Summary: God is willing to use anybody that is willing to be used for His glory. This sermon is about God using an unlikely character to accomplish something big. If He can use this person, He can use anybody.
Deborah and Barak
Judges 4 and 5
Intro: Some people never seem to learn. A man pulled into a gas station, walked over to a soda machine, and stared at the sign, which read, “Soda: $2.00.”
“Two dollars for a soda – that’s incredible” the man said.
“Wall, it ain’t really two dollars”, said the attendant. “That machine’s broke. I put up an outa-order sign, but people kept puttin’ their money in anyway, and I’d hafta get it out agin, so I put up that sign and I ain’t had no trouble since.”
Ill. Einstein, known for his theory of relativity, said something else that may have an even greater impact on humanity than the other: he said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
The Jews were in trouble again. You’d think they’d learn. It was instead an example of mass insanity, it seems, as Einstein described it. It was the same old cycle of peace and prosperity, rebellion and punishment, remorse and repentance, restoration and recovery. Then the downward spiral would begin again. The cycle never seemed to end. And they were in the middle of it once again.
In Chapter one, they failed to drive out the inhabitants from the land.
They forgot God, they served the Baals, they forsook the Lord, and they followed and worshiped various gods of the people around them.
They prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. God sold them into the hands of their enemies, just as He said He would. They cried out to The Lord because they were oppressed by the peoples around them.
The Lord raised up judges who saved them out of the hands of the raiders. They obeyed God as long as the judges lived, but once they were dead, the people went back to their rebellion and turned from God. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways (2:19).
God became angry at their stubborn ways and said, “Because this nation has not kept the covenant that I laid down for their fathers and has not listened to me, I will no longer drive out from them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. I will use them to test Israel to see if they will keep the way of the Lord.”
Read Judges 4:1-3
Now the Israelites once again did evil in the sight of the Lord, so the Lord sold them into the hands of the Canaanites. Their king was Jabin, and he reigned in Hazor. The general of the Canaanites was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth Haggoyim. The army had 900 iron chariots and cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years.
Then they cried out to the Lord.
App. Have you ever cried out to the Lord? If so, about what? Did you confess your sins and the trouble as being your own doing?
Ill. Jean Valjean was in a dilemma. An old man arrested for stealing apples had been falsely identified as the notorious and long-sought after ex-convict, Jean Valjean. What should the real Valjean do? A crises of the soul began. All night long he wrestled with the most difficult choice. Should he keep silent, or should he reveal his identity and return to prison?