Last week we talked about what happened after the Israelites got into the land of Canaan.
You remember they were faithful as long as men like Joshua, Caleb and Eleazar were
alive. They had believed in God because they had seen His great miracles. But when they
died, the new generation of boys and girls grew up without knowing God and His power.
All the wonderful miracles happened before they were born and their parents and
teachers failed to teach them about Him.
Those adults failed another way, too. They did not carry out God\u2019s command to get rid of
the nations in Canaan who worshipped idols and to tear down their altars. Soon God\u2019s
own people were worshipping idols, too.
The Israelites had to learn the hard way to appreciate God\u2019s help and blessings. When
they sinned, the Lord used the people of the land to punish them. He would not fight their
battles for them anymore, so their enemies began to capture them. God\u2019s own people
ended up being slaves again.
But God did not forget the Israelites. When their suffering got so bad, they would cry out
to God and He would raise up judges to deliver them. We have already talked about two
of them, men named Othneil and Ehud. And this week we will talk about a woman
named Deborah who became judge over her people Israel.
God raised up Deborah to be judge after the people had been treated harshly by King
Jabin of Hazor. God spoke to Deborah under her palm tree between Bethel and Ramah.
She was to send for a man named Barak in Naphtali and tell him to take ten thousand
soldiers to Mount Tabor. There he would fight against King Jabin\u2019s army.
When Deborah told Barak to lead God\u2019s army, he refused to go by himself. \u201cIf you will
go with me, I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go,\u201d he said. Barak
seemed to be afraid of King Jabin\u2019s army. It had nine hundred chariots of iron and was
commanded by a strong leader named Sisera. Maybe Barak wondered how the Israelites
could fight off swift iron chariots with their swords.
Barak gathered the ten thousand Israelite soldiers together on Mt. Tabor and Deborah
went with him. Down below in Kishon Valley was Sisera, with all his chariots and men.
No doubt Sisera thought he would finish off the Israelites quickly.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?