Deborah and Barak -- Resisters and Responders

Judges 4 & 5



For most of us our only understanding of chariots and there use in warfare comes from movies.

Most of us have watch Charlton Heston in the chariot race in ben hur.

There is scene in the movie Gladiator that is terrifying. Maximus and the other gladiators are dressed as barbarians. They are standing in the center of the coliseum when the announcer voice sounds.

"the Emperor is pleased to bring you the LEGIONNAIRES OF SCIPIO AFRICANUS". The gates burst open as the glorius chariots explode into the arena, one at a time. Leopard skins drape the shoulders of the chariot drivers. Each chariot carries a female warrior in golden armour and golden helmet, armed with bows and wearing swords at their waists. The chariots are driven at great speed as they circle the "Barbarians" who gather in the center of the arena. Before the battle begins a chariot crushes one gladiator.

Chariots were considered the ultimate weapon in the ancient world. Though initially viewed as an instrumental weapon of terror at the forefront of any advancing army, the chariot was also a battlefield "clean up" weapon used to decimate routing enemy. In ancient times, most casualties - occurred when one army made the terrible decision to run from the battle as this was the moment that their pursuers could wreak havoc on the confused lines in retreat.

It is these terrifying weapons that play a significant role in the next chapter of God’s deliverance stories in the book of judges. It would make a great movie. It’s got powerful characters, intrigue, an underdog army, and incredible victory. But unlike many of the drama of the chariots race in ben hur, this drama really took place. And in it its drama we will discovery our next lesson in our own deliverance story.


I. Key Verse

Judg 5:2

2 "When the princes in Israel take the lead, when the people willingly offer themselves- praise the LORD!

II. Background

Judg 4:1-3

4:1 After Ehud died, the Israelites once again did evil in the eyes of the LORD. 2 So the LORD sold them into the hands of Jabin, a king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth Haggoyim. 3 Because he had nine hundred iron chariots and had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the LORD for help. NIV

III. The Players

God is advancing his kingdom and individuals are going to discover her defining moment in it.

A. Deborah -- Lady Leader

Anoints a leader & sees a plan.

Judg 4:4-7

4 Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. 5 She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites came to her to have their disputes decided. 6 She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, "The LORD, the God of Israel, commands you: ’Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead the way to Mount Tabor. 7 I will lure Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.’"

B. Barak -- Resistant Leader

reservedly leads an army.

Judg 4:8-13

8 Barak said to her, "If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go."

9 "Very well," Deborah said, "I will go with you. But because of the way you are going about this, the honor will not be yours, for the LORD will hand Sisera over to a woman."

So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh, 10 where he summoned Zebulun and Naphtali. Ten thousand men followed him, and Deborah also went with him.

His army -- Ephraim, Benjamin, Zebulun (use Map) Princes of Issachar.

Judg 5:13-15

13 "Then the men who were left came down to the nobles; the people of the LORD came to me with the mighty.

14 Some came from Ephraim, whose roots were in Amalek; Benjamin was with the people who followed you.

From Makir captains came down, from Zebulun those who bear a commander’s staff.

15 The princes of Issachar were with Deborah; yes, Issachar was with Barak, rushing after him into the valley.

The Advance

12 When they told Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor (1843’ high over looking the valley of Jeezrel),

13 Sisera gathered together his nine hundred iron chariots and all the men with him, from Harosheth Haggoyim to the Kishon River.

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