Week 23 Monday
Text and Thought of Encouragement:
'…So Barak went down from Mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him. And the Lord discomforted Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host ... "
Judges 4: 14,15
King James Version
"(She) who does not believe that God is above all is either a fool or has no experience of life."
What does it mean to me when I hear the words, "God is sovereign?"
When I look around me at the world, do I truly believe my God is sovereign?
Do I trust God to work things out in my life, in His time, and His way?
"What do we mean by this expression, ‘the sovereignty of God?’ We mean the supremacy of God, the kingship of God, the godhood of God. To say that God is sovereign is to declare that God is God. He is the Most High, doing according to His will, so that none can stay His hand, defeat His counsels, or thwart His purpose."
Arthur W. Pink
"Our God is in heaven; He does what pleases Him."
Psalm 115: 3
Jabin, the King of Canaan was riding high. For 20 years he had held sway over God’s children. Jabin, the Bible tells us, had "reigned in Hazor" (Judges 4:2). With his able head of defense, Sisera, Jabin felt invincible. Having 900 chariots of iron – Jabin ruled. He dominated. He was in control, or so he thought.
You see, Jabin wasn’t much different from a lot of people today. He thought his word was law. He thought the country was his. He thought the people were under his dominion. He thought his army was under his power. He even thought he controlled his own destiny.
And I ask you, "Have you ever thought you ruled in the country of your life?" I have. Those of us who have "control issues" and like to think we have everything around us under our thumbs, can find out in one moment that we aren’t the big rulers we think we are. This was the case with King Jabin. He needed a little geography lesson. The Bible tells us he ruled in Hazor, northern Palestine. Evidently, King Jabin hadn’t taken time to get acquainted with another King whose rulership not only covered the territory Jabin boasted about ruling over, but covered all of earth and all of heaven. For we are told in Psalm 134: 3, "The Lord that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion" (K.J.V.).
Pompous King Jabin wouldn’t have had a speck of soil to rule over if the King of the Universe, our Sovereign God, hadn’t created it.
So the God of heaven and earth, sent a message to His daughter Deborah, "Now is the time. Sisera and his army and King Jabin are going to be visited by Me."
The Psalmist David in describing God’s interaction with events in the universe penned these words, "God does whatever He pleases" (Psalm 115: 3). This statement can sound extremely capricious, that is until we look at the Hebrew meaning of the word, "pleases." In the text it means, "delights, desires, favors, or has pleasure." This isn’t a God who is taking out His anger on His children. In fact, it is just the opposite. David was referring to a loving Father who delights in doing for His children what He knows will bring them pleasure. And I can assure you, God knew it would bring joy and courage and hope into the lives of His children to release them from the tyrannical rule of King Jabin and Sisera.
The Bible says the Lord, "Discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host." The word "discomfit," means to utterly crush and destroy.
II Samuel 22: 15, is the other place in the Bible where the exact same form of the word "discomfited" is used. Interestingly, this chapter in 2 Samuel is one of the most beautiful in Scripture as David speaks of the way God has delivered him, "God sent out arrows, and scattered them; lightning, and discomfited them." (2 Samuel 22: 15). Sounds to me a lot like the crushing blow delivered to Sisera and Jabin who thought they ruled with their iron chariots when in fact they were no match for the God of heaven and earth.
At the crushing defeat of the enemies of Israel, it wasn’t only King Jabin and Sisera who learned something about God’s sovereign rulership. God’s children learned something, too.
When we least think God has things in control, our God asks us to arise, stand up, and get ready to move, for He is about to "discomfit" Sisera on behalf of His children. In the words of one of my favorite preachers, Charles Spurgeon, "Oh, for a spirit that bows always before the sovereignty of God."
"Either God is totally sovereign, ordaining, ruling and disposing of all things as He will, or He has no control over anything and faith in Him is an utter absurdity."
"O Thou whose power o’er moving worlds presides, whose voice created, and whose wisdom guides. On darkling man in pure effulgence shine. And clear the clouded mind with light divine. ‘Tis Thine alone to calm the pious breast with silent confidence and holy rest: From Thee, great God, we spring, to Thee we tend, path, motive, guide, original, and end."