Vol. 12 No. 1 January 2010
In Judges chapters four and five, we read about Deborah, Barak and Sisera. There was lack of male leadership in Israel. Many of the people came to the prophetess Deborah for words of wisdom.
The Israelites were servants of the Canaanites at this time. The people cried to God for relief from the persecution. God had told Barak to go to war against the Canaanites whose captain was Sisera. Barak was scared to go unless Deborah went with him. Therefore, Deborah went with him. All the tribes of Israel were called to the battle. However, some did not go.
In Judges 5:23, we read, “Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.”
The people of Meroz refused to join other Israelites in fighting against the Canaanites. They were severely cursed for refusing to do what God required and had commanded. The fighting occurred almost in their backyard, and yet, they did not raise a hand to help the Israelites in the battle.
Many spiritual battles can occur today in each of our communities and nations. Abortion is one of those battles. Proper definition of the family and marriage is another one. Many professed Christians refuse to get involved in these battles. They always want someone else to do the battling, whether it is with finances, writing letters, giving speeches, passing along information, etc.
Sometimes there are spiritual battles within the local congregation or in a sister congregation. Many sit back and do nothing to stand for the truth. They want to enjoy the benefits of a victory for truth without contributing in any way to the battle. God is not pleased with such inactivity.
Study your Bible. Learn what is necessary to obey God. When necessary, be ready to go to battle for the Lord. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.
“Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me…” (Psalm 23). The shepherd would lead his sheep to good pasture and water. The shepherd would have to lead them along good trails, along mountain passages, through dark valleys and through difficult foliage.
Sometimes, old trails would get overgrown with thorns, briars and thistles. It might be impossible to go around the weeds, or it would be very difficult to do so. The shepherd would then take his rod and swing it back and forth as he walked. By doing this, he would beat down the thorns and open up a passage for the sheep. The sheep would be able to walk through without getting cut or stuck by the thorns and thistles.
From a spiritual perspective, the thorns, briars and thistles represent sin in the world. Without the Good Shepherd leading our lives, we will get cut and stuck by sin. However, if we allow the Good Shepherd to lead us, He will beat back the sin so that we can walk through life more easily. This is how His rod comforts us. It is what opens up the pathway of life for us against sin.
Study your Bible. Learn how to follow the Good Shepherd, and if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.