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Summary: Sometimes God goes uses what is deemed the "unusable" (Outside the Lines) to accomplish His purposes.

Coloring Outside the Lines

11-8-06 Judges 4 (Judges Series)

Illustration: As the child looks at a drawing that they have just colored and try as they might, they have colored outside the lines…it might be embarrassing or look inferior to them. They will not be able to appreciate that drawing until years later, as they hold that same drawing in their wrinkled hands, as it has now become a reminder of a most precious time in their lives..

I. The Cycle of Sin Begins Again

A. SIN - The Children of Israel Sinned Against the Lord

1. 4:1 - “Did evil in the sight of the Lord…”; 5:8 “they chose new gods…”

B. SERVITUDE – 4:2 “the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin…”

1. Approx. 150 yrs. earlier, Joshua had fought another “Jabin” at Hazor…

• Previously defeated foes will overcome us if we, through compromise, do not finish them off.

C. SUPPLICATION – 4:3 “Israel cried unto the Lord…”

BRIDGE: God wanted to teach Israel to trust in Him, not in any military strength that they could muster of themselves. The logical choice of a leader would have been another great leader such as Othniel, or the well-thought of, but limited, Ehud, or even the peasant farmer, Shamgar…men that would have the military genius to go against and defeat an enemy. But God chose to draw from the “last” place men would have looked in their day…He chose a “woman”.

II. God Raised Up a Deliverer – “Deborah”

· “Honeybee” – “to arrange”; so taken from this word because of their orderly and systematic instincts.

· > dabar = “principle; a cause” – she saw a need and was committed to doing something about it. (i.e. David …“Is there not a ‘cause’?” (Is somebody gonna stand up for God…there is a principle that is being trespassed here…it’s time to take a stand!”

A. The Pattern Set In Place By God:

1. Men were to lead and be in positions of authority.

• Lesson learned: God will sometimes have to work outside of the prescribed pattern. (If a man will not stand up, He has no problem using a woman, a child, a donkey, etc…

2. Houses of Worship Were to Be Set Up Throughout All Israel

When people find a trace of the TRUE presence of God, it will not matter in the least bit if it’s in a tobbacco warehouse, a renovated stripmall, or at an outdoor brush arbor, they will come!!!

a. John the Baptist: all Jerusalem, Judea, and all of that region came to him – Matt. 3:5…he was the real deal and gave out a true word!

Didn’t they have temples of worship? …YES…but they found something H-E-R-E that turned their souls inside out and changed their lives!)

b. Deborah – sat under the palms. (People came to her to her the word of God – prophetess) 4:5

III. The Commission of Barak

A. Team Ministry – 4:6-7

· She was perceptive enough to recognize Barak’s strengths.

· She was wise enough to accept her own “limitations.”

· A wise leader recruits help and builds a TEAM.

1. The Plan – “I will draw Sisera out to you…”

2. The Obstacles:

a. Barak’s response – “Unless you go with me, I’m not going…” – 4:8

b. A week’s travel

c. Rallying Israel

d. No weapons – 5:8 (no spears or shields among 40,000 men)

e. Sisera’s army

· They were out-gunned. (900 chariots – on the cutting edge of military technology)

· They were out-manned (Thousands of soldiers)

· They were out-positioned. (Near the great plain of Megiddo)

• Just the way God wants it so that HE may receive the glory!

3. The Battle - The Lord fought for them. (4:14-15)

a. Note how God won the battle: 5:20-21 - God sent a flash flood upon the enemy in the middle of the “dry season”. Their chariots became stuck in the mud of the Kishon River. Their strength became a handicap to them and they were in a state of total confusion.

• If only we will walk in obedience, God will always bring deliverance.

5. Key Verses: 5:2,9

· “The leaders LED.”

· “The people volunteered.”

· They all “Blessed the Lord” – to Him be the Glory!

• The winning formula for successful body life ministry: Proper leadership, willing people, the anointing and blessing of God.

Dan Thompkins. (2008). Sermons of Dan Thompkins.

(Bits and pieces borrowed from Gary Inrig’s book, "Hearts of Fire, Feet of Clay)

Also some material borrowed from Dutch Sheet’s teaching on the Book of Judges.

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