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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 12/3/2012

Monday, December 03, 2012

JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Mon, 12/03/2012

Judges 6:1-10
THE HIGH COST OF LOW LIVING, Lesson 6b

v. 1b-6 THE SUFFERING THEY ENDURED
These verses chronicle the terrible price Israel paid for their foolishness in sinning against God. What they suffered serves to remind us that we do not get away with sin! We might think we can hide it. We might think no one will find out. The truth is, God knows, and in His time, He will expose it for what it is, (Num. 32:23; Luke 12:1-3). Let’s examine what Israel endured because of their sins. As we do, let us remember that the same judgment or worse might be upon our lives, if we fail to live for the Lord.

v. 1b-2a They Suffered Invasion – Israel was oppressed by the Midianites. The Midianites were the descendants of Abraham just like the Israelites were. They descended from a man named Midian. Midian was the son of Abraham and Keturah, (Gen. 25:1-6). Abraham married Keturah after Sarah died.

The Midianites appear from time to time in the Bible. Moses married a Midianite woman named Zipporah after he fled from Egypt,( Ex. 2:21). In Numbers, the Midianites were counseled by Balaam to seduce the Israelite men and turn their hearts toward idols. It worked and over 24,000 Israelites died as a result, (Num 25).

The word “Midian” means “strife”. The Midianites are a clear picture of the conflict the world around us has with the truth of God that we believe and obey. They are a picture of a corrupt world and its desire to draw the people of God away from God.

The only reason the Midianites had power over the people of God was because the people of God were unfaithful to the Lord. Their sin lowered the wall of separation between them and the world. Israel got into trouble because they refused to walk with the Lord.

When we refuse to stay close to the Lord and live according to His Word, we also open the door of affliction in our lives. Often, our troubles arise directly from our foolish decisions. Our sinful nature translates into weakness. Our weakness invites the enemies of righteousness to attack us. Our weakness often results in our being invaded by, attacked by and overrun by the world.

v. 2 They Suffered Imprisonment – The oppression of Israel by the Midianites resulted in Israel losing its will to fight. They ran away and hid in the mountains while the enemy overran their land. Their sin made them weak. It caused them to lose their will to fight. It left them utterly defeated!

When we allow sin to reign in our lives, we will find the same thing is true. Sin robs us of our character. It leaves us unwilling and unable to fight. When we allow sin to rule in our hearts, we become listless, lifeless and lethargic in our Christian life. Sin causes us to hide in fear while the enemy takes everything we value!

There are people today who have been imprisoned by their sins. They have allowed certain actions and ways of living dominate them so long that you have lost their will and ability to fight against them. They are a prisoner in their own life and they hide in fear from actions they think they cannot control.

The fact is, Jesus has the power to set you free,( John 8:36). But, you cannot hide in fear of your sin and enjoy the Lord’s freedom! If you would be free, you must deal with your sin! You must confess it, (Pro. 28:13; 1 John 1:9). You must repent of it, (Luke 13:5). You must forsake it. You can be free, but you must be proactive. It will not simply happen by itself.

v. 3-6 They Suffered Impoverishment – Verse 6 tells us that Israel was “impoverished”. This word means “to make slack or feeble”. It comes from a root word that was used to speak of “a bucket dangling from the end of a rope.” It is a picture of helplessness and hopeless. It is a picture of a people at the very end of themselves.

Israel had everything they love taken away from them. They planted their fields, (v. 3), and their enemies came and took away their crops. They saw all of the livestock taken away, (v. 4). They were left with “no sustenance”. They were literally made “weak”. They were literally “at the end of their rope”. Everything they valued was taken from them. Everything they needed to sustain life was gone. They were left with nothing!
That’s what sin does! It strips us of everything we value and everything we live for. It leaves us slack, weak, at the very end of our rope. If you choose to live your life under the control of sin, do not be surprised when you look around and see the things you value taken from you.

Some people have chosen sin over a spouse and their marriage is gone. Some people raise their children to be the best, have the best and do the best, but they fail to raise teach them to love the Lord. Often, those parents see their children walk away from the Lord. Some people live for material things, forgetting that this material world is transient. When they end this life, they have nothing! Some people are caught up in getting their own way all the time. They forget that they must step on the feelings and needs of others to get there. There may come a time when people like that will look around and find that they are all alone!

I don’t know what you are investing in today, but I do know that investing in anything, but Jesus, pays dividends you do not want to reap, (Gal. 6:7-8). I do know that investing in Jesus pays off in dividends that are eternal, (Matt. 6:19-21). Where are you investing in?

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Jesus Is Coming Soon” By: R. E. Winsett (1942)

Troublesome times are here, filling men's hearts with fear,
Freedom we all hold dear, now is at stake.
Humbling your heart to God saves from the chastening rod.
Seek the way pilgrims trod, Christians awake!

Chorus
Jesus is coming soon, morning or night or noon,
Many will meet their doom, trumpets will sound.
All of the dead shall rise, righteous meet in the sky,
Going where no one dies, Heavenward bound!

Love of so many cold, losing their home of gold,
This in God’s word is told, evils abound;
When these signs come to pass, nearing the end at last,
It will come very fast, trumpet will sound.
Chorus

Troubles will soon be o'er, happy forever more,
When we meet on that shore, free from all care.
Rising up in the sky, telling this world goodbye,
Homeward we then will fly, glory to share.

Chorus

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Merciful Father, Awesome God! We don’t want to entertain sin in our hearts. We want our hearts to be right with You. If we cherish sin in our hearts, we know You will not listen to our prayers; but if we confess our sins to You, You are faithful to hear our prayers and deliver us from oppression. Enable us by the power of the Your Spirit to keep our hearts pure and spirit humble. Thank You for listening and not rejecting our prayers. Thank You for not withholding Your marvelous love from us. Teach us to be just like Jesus. This we pray in Your Beloved Son’s name. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 12/4/2012 12:04AM

    Thank you Vic for a great lesson. As long as we bring out children up to follow God and walk in His goodness, we will not have to worry about them going astray. When we sin, confess and repent and teach our children the same. God will forgive us and love us unconditionally. Thank you for the goodies and notes.
Thank you for your awesome teachings.

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POETLKNG2LOSE 12/3/2012 2:25PM

    Thank you Vic for the lesson. I know that God will deal with the ones who left our church too; but it still hurts. Our church is in financial distress now because people who were not happy with what the pastor said or did and they left without talkingt it over. Our youth pastor resigned so that we could stay afloat longer; and our heart hurts for him and his family. My heart cries out for justice and mercy.

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TONYVAND1 12/3/2012 8:42AM

  We do need to confess our sins and repent and turn from our evil ways. He is faithful and will forgive us all that we confess in the Name of Jesus.

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SANDRALEET 12/3/2012 6:59AM

    We think that God will never repay the harm we did to others God will.We think we are special and do not have to pay for our country's sins .Since like time begun we will When God had enough God will punish

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LINDAMARIEZ1 12/3/2012 6:54AM

    love todays hymn! thank you Vic!

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AZMOMXTWO 12/3/2012 6:48AM

  amen
thank you

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTASTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 12/2/2012

Sunday, December 02, 2012

JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Sun, 12/02/2012

Judges 6:1-10
THE HIGH COST OF LOW LIVING, Lesson 6a

As we move through the book of Judges, a clear pattern has emerged. The children of Israel would serve the Lord as long as they had a strong leader. When that leader passed from the scene, they fell back into their sins.

When they sinned, God used the pagan nations living around them to chastise Israel. He allowed their enemies to afflict and oppress Israel to show them the high price of low living.

In chapter 6 we are introduced to a man named Gideon. His name means “he who cuts down”. When Gideon appears, he is an unlikely choice to be a deliverer. He is hiding out of fear for Israel’s enemies, (v. 11). Gideon was guilty of fear and faithless, but he was God’s choice to be the next judge of Israel, and God used him in a wonderful way.
Just before we look into the life of Gideon, we are going to consider the text that lies before us today. These verses set the stage for the ministry of Gideon in Israel. They also hold some powerful lessons for our lives as well.

These verses serve as a parable that speaks about “The High Cost Of Low Living). They teach us the truth that disobedience to the will of the Lord in our lives carries a price higher than we would ever want to pay. Let’s notice the lessons that can be gleaned from these verses, and how they can be applied to our daily lives, as we look at the subject, “The High Cost Of Low Living”.

v. 1a THE SIN THEY EMBRACED

The Bible simply says that “the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord.” We do not know what their sin was, but we can assume that it was the same sin they had been guilty of in the past, (Judges 2:19; 3:5-7). They were prone to walking the same foolish pathway. They were guilty of falling into the same trap.

Israel was surrounded by pagan nations who worshiped false gods. They were surrounded by people who were continually trying to draw Israel away from, God and into their own wicked way of life. As long as Israel had strong leadership, they were able to live clean. When that leadership failed, they wandered away from the Lord. Israel was a weak, vacillating people who had trouble staying on course with the Lord.
Let’s not be too hard on them. I may be teaching a group of people who have the same problem. Everyone of us deals with certain areas of weakness. There are areas in our lives where we seem to be in a constant struggle for righteousness. The book of Hebrews refers to these areas as “the sin which doth so easily beset us”, (Heb. 12:1).
The words “easily beset” mean “to skillfully surround”. Our flesh loves sin. Our enemy, Satan, is a shrewd enemy. He knows our weaknesses. He knows how to entice us and draw us away into evil, ( 2 Tim. 2:25-26). Satan lays the trap for us because he knows what makes us tick, (James 1:12-16).

Every person has those areas of life that cause you trouble. There are areas where you are weak. Some have problems with their language. Some have problems with stubbornness and submission. Some have problems with gossip. Some have issues with sexual sin. Some have a pull toward alcohol and drugs. People struggles in many different areas.

You know the areas where you are weak. You know, that given the right circumstances, you will have trouble overcoming temptation.

If you want to succeed in the fight with sin, there are a few definite steps you can take.
Do not play near the trap. If you know there is an area of danger in your life, stay away from that danger. Joseph –( Gen. 39:12; 2 Tim. 2:22; Eph. 4:27). Satan is out to get you, so keep your distance, (1 Pet. 5:8).

Look for the avenue of escape, (1 Cor. 10:13). God will make a way out of our temptations, but it is up to us to use it!

Learn to consider yourself dead to sin and its influences, (Rom. 6:11; Col. 3:3-5).
Determine in your heart to serve God and Him only, (Rom. 6:13; 1 Cor. 6:19-20).
Sin is a constant problem for every saint, but it does not have to dominate and control our lives. We can have victory through our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, (Rom. 6:7, 14).

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Victory In Jesus” By: E. M. Bartlett (1939)

I heard an old, old story, how a Savior came from glory (how He gave His life)
How He gave His life on Calvary to save a wretch like me
I heard about His groaning, (of His blood's atoning) of His precious blood's atoning
Then I repented (repented) of my sins (repented of my sins) and won the victory

Chorus:
Oh victory in Jesus (victory in Jesus), my Savior (my Savior) forever (forever)
He sought me and He bought me with His redeeming blood (bought me with His blood)
He loved me 'ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood

I heard about His healing, of His cleansing power revealing
How He made the lame to walk again and caused the blind to see
And then I cried, "Dear Jesus, come and heal my broken spirit"
I then obeyed His blest command and gained the victory

Repeat Chorus


I heard about a mansion He has built for me in glory
And I heard about the street of gold beyond the crystal sea (beyond the crystal sea)
About the angels singing (the angels are singing) and the old redemption story
Oh and some sweet day I'll sing up there the song of victory

Repeat Chorus (x2)

He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Most Faithful Father, Glorious God! When we see the failure of others, we pray it will not shake our faith in Jesus, in Your promises and in Your Word. Help us not to do anything wrong, but to do that which is right in Your sight , and remain strong in Jesus. Enable us to not do anything against Your truth, but FOR Your TRUTH. We are glad that when we are weak, You are strong. Grant us a faith that does not depend on the rise or fall of others, but only on Jesus Christ our Lord. We know He won’t fail. It is in His Precious name that we pray. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NADINEL 12/2/2012 8:50PM

    Thank you, Vic! I appreciate these lessons. emoticon

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ANHELIC 12/2/2012 4:49PM

    Thank you Vic for you great lesson, hymn which I love and prayer. I know if we take our eyes off the Lord and follow Satan who is always trying to get us away from God, we will pay a high price. I thank God for the victory we will have with Him, I will remain following in his path. God bless you for sharing the wonderful lesson.

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ROLLINGREEVES 12/2/2012 1:20PM

    Amen, this is the the other little of piece of Spark I need. Thanks, Vic.

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SUNSETBREEZE05 12/2/2012 10:24AM

    Amen!! I am so thankful that He is strong. I fall he picks me up.

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TONYVAND1 12/2/2012 8:23AM

  I just love that old song because I know without a doubt that I can have victory through Jesus.

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LINDAMARIEZ1 12/2/2012 6:32AM

    thank you once again, Vic! Glory to God!

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CSDAYS 12/2/2012 6:24AM

    Amen! Blessings!

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 12/1/2012

Saturday, December 01, 2012

DEBORAH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Sat, 12/01/2012

Judges 4:1-24
DEBORAH: A WOMAN OF CONVICTION AND COURAGE, Lesson 5c

MUSIC OF VICTORY
The victory over Sisera results in Barak and Deborah launching into song. Their song is recorded for us in chapter 5. It is a song of praise to the God Who gave them the victory over their enemy.

v. 1-12 They Praised God For His Virtues – The primary thrust of these verses is a refrain of praise offered to God for His wonderful works among the people of Israel. He gave them unity so they could raise and army, (v. 2; 9). The Lord Who had given them victory in the past would not fail them now, (v. 4-5). God, in His faithfulness, gave them Deborah to lead them, (v. 7). God allowed them to defeat their enemies and freed them from the bondage of their oppressors, (v. 6-7; 10-12).

They praise God for His power in their lives. That is a valid reason for praise in this day. Take a moment to inventory your life. Hasn’t God been good to you? You are saved and blessed beyond words. He is worthy of our love, worship and praise!

v. 13-18 They Praised God For His Volunteers – When the call went out for volunteers, only half the tribes came to fight. The rest refused to go to war. In the days of Joshua, every tribe was expected to fight for the nation, when Barak called for warriors, many would not come. (Verse 23) – The town of “Meroz” was cursed by the Angel of the Lord because it refused to send volunteers to help the Lord.

By the way, things have not changed today. The majority of the work is carried out by a minority of the people. The call has gone out for us to tell the world about Jesus, but few go. The call has gone out for us to take our stand against evil, but few have answered. The call has come for us to rally ourselves together and fight the good fight of faith, but few answer the call.

I thank God for those who are willing to work! I thank God for those who can be counted on to teach those classes, sing hymns of praise, come out to prayer meeting, support the special meetings of the church, and go to work for the Lord in these dark days. I just believe that God still blesses those who fight and work for Him!

v. 19-23 They Praised God For His Victory – The enemy was defeated by the power of God. He sent the rain and defeated the 900 iron chariots of the Canaanites. One raindrop is a tiny, fragile thing, but when it is united with many other raindrops, it becomes a thing of great power. Just as God took the weak raindrops and used them to wash away the enemy; He took the weak army of Israel and gave them a great victory.
We look at our world today and wonder whether we can have victory any more. I want to say that we can! If we will stand together and fight the good fight of faith, God will empower us and lead us to victory for His glory. You see, it isn’t numbers, wealth or human power that gets the job down; it is the power of God, (1 Cor. 1:26-31).

v. 24-31 They Praised God For His Vessels – They close their song by praising the Lord for His unsung heroes. They praised the Lord for the bravery of Jael in slaying Sisera. Her act of bravery allowed the nation to enjoy victory.

God always has His people. He has those secret ones through whom He is working. We ought to praise God for the unsung heroes of the Christian faith. People like Hur who, along with Aaron, held up the arms of Moses while Israel battled the Amalekites, (Num. 17). We have those same kind of heroes today: the prayer warriors, the silent servants, the people who do the little things that no one notices, and the people who serve behind the scenes. There is a God in Heaven Who sees who you are and He watches what you do. Carry on, and He will bless you in His way, in His time, (Gal. 6:9).

Conc: Verse 31 closes out the story and the song of Deborah. This verses is a prophecy that reminds us that the enemies of the Lord will be destroyed, while the faithful saints of God will shine with His glory some day.

Let me encourage you to keep on serving the Lord. I know the way gets weary. I know the path gets steep. I know that it often seems there is little reason, from a human standpoint, to carry on, but there is! One day Jesus is coming. When He does, He is taking His children home with Him. When we get there, we will stand before Him and give an account of our service to Him. On that day, if you have been faithful, you will receive rewards for everything you have ever done for His glory, (1 Cor. 3:10-15).

Others, who have lived for themselves, will see everything burn up and perish. But, you who are faithful, will hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

So, turn from sin, live for Jesus and look for the day when He balances the books. It will be worth it all then!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“FAITH IS THE VICTORY” By: John H. YATES (1891)

Encamped along the hills of light,
Ye Christian soldiers, rise.
And press the battle ere the night
Shall veil the glowing skies.
Against the foe in vales below
Let all our strength be hurled.
Faith is the victory, we know,
That overcomes the world.
Refrain
Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory!
O glorious victory, that overcomes the world.

His banner over us is love,
Our sword the Word of God.
We tread the road the saints above
With shouts of triumph trod.
By faith, they like a whirlwind’s breath,
Swept on o’er every field.
The faith by which they conquered death
Is still our shining shield.
Refrain

On every hand the foe we find
Drawn up in dread array.
Let tents of ease be left behind,
And onward to the fray.
Salvation‘s helmet on each head,
With truth all girt about,
The earth shall tremble ‘neath our tread,
And echo with our shout.
Refrain

To him that overcomes the foe,
White raiment shall be given.
Before the angels he shall know
His name confessed in Heaven.
Then onward from the hill of light,
Our hearts[ with love aflame,
We’ll vanquish all the hosts of night,
In Jesus’ conquering Name.
Refrain

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Loving Father, Joyous God, may You fill us with all joy and peace as we place our trust in You; may we overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit as we live daily to Your wonderful glory. Help us to resist the things that would deplete our soul of Your Divine strength. Fill us instead with Your hope, peace and joy, so much, so we will overflow to others as we lift our voices in songs and praise to You. Pour new life into us; fill us afresh with Your joy and the hope that is ours in Christ Jesus. Take all hopelessness away and fill us with Your Great Love. We praise You and Your marvelous name as we pray in Jesus’ blessed name. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BABY_GIRL69 12/2/2012 4:02PM

    Just can't stop praising the Lord for each victory...God bless & thank you for sharing...Dee

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ANHELIC 12/1/2012 10:21PM

    Thank you Vic for your great lesson, hymn and prayer. I am glad that I can serve the Lord in my small way. He is guiding me and I feel I am growing deeper in faith each day. Your lessons increase my knowledge of God's word. Thank you for your lessons. Thank you for the goodies and notes. Thay are encouraging as well. God bless you Vic.

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TONYVAND1 12/1/2012 8:18PM

  I am so blessed when I serve the Lord with all of my heart.

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LOSTLIME 12/1/2012 9:01AM

    Thank you for your lesson and prayer everyday! It brings me peace on the inside.

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DIANER2014 12/1/2012 7:18AM

    Thanks Vic! It is such a comfort to read your daily blog! emoticon

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 11/30/2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

DEBORAH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Fri, 11/30/2012

Judges 4:1-24
DEBORAH: A WOMAN OF CONVICTION AND COURAGE, Lesson 5b

v. 4-24 THE SPECIAL MINISTRY OF DEBORAH

v. 4-5 Her Position – The Bible is very clear; Deborah was both a “prophetess” and a “judge”. Her name means “Bee”, and she was as busy as a bee! Matthew Henry says that her very name suggests the work of the bee: industrious, sharp perception (discernment), great usefulness, sweetness to her friends, and sharpness to her enemies.

The word “prophetess” suggests that she received direct revelation from the Lord and shared that word with His people. Deborah is not the only “prophetess” mentioned in the Bible. Others include: Miriam, (Ex. 15:20); Huldah,( 2 Kings 22:14); Anna, (Luke 2:36); and the four daughters of Philip, (Acts 21:9).

There is no contradiction between this fact and the fact that God only calls men to preach, (2 Tim. 3:1-8). God laid His hand on these women and poured His truth through them in an age when there was not a complete Bible. In this age, we have a completed Bible. God does not call women to preach in this age, (1 Tim. 2:8-15).

The word “judge” lets us know that she settled disputes among the people of Israel,( v. 5). They came to her with their problems and she rendered judgment. In a very real sense, Deborah, was the leader of the nation during those dark days.

v. 6-7 Her Prophecy – Deborah receives a word from the Lord and she calls Barak, to take 10,000 soldiers and go to war with the enemy. The Lord promises to defeat Sisera, the Canaanite general. God promises a great victory, if they will simply trust Him. And go to war.

v. 8-9 Her Problem – Deborah has a word from the Lord. She shares that word with Barak, and she finds that Barak seems to be afraid to follow that word. He is willing to go to battle, but only if Deborah will go with him. She agrees to go, but tells him that since he depended on a woman, the glory of victory will be given to the woman!

v. 10-24 Her Partner – Barak and Israel go to war with Sisera and the Canaanites. Barak gets 10,000 from his own tribe of Naphtali and the neighboring tribe of Zebulon, (Judges 4:6, 10; 5:14, 18). Later, the ranks swelled to 40,000,( 5:8), with volunteers from Benjamin, Ephraim, Manasseh, and Issachar, (5:5:14-15). Some of the tribes refused to come, (5:15-17), but those which did saw God give them a great victory.
Considering the fact that Israel had no weapon,( 5:8), and no standing army, what Barak and Deborah did was an amazing act of faith. They trusted God and He have them a great victory!

Verse 15 tells us that God “discomfited” Sisera and his armies. Judges 5:21 tells us what happened. As they fought, God allowed the Kishon River to overflow its banks, the iron chariots of Sisera became stuck in the mud and the soldiers were swept away by the currents. All the soldiers of Sisera were slain, (4:15).

Seeing that his army was defeated, Sisera fled the battlefield on foot. He went to the tent of a man named Heber, who was of the Kenites. The Kenites were a people group who aligned themselves with Israel. This particular family, however, had turned on the rest of the tribe and took sides with Sisera and his army.

So, Sisera flees to the tent of Heber thinking that he will find refuge there. Heber’s wife Jael greets Sisera and invites him into her tent. She helps him hide from his pursuers, (v. 18). Sisera asks Jael for a drink of water, she brings him a drink of milk instead. The offer of milk served two purposes. First, it eased the mind of Sisera. He was convinced that he had entered the tent of a friend and that he was safe. He asks Jael to lie for him, (v. 20). Second, the milk would have helped him fall asleep. He was already tired from the battle and when he drank the milk and laid down in the darkness, it wasn’t long until sleep overtook him. While he slept, Jael takes one of the tent nails and drives it through Sisera’s head, killing him, ( v. 21).

In that culture, it was the woman’s responsibility to put up and take down the tents. So, Jael was used to swinging that hammer. This woman was not stupid! When she saw Sisera come to her tent on foot, she knew that he had been defeated in battle. She also knew that if she was caught hiding him in her tent, she might be put to death with him when Barak found them. She saw that Israel had come out on top in the battle and she wanted to be found on the right side when the dust settled. Jael was a wise woman!

Let me stop here and say a word about women in the church. Thank God for the women! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!

They are not second class saints. They fulfill a vital role in God’s kingdom work. If all the women were removed from the average local church, the work of the church would grind to a halt. I have watched the ladies work while the men just stood around and talked. Most men are spoiled. Their mothers did everything for them when they were growing up. Their wives have done everything for them since they have been married and they don’t know how to do anything but grunt work outside.

Women hold a vital place in the work of the church. They are the ones who, for the most part, teach our children. They are the ones who have the kind of compassion that drives the outreach ministries of the church. They are the ones who bring the gifts of grace, love and mercy to the table. By and large, they are more dependable than the men, when it comes to be involved in the work of the church. The women in every church exert tremendous influence on the children in the church. I thank God for the godly, active women in the Lord’s church!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Jesus, Rose Of Sharon” By: Ida A. Guirey (1921)

Jesus, Rose of Sharon, bloom within my heart
Beauties of Thy truth and holiness impart
That where’er I go my life may shed abroad
Fragrance of the knowledge of the love of God

Refrain
Jesus, blessed Jesus, Rose of Sharon
Bloom in radiance
And in love within my heart


Jesus, Rose of Sharon, sweeter far to see
Than the fairest flow’rs of earth could ever be
Fill my life completely, adding more each day
Of Thy grace divine and purity, I pray
Refrain


Jesus, Rose of Sharon, balm for ev’ry ill
May Thy tender mercy’s healing power distil
For afflicted souls of weary burdened men
Giving needy mortals health and hope again
Refrain

Jesus, Rose of Sharon, bloom forevermore
Be Thy glory seen on earth from shore to shore
Till the nations own Thy sov’reignty complete
Lay their honors down and worship at Thy feet
Refrain

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Heavenly Father, Glorious God! We pray that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened in order that we may know the hope in which You have called us, the riches of our inheritance and Your incomparably great power for us who believe in Jesus Christ. Enable us to comprehend thy mighty works on our behalf because of our faith in You. Help us to seek and understand more of Your presence and power being manifested daily in our life to Your glory and Honor. These things we pray and ask in the Almight name of Jesus. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 11/30/2012 8:30PM

    Thank you for your great lesson, hymn and prayer. I thank God that I can be a prayer warrier for God. Great women in the Bible are a blessing to God. I didn't realize how great some were and just what they did. Thank you for sharing this information to me. God bless you for your lesson today, Vic. I learned more today.

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TONYVAND1 11/30/2012 11:02AM

  Great Blog Vic and thank God for women in the church. My wife is an extension of me and I thanks God for her every day.

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PASTORMIKE7 11/30/2012 10:58AM

    Praise GOD for all of the women of the church!!!!

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LOSTLIME 11/30/2012 8:12AM

    Thank you for the daily lesson and prayer!

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CASTIRONLADY 11/30/2012 7:08AM

    Amen! Thank God for prayer warriors like yourself.

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LINDAMARIEZ1 11/30/2012 7:05AM

    thank you for our daily prayer!

linda

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 11/29/2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

DEBORAH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Thu, 11/29/2012

Judges 4:1-24
DEBORAH: A WOMAN OF CONVICTION AND COURAGE, Lesson 5a

The book of Judges is a gritty, dirty book. It is filled with sin, violence and the judgment of God. It is an action book that probably appeals more to men than it does to women. A modern counterpart would be the action and war movies that men find far more appealing than the romantic comedies preferred by the ladies. While this book contains certain qualities that might appeal to men more than women, the book of Judges is a book that actually elevates the position of women in Israelite society.

In the chapters before us today, we are introduced to two women who were used by God in great ways, for his glory. Those women are Deborah and Jael. One was a respected leader in the nation; the other was a simple housewife. They came from different walks of life, but they were both used by God is remarkable ways. Since we are studying the judges of Israel, we will focus our attention on Deborah as we consider the passage before us.

I want to move through chapters 4 and 5 and point out some facts that present themselves in this tale of sin, judgment, war, faith, and victory. I want you to see how God used a courageous, faithful woman to deliver His people from bondage and oppression. I want you to see that God is still using women for His glory every single day. Let’s walk through these verses together and meet “Deborah: A Woman Of Conviction And Courage”.

v. 1-3 THE SPIRITUAL MELTDOWN IN ISRAEL
These verses describe the horrible spiritual conditions that existed in Israel during the time Of Deborah.

v. 1 Their Corruption – After Ehud delivered Israel from Eglon and the Moabites, the land has rest from war for 80 years,( Judges 3:30). As long as Ehud lived and judged the nation, the people followed God and served Him. When Ehud passed from the scene, the people returned to their sinful ways. We are told that they “again did evil in the sight of the Lord”: Judges 5:8 says, “they chose new gods”. The people of Israel turned their back on the God of their salvation and followed the gods of the Canaanites. There was a spiritual void in their lives and they walked away from the Lord. They no longer had Ehud to direct them, to guide them, to give them the truth, and they wandered from the right path.

The children of Israel are a picture of what we see all too often in our churches. We see people who will follow God for a while, and then when there is a spiritual void in their lives, they turn away from God and seek their own ways. Perhaps it is the death of a special loved one. A parent, a grandparent, or some other influential relative will pass away, and the believer finds his foundation is gone. It is sad when we base our faith on those around us and not on the Lord.

Sometimes it happens when a preacher leaves a church. When the preacher leaves, the people will sometimes scatter. This should not be! Our faith should be in the God Who gave Himself to save us, and not in any man. We should live just as close and just as clean regardless of who is removed from our lives. This kind of things happens when believers get their eyes on men and not on the Lord,(Heb. 12:1-3).

We need to be very careful! Like Israel, the old enemies from the past will rise up when you least expect them to. That sin you thought was conquered will defeat you if you give it an opportunity! You aren’t safe until you get home to glory and are delivered from this flesh, (Rom. 7:14-25; 1 Cor. 10:12).

v. 2 Their Chastisement – When Israel rebelled against God, He responded by giving them over to their enemies for punishment. The Bible says He “sold” them. This words means to “turn over; to give up”. In other words, God abandoned them to the life they chose for themselves. They paid a terrible price for their rebellion. The condition of the nation is described in Judges 5:6-7. They were literally driven from their highways and their homes
.
There is still a high price to pay for disobedience to the will of the Lord. When we choose our ways over His ways, and when we choose to follow other gods instead of Him, we can expect His displeasure. He will send chastisement into our lives, (Heb. 12:6-11; Deut 8:5; Rev. 3:19).

I don’t know about you, but I do not want to experience the displeasure and chastisement of the Lord in my life. The only way to avoid that is to keep short accounts with Him and confess sin when it appears in our lives,( Pro. 28:13; 1 John 1:9).

He might touch me through my flesh by bringing sickness or other sorrows into my life, (Psa. 51:3; 40:12; 38:1-11).

He might touch me through my family by working through them to bring me back to Him, (2 Sam. 12).

He might touch me through my finances by bringing me to a place of want where I realize where my supply comes from, (Hag. 1:6).

He might touch me through my future by allowing me to reap the full consequences of what I have sown, (Gal. 6:7).

I don’t know how God will work in your life or mine, but I do know that He will work. We may sin, but we will never get away with it, (Num. 32:23).

v. 3 Their Cry – Israel was oppressed by Jabin and his armies for 20 years. As far as Israel was concerned, Jabin was undefeatable. He possessed a powerful army anchored by 900 chariots of iron. The helpless armies of Israel were no match for this enemy. According to Judges 5:8, the Israelites possessed no weapons. They were a conquered, defeated people. They were a people without hope. Eventually, they came to the place where they were tired of their situation. They called on the Lord and He heard them. But, you will notice that they did not cry out in repentance, they cried out for deliverance from their problems. Israel never seemed to realize that walking with the Lord, and honoring His Word and His ways brought His blessings, while rebellion and wickedness always brought His judgment.

Most people in our day never learn that lesson either. People call on the Lord so that He will deliver them from their problems, while they fail to deal with the root of their problem, which is their sin. If we really want to be delivered from the oppressive effects of evil and the harsh whip of chastisement, we must deal honestly with our sins before the Lord. Our goal should not just be to escape our problems; our goal should be to be found pleasing to the Lord. Our goal should not just be to have an easier time in life; our goal should be to be right with the Lord in every area of our lives. If we could ever learn to seek the Lord’s will above all things, we could be spared a lot of the hardships we are forced to face in life
.
TODAY’S HYMN!
“Gentle Shepherd” By: Gloria and William Gaither (1974)

Gentle Shepherd come and feed us
for we need you to help us find our way
Gentle Shepherd come and feed us
for we need your strength from day to day

There's no other we can turn to
who can help us face another day

Gentle Shepherd come and feed us
for we need to you to help us find our way

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Holy and Righteous Father, Merciful and Just God! We know when we fast and pray our prayers gain new power. Help us to do this, especially when we have to make important decisions as we seek Your guidance. Grant us the discipline to fast regularly so we can be prepared when we have to make quick decisions. Enable us to be ready, when great difficulties come our way, by Your Word and Your Spirit to handle great opportunities to serve and bring You glory, honor and praise. This we ask and pray in the blessed name of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 11/29/2012 9:51PM

    Thank you Vic for another great lesson, hymn which I love, and prayer. I truly believe we must fast and pray like you said. I know my prayers become stronger and I feel a closer relationship with our Lord. I know He hears my prayers and even though I don't get the answer right away, I know it will came in His time.
God bless you for your teaching.

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HAGIN2010 11/29/2012 6:10PM

    Thanks Vic I learned a lot today.

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TONYVAND1 11/29/2012 9:36AM

  Thanks Vic for the reminder to keep short accounts and to seek after God. My daughter just spoke to me on the phone from Germany on the benifits of fasting and you also mentioned it. Good reminder to be Fasting on a regular basis.

Comment edited on: 11/29/2012 9:36:56 AM

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LINDAMARIEZ1 11/29/2012 7:38AM

    I had forgot about fasting! Thanks, Vic!!!! emoticon

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DIANER2014 11/29/2012 7:22AM

    Amen! Thanks Vic! emoticon

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CHUM48 11/29/2012 7:15AM

    Amen and thank you!

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DLDROST 11/29/2012 7:15AM

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