Judges 5:1-18

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, June 27, 2016 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

Back in early May, we wrote on the story of Deborah and Barak in Judges 4. Go check out that post for some context behind today’s blog post.

The victory that Israel experienced in Judges 4 against Sisera and his army was so significant that the people needed to remember it. If something like that happened today, it would be all over the media - newspapers, TV news reports, social media, Internet news sites, etc. Even things that aren’t significant are often all over our media, but that’s another topic for another day. A huge battle like this one deserved to be remembered, and they couldn’t easily just write down all the details or prepare a news story and report on it from every angle like we could today. So what did they do? They composed a song about it.

The chapter of Judges 5 is the song to remember the victory that Deborah and Barak had over Sisera. Today we’re specifically looking at the first 18 verses of it, but I’ll be going into some background and context of it as well.

This poem is often called the “Song of Deborah.” It is beautifully poetic, and it is a song of praise, thanksgiving, glory, and honor to God. It’s not honoring those who fought in the battle, but it’s honoring God, the true mastermind behind Israel’s victory. It is believed that Deborah is the author of this poem, though we do not know that for certain. It is also believed that this was composed not too long after the events actually happened, so that they would be accurately remembered.

The poem starts out in verses 2-5 by giving praise to God. Verse 3 is especially significant: “Hear this, you kings! Listen, you rulers! I, even I, will sing to the Lord; I will praise the Lord, the God of Israel, in song.” Think about that for a moment. Deborah, the judge / commander of Israel’s army, just presided over this great victory. Assuming she is the one writing this, she is not at all praising herself. She is praising God completely for this victory! Now that’s some serious humility there.

The song goes on in verses 6-8 with discussing the conditions of Israel at the time of battle. Things were not all that great. Canaanite robbers were present in their area, so trade and agriculture were threatened - and those were their way of life as a people.

Verses 9-11 go on to encourage the people to share of this victory. They need to keep remembering God’s provision for them so that they don’t turn away from Him again - even though we know that they will as we keep reading the book of Judges.

The final section we’re looking at this week is verses 12-18. These verses encourage all of the tribes of Israel to work together to continue to go against their common enemy of the Canaanites. They are called to “Wake up!” which means they need to get up and take action rather than sitting idly by.

The people of Israel recognized what God had done for them, and they wanted to make sure to remember this victory and give God the glory for it. What has God done for you in your life? Are you giving Him the glory for it, and telling others about it to help honor God and remember what He has done? Or are you living your life thinking that you earned each little victory on your own? Think about it.

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