Judges 5

* Praise and glory ascribed to God. (1-5) The distress and

deliverance of Israel. (6-11) Some commended, others censured.

(12-23) Sisera's mother disappointed. (24-31)

#1-5. No time should be lost in returning thanks to the Lord for

his mercies; for our praises are most acceptable, pleasant, and

profitable, when they flow from a full heart. By this, love and

gratitude would be more excited and more deeply fixed in the

hearts of believers; the events would be more known and longer

remembered. Whatever Deborah, Barak, or the army had done, the

Lord must have all the praise. The will, the power, and the

success were all from Him.

#6-11. Deborah describes the distressed state of Israel under

the tyranny of Jabin, that their salvation might appear more

gracious. She shows what brought this misery upon them. It was

their idolatry. They chose new gods, with new names. But under

all these images, Satan was worshipped. Deborah was a mother to

Israel, by diligently promoting the salvation of their souls.

She calls on those who shared the advantages of this great

salvation, to offer up thanks to God for it. Let such as are

restored, not only to their liberty as other Israelites, but to

their rank, speak God's praises. This is the Lord's doing. In

these acts of his, justice was executed on his enemies. In times

of persecution, God's ordinances, the walls of salvation, whence

the waters of life are drawn, are resorted to at the hazard of

the lives of those who attend them. At all times Satan will

endeavour to hinder the believer from drawing near to the throne

of grace. Notice God's kindness to his trembling people. It is

the glory of God to protect those who are most exposed, and to

help the weakest. Let us notice the benefit we have from the

public peace, the inhabitants of villages especially, and give

God the praise.12-23 Deborah called on her own soul to be in earnest. He that

will set the hearts of other men on fire with the love of

Christ, must himself burn with love. Praising God is a work we

should awake to, and awake ourselves unto. She notices who

fought against Israel, who fought for them, and who kept away.

Who fought against them. They were obstinate enemies to God's

people, therefore the more dangerous. Who fought for them. The

several tribes that helped are here spoken of with honour; for

though God is above all to be glorified, those who are employed

must have their due praise, to encourage others. But the whole

creation is at war with those to whom God is an enemy. The river

of Kishon fought against their enemies. At most times it was

shallow, yet now, probably by the great rain that fell, it was

so swelled, and the stream so deep and strong, that those who

attempted to pass, were drowned. Deborah's own soul fought

against them. When the soul is employed in holy exercises, and

heart-work is made of them, through the grace of God, the

strength of our spiritual enemies will be trodden down, and will

fall before us. She observes who kept away, and did not side

with Israel, as might have been expected. Thus many are kept

from doing their duty by the fear of trouble, the love of ease,

and undue affection to their worldly business and advantage.

Narrow, selfish spirits care not what becomes of God's church,

so that they can but get, keep, and save money. All seek their

own, #Php 2:21|. A little will serve those for a pretence to

stay at home, who have no mind to engage in needful services,

because there is difficulty and danger in them. But we cannot

keep away from the contest between the Lord and his enemies; and

if we do not actively endeavour to promote his cause in this

wicked world, we shall fall under the curse against the workers

of iniquity. Though He needs no human help, yet he is pleased to

accept the services of those who improve their talents to

advance his cause. He requires every man to do so.
24-31 Jael had a special blessing. Those whose lot is cast in

the tent, in a low and narrow sphere, if they serve God

according to the powers he has given them, shall not lose their

reward. The mother of Sisera looked for his return, not in the

least fearing his success. Let us take heed of indulging eager

desires towards any temporal good, particularly toward that

which cherishes vain-glory, for that was what she here doted on.

What a picture does she present of an ungodly and sensual heart!

How shameful and childish these wishes of an aged mother and her

attendants for her son! And thus does God often bring ruin on

his enemies when they are most puffed up. Deborah concludes with

a prayer to God for the destruction of all his foes, and for the

comfort of all his friends. Such shall be the honour, and joy of

all who love God in sincerity, they shall shine for ever as the

sun in the firmament.

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