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February 28, 2023 - Judges 5-8

After defeating Jabin king of Canaan, Deborah and Barak sang: “That the leaders took the lead in Israel, that the people offered themselves willingly, bless the Lord!” (5:2) The people fought and the Lord gave the victory. This great victory seems most interesting in the light of what follows. The people once again did evil in the sight of the Lord, “and the hand of Midian overpowered Israel, and because of Midian the people of Israel made for themselves the dens that are in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds” (6:2).

Think about that! The people of God, those for whom the Lord had fought and who had received such blessing from his hand, those who by God’s favor had gained victory after victory over their enemies, they now are so scared of the Midianites that they are hiding in holes in the ground! Oh, that they would remember their God and all his mighty works! In this instance, “the Lord sent a prophet to the people of Israel. And he said to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I led you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of slavery. And I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land.’ And I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell’” (6:8-10). Are their memories so poor that they cannot remember all that God has done for them? God would, once again, deliver them by the hand of Gideon. But how many times must Israel, and we, be reminded that God fights for us?

March on, my soul, with strength,

march forward, void of fear;

he who has led will lead,

through each succeeding year;

and as you journey on your way,

his hand shall hold you day by day.

March on, my soul, with strength,

from strength to strength march on;

warfare shall end at length,

all foes be overthrown.

And then, my soul, if faithful now,

the crown of life awaits your brow. --William Wright (1977)

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