Lesson 12 | Sabbath, 19 September 2020
Deborah means “bee or tidy.”
“The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel.” Judges 5:7.
“Deborah the prophet governed Israel during the reign of Jabin, a Canaanite king who was very cruel to the children of Israel. Life in the villages was harsh. The people were plundered and fled to the fortified cities for protection. Then the Lord raised up Deborah, who was like a loving mother to Israel. God sent a message through her to Barak that he should prepare to meet Sisera, Jabin’s general, in battle. Barak refused to go unless Deborah went with him. She agreed, but warned him that because of his lack of faith in the words of the Lord, the honor of killing Sisera would go to a woman, not to Barak.” –Daughters of God, p. 36.
- Who was Deborah? Who was her collaborator?
Judges 4:4, 6 And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time…. 6And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the Lord God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?
“For twenty years, the Israelites groaned under the yoke of the oppressor; then they turned from their idolatry, and with humiliation and repentance cried unto the Lord for deliverance. They did not cry in vain. There was dwelling in Israel a woman illustrious for her piety, and through her the Lord chose to deliver His people. Her name was Deborah. She was known as a prophetess, and in the absence of the usual magistrates, the people had sought to her for counsel and justice.
“The Lord communicated to Deborah His purpose to destroy the enemies of Israel, and bade her send for a man named Barak, of the tribe of Naphtali, and make known to him the instructions which she had received. She accordingly sent for Barak, and directed him to assemble ten thousand men of the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun, and make war upon the armies of King Jabin.” –Daughters of God, p. 37.
- What tree could be compared to the palm tree of Deborah? What will happen before the battle of Armageddon?
Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
Judges 4:5 And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.
Revelation 14:7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
“The work of the investigative judgment and the blotting out of sins is to be accomplished before the second advent of the Lord. Since the dead are to be judged out of the things written in the books, it is impossible that the sins of men should be blotted out until after the judgment at which their cases are to be investigated. But the apostle Peter distinctly states that the sins of believers will be blotted out ‘when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus Christ.’ Acts 3:19, 20. When the investigative judgment closes, Christ will come, and His reward will be with Him to give to every man as his work shall be.” –The Great Controversy, p. 485.
“The principalities and powers of earth are in bitter revolt against the God of heaven. They are filled with hatred against all who serve Him, and soon, very soon, is to be fought the last great battle between good and evil. The earth is to be the battlefield: the scene of the final contest and the final victory. Here, where for so long Satan has led people against God, rebellion is to be forever suppressed.” –Christ Triumphant, p. 369.
- Against whom did Deborah and the Israelites fight? Whom did Israel’s enemies represent?
Judges 4:2, 7 And the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose host was Sisera, which dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles…. 7And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand.
Revelation 19:19, 20 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 20And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
“A terrible contest is before us. We are nearing the battle of the great day of God Almighty. That which has been held in control is to be let loose. The angel of mercy is folding its wings, preparing to step down from the golden throne and leave the world to the control of Satan, the king they have chosen, a murderer and a destroyer from the beginning.” –Christ Triumphant, p. 369.
Similarity of two wars
- Where did the battle take place in the days of Deborah? Where will the last war take place before the coming of Christ?
Judges 4:12-14; 5:19 And they shewed Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to mount Tabor. 13And Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people that were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles to the river of Kishon. 14And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which the Lord hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the Lord gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him…. 5:19The kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; they took no gain of money.
Revelation 16:16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Joel 3:12 Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.
“Barak now marshaled an army of ten thousand men, and marched to Mount Tabor, as the Lord had directed. Sisera immediately assembled an immense and well-equipped force, expecting to surround the Hebrews and make them an easy prey. The Israelites … looked with terror upon the vast armies spread out in the plain beneath them equipped with all the implements of warfare…. Large, scythelike knives were fastened to the axles, so that the chariots, being driven through ranks of the enemy, would cut them down like wheat before the sickle.” –Reflecting Christ, p. 329.
“Four mighty angels hold back the powers of this earth till the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads. The nations of the world are eager for conflict, but they are held in check by the angels. When this restraining power is removed there will come a time of trouble and anguish. Deadly instruments of warfare will be invented. Vessels with their living cargo will be entombed in the great deep. All who have not the spirit of truth will unite under the leadership of satanic agencies, but they are to be kept under control till the time shall come for the great battle of Armageddon.” –Last Day Events, p. 238.
- What were God’s weapons in the war against Sisera? What will be one of God’s armaments in the last world war?
Judges 5:20, 21 They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera. 21The river of Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon. O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength.
Revelation 16:21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
Job 38:22, 23 Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, 23Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?
“The Israelites had established themselves in a strong position in the mountains, to await a favorable opportunity for an attack. Encouraged by Deborah’s assurance that the very day had come for signal victory, Barak led his army down into the open plain, and boldly made a charge upon the enemy. The God of battle fought for Israel, and neither skill in warfare, nor superiority of numbers and equipment, could withstand them. The hosts of Sisera were panic-stricken; in their terror they sought only how they might escape. Vast numbers were slain, and the strength of the invading army was utterly destroyed. The Israelites acted with courage and promptness; but God alone could have discomfited the enemy, and the victory could be ascribed to Him alone.” –Daughters of God, p. 38.
- Since Armageddon is a physical as well as a spiritual war, what is necessary today? As in the days of old, where are the multitudes?
Judges 5:12, 15 Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam…. 15And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah; even Issachar, and also Barak: he was sent on foot into the valley. For the divisions of Reuben there were great thoughts of heart.
Joel 3:14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
“All the world will be on one side or the other of the question. The battle of Armageddon will be fought. And that day must find none of us sleeping. Wide awake we must be, as wise virgins having oil in our vessels with our lamps. The power of the Holy Ghost must be upon us and the Captain of the Lord’s host will stand at the head of the angels of heaven to direct the battle.” –Last Day Events, p. 250.
Two similar songs
- In her song, whom did Deborah and the general of the army curse, and why? What similar hymn will the blessed of Jehovah sing at the end of time?
Judges 5:23 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.
Revelation 15:3, 4 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. 4Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
“Deborah celebrated the triumph of Israel in a most sublime and impassioned song. She ascribed to God all the glory of their deliverance, and bade the people praise Him for His wonderful works. She called upon the kings and princes of surrounding nations to hear what God had wrought for Israel, and to take warning not to do them harm. She showed that honor and power belong to God, and not to men, or to their idols. She portrayed the awful exhibitions of divine power and majesty displayed at Sinai. She set before Israel their helpless and distressed condition, under the oppression of their enemies, and related in glowing language the history of their deliverance.” –Daughters of God, p. 38.
“The following lines portray the Christian warfare: I thought that the course of the Christian to heaven Would be bright as the summer and glad as the morn. Thou show’dst me the path; it was dark and rough, All rugged with rocks, all tangled with thorn; I dreamed of celestial rewards and renown; I asked for the palm branch, the robe, and the crown; I asked, and Thou show’dst me a cross and a grave.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 212.