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Sunday, April 5, 2015

April 5 - Judges 4

Today's reading in our daily plan is Judges 4. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • Once again, after a judge dies (in this case, Ehud), Israel turns away from God again.
  • They are taken captive by Jabin, king of Canaan, who owned 900 iron chariots.  Chariots were the tanks of the ancient world.  Pulled by one or two horses, chariots were the most feared and powerful weapons of the day.  
  • After 20 years of oppression, the Israelites finally cry out to God.  
  • God appoints the first woman judge, Deborah, to lead his people.  Deborah devises a plan that frees the Israelites.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • God should be the first person we turn to when we are facing difficulty. The Israelites chose to go their own way and were taken captive.  Twenty years passed before they cried to God for help.  
  • Victory comes from God.  Verse 23 says, "On that day God subdued Jabin king of Canaan before the Israelites."  Earlier (verse 9) Deborah reminded Barak that the Lord would deliver the victory.    

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • When we face difficulties we often try to control our own lives.  But that only leads to more struggle and confusion.  When struggles come our way, God wants us to come to him first, seeking his strength and guidance.  Just like with the Israelites, when you seek God's help, He answers the call.  
  • While Deborah, Barak, and Jael all played a role, ultimately it was the power of God that accomplished the victory for Israel.  Oftentimes we are tempted to take credit for our success.  We were smarter.  We worked harder.  We made strategic decisions.  But at the end of the day credit goes to our Creator.  What victories and successes have you experienced in life?  Take some time to thank God for those victories.