit willingly, and when the time comes, we are not to take up arms and fight the government.
LOOK BACK AGAIN AT I Pet 3:6 - ACTUALLY, LOOK AT I Pet 2:13ff.
Obviously, I have gone way beyond Deborah and Jael, but I hope that now you can see that submission does not mean mindless obedience, or that a woman becomes a slave and gives up her dignity which is being recreated in the image of God.