Wednesday 23rd October, 2019
Theme: The Impostor
Passage: Judges 5:12- 23
12 Lead on, Deborah, lead on!
Lead on! Sing a song! Lead on!
Forward, Barak son of Abinoam,
lead your captives away!
13 Then the faithful ones came down to their leaders;
the Lord’s people came to him ready to fight.
14 They came from Ephraim into the valley,
behind the tribe of Benjamin and its people.
The commanders came down from Machir,
the officers down from Zebulun.
15 The leaders of Issachar came with Deborah;
yes, Issachar came and Barak too,
and they followed him into the valley.
But the tribe of Reuben was divided;
they could not decide to come.
16 Why did they stay behind with the sheep?
To listen to shepherds calling the flocks?
Yes, the tribe of Reuben was divided;
they could not decide to come.
17 The tribe of Gad stayed east of the Jordan,
and the tribe of Dan remained by the ships.
The tribe of Asher stayed by the seacoast;
they remained along the shore.
18 But the people of Zebulun and Naphtali
risked their lives on the battlefield.
19 At Taanach, by the stream of Megiddo,
the kings came and fought;
the kings of Canaan fought,
but they took no silver away.
20 The stars fought from the sky;
as they moved across the sky,
they fought against Sisera.
21 A flood in the Kishon swept them away—
the onrushing Kishon River.
I shall march, march on, with strength!
22 Then the horses came galloping on,
stamping the ground with their hoofs.
23 “Put a curse on Meroz,” says the angel of the Lord,
“a curse, a curse on those who live there.
They did not come to help the Lord,
come as soldiers to fight for him.”
Repetitive and representative warfare punctuated the period of the judges of Israel. Among their foes were the Philistines in the south and the Canaanites in the north. Deborah of Ephraim and her general, Barak of Zebulon, were particularly concerned with putting an end to the oppression by the Canaanites during the reign of Jabin of Hazor. After obtaining the decisive victory and the death of Jabin’s general, Sisera, Deborah wrote the victory song just as Moses and Miriam led Israel in song, after the successful crossing of the Red Sea(Exodus 15). She believed and acknowledge that it was not their human efforts but God that gave them victory over the enemies.
Deborah began her song with praises to the Lord for the victory, but was quick to add her appreciation of the willingness with which ten thousand Jews put their lives on the line to defend the nation against the superior and fully-armed soldiers.
But she expressed her displeasure at the refusal of the tribe of Reuben, Gilead, Dan and Asher join their brethren in fighting against their enemies. Thus, she questioned their presences in the midst to be their brothers keeper (verses 15-18) she regarded them as impostors, who should have no portion among the sheepfold.
Christians are expected to raise the hands of the weak, (Exodus 17:10-11), loose chains of injustice, provide shelter for wanders, clothe the naked, feed those that are hungry, and do away with yoke of oppression. (Isaiah 58:6-10). If you have not been observing these, you are an imposter and there is need for you to search your heart and turn a new leaf. May we be found worthy of life eternal as Christ promised the righteous in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
MEMORY VERSE: Judges 5:16 “Why did you tarry among the sheepfolds, to hear the piping for the flocks? Among the clans of Reuben were great searching of heart.
HYMN: MHB 420- O WHAT shall I do my Saviour to praise
PRAYER: My Father and My God, for every success and achievement that may come my way, help me to always ascribe all the glory and praise to You, in Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.