Summary: How the little that we have is much in the hands of our God. God uses the little we have for His glory.
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Introduction: We all have great plans and desires in life. We want to do something significant in life. But most of the times we feel weak and inadequate. So when opportunities come we cease to take hold of them. Do you feel insignificant today? God wants to use you no matter what you condition.
Scripture: Judges 4
In Judges 4, the children of Israel were into evil ways. God had delivered them on several occasions, but it seems like each time when peace came to Israel they got careless and became wicked. Judges 4:2 So the LORD sold them into the hands of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. Sisera, the commander of his army, was based in Harosheth Haggoyim.
Now, there was an evil, Canaanite king in the land. The children of Israel were to have driven the Canaanites out in the name of the Lord. Now, because of sin, the enemy seemed to be powerful and Israel helpless. The Canaanite general was a man by the name of Sisera. It is said Sisera probably commanded an army of 1 lakh soldiers. The Bible says he had 900 chariots of iron. In today’s language, we could say he had 900 tanks in his army. So this was a very powerful king who was ruling over the children of Israel.
In this day there was a woman by the name of Deborah. She was one of the Judges of Israel. God had raised her up to give them the word of God. Deborah told Israel’s commander Barak that God had commanded that he gather up his army in a certain direction and God would draw Sisera and his army to them, and Israel would defeat them in the name of the Lord.
Barack was afraid to go. Here is this great military man who said to Deborah, “Ok I will go if you go with me.” It shows you how afraid the people of Israel were of this Canaanite king. I am sure that Barak was certain that he was going to be defeated.
Deborah agreed that she would accompany the army. But she told Barak that because he would not believe the Lord and insisted that she go along with him, Barak would not get the honour of defeating Sisera. That would go to another person; it would go to a woman.
So Barak called the men of war and God drew Sisera and his army to them. Now here is Sisera, his 900 chariots of iron, and the one lakh solders and the Israelites on the other side. Oh! God’s people were outnumbered. In man’s view this was a hopeless endeavour. They were really outnumbered but listen God gave the victory.
I do not know if you are sitting here facing an enemy today, you are obeying the word of God. You have been outnumbered, outsmarted by people, your calculations have gone wrong, the enemy is all around you. God is faithful to give us his victory. He that has called you is faithful. If you are on the Lord’s side, the victory is yours.
So there was a great victory that day. The army of Sisera was destroyed. Finally Sisera fled by foot. As he was fleeing, he came near the tent of a woman, Jael. She was a Kenite, a descendant of Moses’ father-in-law. Jael went out to meet him and invited him to come into her tent. Sisera asked her to hide him there. She comforted him, gave milk for him to drink when he asked for water, and provided a blanket for him. He asked her to be on the lookout and if anybody came out asking for a man she was to say no.
So Sisera, the great general of the Canaanite army, tired after the war and being on the run, exhausted, comforted by Jael went to sound sleep inside the tent. Jael ceased the opportunity. She took a tent peg and a hammer and while Sisera was fast asleep drove the tent peg through his head and pinned him to the ground and killed him. God gave a great victory.
This is an OT story from the book of Judges, but there are some great lessons for us to learn from this historic event in Israel.
1. God sometimes judges his people.
Judges 4:1-2 1Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, now that Ehud was dead. 2So the LORD sold them into the hands of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor.
A person comes to the Lord Jesus Christ and experiences peace with God. Soon there is joy and prosperity. Then comes a time when he gets complacent in his commitments to God and God sometimes judges the person to draw him back to His presence. That is a principle we find throughout the scripture. God sometimes judges us, by the oppression of the enemy.