Worship Service 19 November 2017
Audio
Delivered By
Pastor Doug Groen and Laverne Wiginton Accompanist
Delivered On
November 19, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Central Passage
Judges 4:1-7
Subject
Nine Hundred Iron Chariots & The Prophetess
Description

Scriptures:

   Judges 4:1-7;

   Psalm 123:1-4 

   1 Thessalonians 2:8-13;

   Matthew 25:14-30

Judges 4:1-7                                                     New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Deborah and Barak

4 The Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, after Ehud died. So the Lord sold them into the hand of King Jabin of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor; the commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-ha-goiim. Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord for help; for he had nine hundred chariots of iron, and had oppressed the Israelites cruelly twenty years.

At that time Deborah, a prophetess, wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the Israelites came up to her for judgment. She sent and summoned Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali, and said to him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you, ‘Go, take position at Mount Tabor, bringing ten thousand from the tribe of Naphtali and the tribe of Zebulun. I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to meet you by the Wadi Kishon with his chariots and his troops; and I will give him into your hand.’”

Psalm 123:1-4

Supplication for Mercy

A Song of Ascents.

To you I lift up my eyes,
    O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
As the eyes of servants
    look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid
    to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
    until he has mercy upon us.

Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
    for we have had more than enough of contempt.
Our soul has had more than its fill
    of the scorn of those who are at ease,
    of the contempt of the proud.

1 Thessalonians 2:8-13

So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.

You remember our labor and toil, brothers and sisters;[a] we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 10 You are witnesses, and God also, how pure, upright, and blameless our conduct was toward you believers. 11 As you know, we dealt with each one of you like a father with his children, 12 urging and encouraging you and pleading that you lead a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.

13 We also constantly give thanks to God for this, that when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as what it really is, God’s word, which is also at work in you believers.

 

Matthew 25:14-30Version (NRSV)

The Parable of the Talents

14 “For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; 15 to one he gave five talents,[a] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. 17 In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. 18 But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20 Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. 29 For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 30 As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Pastor's Summary of Judges 4:1-7

Joshua is dead; Israel is now under the influence of 12 successive judges, charismatic leaders raised up at times of national crisis by the spirit of God, to deliver God's people from pagan oppressors. Judges honestly admits that Israel does not control all of the Canaan; because they "did what was evil in the sight of the LORD" (v. 1, 3:12 and elsewhere), they were subjugated by other peoples from time to time. Conquest was a gradual process, with many reverses.

The preceding passage, 3:12-30, tells the story of "Ehud" (4:1) a judge, a national hero who put an end to domination by the Moabites, the people who lived to the southeast of the Dead Sea. He carried the tribute to Eglon, King of Moabn. He tricked Eglon into seeing him in private to hear a secret message from God. Ehud took his concealed sword and assassinated Eglon. Without a leader, the Moabites were in confusion; Ehud was then able to lead the Israelites to victory over the Moabites. God sometimes works in strange ways!

Once again the Israelites disobey God, and so are subjugated: this time by "Jabin" (v. 2), a king who rules at "Hazor" (north of the Seas of Galilee); "Sisera" is his chariot commander. The forces of Jabin are awesome, especially because the Israelites, lacking chariots, are no match for his army on level ground. "Deborah" (v. 4), the fourth of the judges, is different from others: she acts as God's spokeswoman in matters of national importance and societal disputes ("judgement", v. 5) but leaves military leadership to Barak (v. 6) She orders him, in God's name, to assemble troops drawn from northern tribes ("Naphtali" and Zebulun") on Mount Tabor. There, God will "draw out" (v. 7) the enemy, and will give Israel victory. The following verses describe the battle. Due to a heavy rainstorm or to the "Kishon" River overflowing its bands (or to both), Sisera's chariots become mired in the mud, and his troops panic. Sisera and all his troops are killed. Israel is once again free.