Theme: Trusting God’s Plan
Scriptures: Judges 4:1-16
Objectives (from the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson book)
Know: Deborah the prophetess instructed Barak to lead an army against Sisera and the superior Canaanite army. God gave Barak victory.
Think: Live with the assurance that God will show Himself and His power through my life as I follow and obey Him.
Do: Trust God and obey His leading to experience victory.
Notes and questions:
C1 Deborah means bee.
C2 Barak means lightning flash.
C3 Sisera means battle array.
C4 Jael means mountain goat.
C1 Israel’s disobedience Judges 4:1-3
C2 Deborah prophesies to Barak Judges 4:4-10
C3 Heber the Kenite Judges 4:11
C4 Barak fights Sisera Judges 4:12-16
C5 Sisera dies Judges 4:17-24
B3 Israel fails again
C1 Why are foreign gods so alluring?
C2 What do people not like about Yahweh?
C3 Why was Barak not willing to go and fight without Deborah with him?
B4 Trust and obey
C1 Trust has the meaning of confident rest in another’s ability, reliability, and faithfulness to do what they say they can.
D1 Negative illustration is
E1 Israel. Then the LORD will ask his people, ‘Where are those mighty gods you trusted? (Deuteronomy 32:37, GNB92)
E2 Israel. Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and who depend on horses! They trust in the abundance of chariots and in the large number of horsemen. They do not look to the Holy One of Israel and they do not seek the LORD’s help. (Isaiah 31:1, HCSB)
D2 Positive illustration is
E1 Asa. Then Asa called to the LORD his God, and said, “LORD, there is no one besides Thee to help [in the battle] between the powerful and those who have no strength; so help us, O LORD our God, for we trust in Thee, and in Thy name have come against this multitude. O LORD, Thou art our God; let not man prevail against Thee.” So the LORD routed the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. (2 Chronicles 14:11-12, NASB77)
E2 Hezekiah. Hezekiah trusted in the LORD God of Israel; not one of the kings of Judah was like him, either before him or after him. (2 Kings 18:5, HCSB)
C2 Obey has the meaning of doing faithfully all that God commands.
D1 Negative illustration is
E1 King Saul. And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you. For now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. “But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him [to be] commander over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.” (1 Samuel 13:13-14, NKJV)
E2 The unnamed prophet sent to King Jeroboam. Now it happened, as they sat at the table, that the word of the LORD came to the prophet who had brought him back; and he cried out to the man of God who came from Judah, saying, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Because you have disobeyed the word of the LORD, and have not kept the commandment which the LORD your God commanded you, ‘but you came back, ate bread, and drank water in the place of which [the LORD] said to you, “Eat no bread and drink no water,” your corpse shall not come to the tomb of your fathers.’ ” (1 Kings 13:20-22, NKJV)
D2 Positive illustration is
E1 Both are illustrated in Jesus’s parable. “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ “He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. “Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I [go,] sir,’ but he did not go. “Which of the two did the will of [his] father?” They said to Him, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. “For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw [it,] you did not afterward relent and believe him. (Matthew 21:28-32, NKJV)
E2 Moses. “Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tabernacle of meeting and wash them with water. “You shall put the holy garments on Aaron, and anoint him and consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest. “And you shall bring his sons and clothe them with tunics. “You shall anoint them, as you anointed their father, that they may minister to Me as priests; for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations.” Thus Moses did; according to all that the LORD had commanded him, so he did. (Exodus 40:12-16, NKJV)
E3 Noah. And Noah did according to all that the LORD commanded him. (Genesis 7:5, NKJV)
D1 What increases trust?
D2 What decreases trust?
D3 What helps us to obey?
D4 What hinders us to obey?
D5 Why do people put their trust in a politician or expert or media?
D6 Why do people obey false prophets, false teachers, and false preachers?
B5 Judges 4:1-3
C1 The word sold in Judges 4:2 can mean exchanged for money or can mean surrendered.
E1 But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.” (Genesis 25:31, NKJV)
E2 Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you [and] your sons live on the rest.” (2 Kings 4:7, NKJV)
D2 How does God sell? To whom does He sell?
E1 Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and He sold them into the hand of Cushan-Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia; and the children of Israel served Cushan-Rishathaim eight years. (Judges 3:8, NKJV)
E2 So Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?” And he answered, “I have found [you,] because you have sold yourself to do evil in the sight of the LORD: (1 Kings 21:20, NKJV)
E3 But there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the LORD, because Jezebel his wife stirred him up. (1 Kings 21:25,
E4 ‘And if [one of] your brethren [who dwells] by you becomes poor, and sells himself to you, you shall not compel him to serve as a slave. (Leviticus 25:39, NKJV)
E5 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 [EMTV])
E6 A person who was in too much debt that could not be paid off, would sell themselves to someone. The person who bought this person paid that person’s debt. The debtor than worked in exchange for the debt that was paid. This is the meaning of Leviticus 25:39 and extends to other passages as Judges 4:2.
C2 Why did it take 20 years before Israel cried for help and the Lord delivered them?
B6 Judges 4:4-10
C1 Why gather the troops at Mt. Tabor?
C2 What characteristic, attribute, of God is seen in Judges 4:7?
C3 Why did Barak insist that Deborah go with him?
C4 Barak was not to receive the honor of the defeat of General Sisera. Two verses:
D1 Therefore the LORD the God of Israel declares: I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever, but now the LORD declares: Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed. (I Samuel 2:30 [ESV]. The honor given by the world system are temporal; the honor given by God is eternal. Consider: How can you believe, who receive glory from one another, and do not seek the glory which is from the only God? (John 5:44 [EMTV]
D2 and they withstood King Uzziah and said to him, It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD, but for the priests the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Go out of the sanctuary, for you have done wrong, and it will bring you no honor from the LORD God. (II Chronicles 26:18 [ESV]. Here the King does a good thing, but it is not lawful. God knows the King is disobedient and rebellious.
B7 Judges 4:11-16
C1 What if Barak had hesitated to start out to fight?
C2 What fights does the Christian have today? (A spiritual fight).
E1 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty by God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to avenge every act of disobedience, whenever your obedience is fulfilled. (II Corinthians 10:3-6 [EMTV])
E2 Because of this, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having accomplished all things, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking up the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; through every prayer and petition, praying in every season in the Spirit, being watchful to this same thing with all perseverance and petition concerning all the saints— (Ephesians 6:13-18 [EMTV]
D2 Persecution--from the Bridgeway Bible Dictionary (2004) on Persecution: Those who love evil rather than good will inevitably want to persecute those who desire to live godly lives (John 3:19-20; 2 Timothy 3:12). Christians should not be surprised when they suffer persecution. If they show themselves to be Christ's people, they can expect the sort of opposition that Christ suffered. They should consider it a privilege to suffer for Christ's sake (Matthew 5:10-11; John 15:20; Acts 5:41; 2 Corinthians 12:10; 1 Peter 4:12-13).
Both Jesus and the New Testament writers taught Christians that they should pray for their persecutors. Certainly they should not try to return evil upon those who attack them. God's people should have confidence in him that, when they are persecuted, they will know how to act and what to say (Matthew 5:44; 10:17-20; Romans 12:14; 1 Peter 2:21-24; 4:14-16).
Persecution tests the genuineness of a person's faith, but true believers will endure it, knowing that God will not forsake them (Matthew 13:21; Romans 5:3-5; 8:35; 2 Corinthians 4:9; 2 Thessalonians 1:4). The early Christians proved the reality of God's presence with them when they suffered persecution, much of which was at the hands of the Jews (Acts 4:29-31; 5:17-21; 7:54-56; 18:9-10; 2 Timothy 4:17).
C3 Who gave the victory?
B8 Victory for the Christian
C1 The fight is in temptation and persecution. Tempted to sin, rebell, deny Christ, to lose faith, etc. Persecution because we love God and His ways. Our Master was persecuted and not believed, so it happens to us. Sometimes the persecution is physical but also emotional and spiritual.
E1 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God [is] faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear [it.] (1 Corinthians 10:13, NKJV) The way out would be to resist (Luke 4:1-13, Hebrew 11:25, James 4:7) and/or to flee (1 Corinthians 6:18, 1 Corinthians 10:14, 1 Timothy 6:11, 2 Timothy 2:22).
E2 [then] the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, (2 Peter 2:9, NKJV)
E3 If tempted, turn away. If tempted to steal, leave. If tempted to lie, say nothing or determine to tell the truth.
E4 We have to have knowledge of God’s ways. There are over 1,000 in the New Testament for Christians. Consider just a few:
F1 Children, obey your parents as you would the Lord, because this is right.
F2 Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise, so that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life in the land.
F3 Fathers, don’t stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
F4 Slaves [employees today--ed], obey your human masters with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ.
F5 Don’t work only while being watched, in order to please men, but as slaves of Christ, do God’s will from your heart.
F6 Serve with a good attitude, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that whatever good each one does, slave or free, he will receive this back from the Lord.
F7 And masters [employers today--ed], treat your slaves the same way, without threatening them, because you know that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with Him. F8 Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. F9 Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. (Ephesians 6:1-11, HCSB)
E5 It is by God’s grace that we can win against temptation.
E6 If sin, repent.
E1 With lies: All Your commands are true; people persecute me with lies — help me! (Psalms 119:86, HCSB). The solution is to depend on God’s help and know the truth.
E2 For no reason (other than we are Christians): Princes have persecuted me without cause, but my heart fears only Your word. (Psalms 119:161, HCSB). The solution is to fear God, that is, respect, trust, and obey.
E3 Because we want and do live God’s way: Blessed [are ]those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10, NKJV). The solution is to continue steadfastly knowing God is helping (2 Corinthians 10:14). We are blessed if this happens.
E4 Because we worship and serve Jesus Christ. “You are blessed when they insult and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12, HCSB). The solution is to remember those who have gone before us and those today. There is a reward. We are to pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44, Romans 12:14). It may be that we have to leave the area (Matthew 10:23).
E5 We live a godly life: In fact, all those who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. (2 Timothy 3:12, HCSB). God encourages and helps us: But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear or be disturbed, (1 Peter 3:14, HCSB)
E6 The devil is our main enemy. He will fight us with bad dreams, bring to memory our failures and past, accuse us of being evil and not forgiven, remind us that we are failures, so that we might as well give up, etc. Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. (1 Peter 5:8, HCSB). The solution is to remember these things of persecution do NOT separate us from the love of God.
F1 As it is written: Because of You we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers, height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord! (Romans 8:36-39, HCSB).
F2 Then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, (2 Peter 2:9, HCSB)
F3 You might be helped by reading Psalm 37.
C1 Why is obeying God important? (“If you love Me, keep My commandments. (John 14:15, NKJV) and what else)?
C2 Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5, HCSB)
C3 It might be helpful to read Psalm 118.
B10 Next week:
C1 When less is more
C2 Theme: Trusting God’s Power
C3 Scripture: Judges 7:1-23