Wednesday, 01 November 2023
“…They recount the righteous victories of the LORD and the victories of his villagers in Israel.-” Judges 5:11[NLT]
The reading today is a song of praise and God’s victory, describing the defeat of the Canaanites under the leadership of Deborah and Barak. The previous chapter (Judges 4) speaks of how the then judge of Israel- Deborah gave the counsel from God to go to war against the enemy and how God would give them victory (Judges 4:6,7). Even though Barak was commanded to lead, he was hesitant- maybe looking at the military strength (900 iron chariots- Judg.4:3) of the Canaanite King. But Deborah boldly lent her presence alongside Barak in the battle. The Lord gave them the victory which is celebrated in this song!
When we look to the circumstances of the war- it was: “Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord…. So the Lord sold them into the hands of Jabin king of Canaan,..” (Judg.4:1&2). They failed in their commitment to the Lord and suffered the consequences from the enemy: “Because he had nine hundred chariots fitted with iron and had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the Lord for help.” (Judg.4:3). We see them cry out to the Lord- a sign of repentance and seeking the Lord’s help. The Lord did deliver them and rout the enemy.
Bringing now our attention to the battles a believer has to face:
· Against his fleshly members: Paul tells in Romans 7:23 “…but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.” We need to understand that though a believer is saved from the power of sin, he is not yet saved from the presence of sin- the sin nature in the fallen man is constantly trying to get an upper hand in us which Paul describes in Romans 7. But that does not mean we are powerless- Paul ends the chapter with the powerful proclamation: “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” We have the Holy Spirit resident in us who helps us overcome the flesh when we yield to His warnings and follow His counsel- that is when we yield to live not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit! (Romans 8:4)
· Against spiritual forces: Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Here again we have the victory through Christ who has triumphed over them at the cross! (Col.2:15). Ephesians 6:10-18 speaks of the full armor of God the Christian is asked to wear and then stand his ground!
The notable point that a believer has to keep in mind is that he cannot fight or win the battle on his own strength. Just as in the case of Israel where the Lord won the victories for them (Judges 4:16; 5:11), so too the believer has to reckon thus: “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1Cor.15:57).
Brethren, may we understand the tactics of the enemy and trust in the LORD and the power of His might to live a victorious Christian life!
Thought for the Day: "When we pray for the Spirit's help ... we will simply fall down at the Lord's feet in our weakness. There we will find the victory and power that comes from His love." - Andrew Murray
Listen: 'Battle belongs to the LORD'