Scripture Read: Chapter 5:1-31 Then Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam sang on that day, saying, “That the leaders led in Israel, That the people volunteered, Bless the LORD! “Hear, O kings; give ear, O rulers! I—to the LORD, I will sing, I will sing praise to the LORD, the God of Israel. “LORD, when You went out from Seir, When You marched from the field of Edom, The earth quaked, the heavens also dripped, Even the clouds dripped water. “The mountains quaked at the presence of the LORD, This Sinai, at the presence of the LORD, the God of Israel. “In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, In the days of Jael, the highways were deserted, And travelers went by roundabout ways. “The peasantry ceased, they ceased in Israel, Until I, Deborah, arose, Until I arose, a mother in Israel. “New gods were chosen; Then war was in the gates. Not a shield or a spear was seen Among forty thousand in Israel. “My heart goes out to the commanders of Israel, The volunteers among the people; Bless the LORD! “You who ride on white donkeys, You who sit on rich carpets, And you who travel on the road—sing! “At the sound of those who divide flocks among the watering places, There they shall recount the righteous deeds of the LORD, The righteous deeds for His peasantry in Israel. Then the people of the LORD went down to the gates. “Awake, awake, Deborah; Awake, awake, sing a song! Arise, Barak, and take away your captives, O son of Abinoam. “Then survivors came down to the nobles; The people of the LORD came down to me as warriors. “From Ephraim those whose root is in Amalek came down, Following you, Benjamin, with your peoples; From Machir commanders came down, And from Zebulun those who wield the staff of office. “And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah; As was Issachar, so was Barak; Into the valley they rushed at his heels; Among the divisions of Reuben There were great resolves of heart. “Why did you sit among the sheepfolds, To hear the piping for the flocks Among the divisions of Reuben There were great searchings of heart. “Gilead remained across the Jordan; And why did Dan stay in ships? Asher sat at the seashore, And remained by its landings. “Zebulun was a people who despised their live seven to death, And Naphtali also, on the high places of the field. “The kings came and fought; Then fought the kings of Canaan At Taanach near the waters of Megiddo; They took no plunder in silver. “The stars fought from heaven, From their courses they fought against Sisera. “The torrent of Kishon swept them away, The ancient torrent, the torrent Kishon. O my soul, march on with strength. “Then the horses’ hoofs beat From the dashing, the dashing of his valiant steeds. ‘Curse Meroz,’ said the angel of the LORD, ‘Utterly curse its inhabitants; Because they did not come to the help of the LORD, To the help of the LORD against the warriors.’ “Most blessed of women is Jael, The wife of Heber the Kenite; Most blessed is she of women in the tent. “He asked for water and she gave him milk; In a magnificent bowl she brought him curds. “She reached out her hand for the tent peg, And her right hand for the workmen’s hammer. Then she struck Sisera, she smashed his head; And she shattered and pierced his temple. “Between her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay; Between her feet he bowed, he fell; Where he bowed, there he fell dead. “Out of the window she looked and lamented, The mother of Sisera through the lattice, ‘Why does his chariot delay in coming? Why do the hoofbeats of his chariots tarry?’ “Her wise princesses would answer her, Indeed she repeats her words to herself, ‘Are they not finding, are they not dividing the spoil? A maiden, two maidens for every warrior; To Sisera a spoil of dyed work, A spoil of dyed work embroidered, Dyed work of double embroidery on the neck of the spoiler?’ “Thus let all Your enemies perish, O LORD; But let those who love Him be like the rising of the sun in its might.” And the land was undisturbed for forty years.
Application: Deborah led Israel with Barak to a great victory against their enemies on this day. From that God chose to include this song that Deborah sang with the nation that day. Here we see how Deborah brings us full circle in what should be our walk with God. First we saw how Deborah walked with God; waited on God and worked for God. When our relationship with our Lord is expressing this healthy relationship it will always bring us to the same place we find Deborah. Worshipping God! This song is a long praise that includes many details of what has just happened, but in essence it is a praise offering to the Lord for what He accomplished with and through His people. This is where we discover if we have balance in our understanding of how God works. Deborah and Barak were the leaders of this campaign, and the people were the ones that went into battle, yet they understood Who was the strength in the midst of the battle. Who gave the victory and protected His people. Rarely does God ever work in our lives where we are excluded from being an active part of that work. However, it is important to remember, no matter how active you must be or how involved you are in whatever is happening, you need to see your Lord's hand in it and thank Him for that.
Praise is the very most important aspect of balance in the Christian life. The “flesh” is always contrary to what the Spirit desires, yet interestingly even the flesh will submit to “works”, even if they are good works. However, the flesh resists even the most simple praise of our Lord. That is why we must keep a watch on whether we experience praise in our life. It’s clear the “flesh” can strategize to use even good works and ministry in a negative way. If we think we are becoming holy and righteous because of our works or how busy we are in ministry – the “flesh” is succeeding in its desire to break our intimacy with God and make us independent of Him. Praise on the other hand will always lead to intimacy, and that is why the “flesh” does everything to stop it. Whether it be through distractions or even making you feel as though you are just “buttering” God up, or that your praise is insincere, the “flesh” hates praising God because that will fill you with His Spirit. When that happens the Spirit controlled man will be in charge of your life and the flesh will have no power! Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. Praise our Lord and see how He fills you with Himself!
Meditation Questions: How difficult is it for you to praise God? What does that say? How long can you praise and not become distracted? What does that say? What do you feel when you praise the Lord? Are you expressing your relationship with God in ways that He and others can see? Have you ever spent time just reading some of the praise Psalms back to God? Are you willing to try?