Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

OT Tuesday: Judging Barak

The fledgling country of Israel crossed the Jordan and continued on with taking up their claim in the promised land. The tribe of Judah lead the fight against the Canaanites and the Perizzites winning a huge battle at Bezek capturing the king Adoni-bezek. Adoni-bezek had a habit of cutting off the thumbs and big toes of the kings he conquered before he made them serve him, and Israel gave Adoni-bezek a taste of his own medicine. Adoni-bezek eventually died in Jerusalem, thumbless.

The tribe of Judah conquored the cities of Jerusalem, Zepath, Gaza, Ashkelon, and Ekron. The tribe of Joseph attacked and took Bethel, many great battles took place. Unfortunately all wasn't going well for the Israelites, they were falling into the sinful ways of their enemies, and suddenly the Angel of the Lord appeared before them and said
“I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land I swore to give to your ancestors. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you, and you shall not make a covenant with the people of this land, but you shall break down their altars.’ Yet you have disobeyed me. Why have you done this? And I have also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; they will become traps for you, and their gods will become snares to you.’” (Judges 2:1-3)
Remember who I said that the Angel of the Lord was? 

After this, Joshua passed away at the age of one hundred and ten, and the people of Israel continued to serve the lord, but as Joshua's generation died away, so did the Jew's desire to serve God. They began worshiping foul gods like Baal (who is the green god that Brian McClaren worships in his parody of the bible, the Message) God gave Israel over to raiders and plunderers, when ever Israel went out to fight they got wipped bad. Eventually God raided up Judges to save Israel from these raiders. You've heard of them: Gideon was one, he wasn't just careless where he left his bible, another was Samson the dude with the hair. Another was Deborah.

Deborah was a prophetess married to Lapidoth when God called her to Judge Israel. Debora held court under a palm tree near Bethel, and people came from all over Israel to her to have their disputes settled. During her tenure God told Barak, one of the Israeli army's generals to take ten thousand men and defeat Sisera, the general of the Canaanite army. Barak failed to respond to God's summons, but he responded to Deborah when she demanded that he stand tall before her.

Now she sent and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali, and said to him, “Behold, the Lord, the God of Israel, has commanded, ‘Go and march to Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men from the sons of Naphtali and from the sons of Zebulun. I will draw out to you Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his many troops to the river Kishon, and I will give him into your hand.’” (Judges 4:6-7)
To which Barak The Brave replied "If you ain't going, I ain't going" (Really! He did! it's in Judges 4:8) And Deborah responded  “I will surely go with you; nevertheless, the honor shall not be yours on the journey that you are about to take, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hands of a woman.” So Barak was fated to go and fight and win but the glory (which Generals thrive on and build their career on) is going to a girl. I'll bet you he didn't believe Deborah, but then why would he? He didn't believe God when God told him to go beat up Sisera the first time.

So Barak followed God's orders and marched his men to Mt. Tabor. When Sisera found that he had gone up there, Sisera dispatched his iron chariots, the M1 Abrams tank of the day. Nine hundred armored chariots against 10,000 foot soldiers armed with spear and sling and a few swords, this was leading up to be a slaughter and it wasn't in favor of the Jews. Again Debora had to get Barak to get to work:
Deborah said to Barak, “Arise! For this is the day in which the Lord has given Sisera into your hands; behold, the Lord has gone out before you.” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him. (Judges 4:14)
So Barak went down to fight but this time God lead the advance and it was like the old days, the Israelites were winning beind their God. Sisera's entire army was wiped out, his chariots were routed and every man was killed. As for Sisera, he ran away and hid in a woman's tent, Jael, the wife of Herber. He entered Jael's tent, asked her for a drink, and then asked her to watch for any enemies and took a nap. Bad idea! Jael had plans for this soldier
21 But Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent peg and seized a hammer in her hand, and went secretly to him and drove the peg into his temple, and it went through into the ground; for he was sound asleep and exhausted. So he died. 22 And behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him and said to him, “Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking.” And he entered with her, and behold Sisera was lying dead with the tent peg in his temple. (Judges 4:21-22)
So in the end, Sisera was robbed of his army and his life, Barak who hid behind Deborah was robbed of the glory, and the Canaanites continued to have some very bad days until Israel utterly destroyed them and killed their king Jabin. As for Deborah, she went back to her palm tree, back to judging, and they even wrote a song about her. It's the 5th chapter of the Book of Judges.

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