2 Timothy 2:13 – …if we are faithless, he remains faithful…
Oftentimes, people get angry with God because He does not do what they want or give them what they request. In Judges, we see that, like a loving Father who says no often to protect a foolish child, the worst thing God could do for us is not stop us from doing what will harm us.
This is what is happening as God allows the godless warrior Sisera to fight on behalf of the evil King Jabin and God raises up Deborah to lead His people into repentance of sin and deliverance from oppression. Evil becomes so pervasive and destructive that one generation finally cries out to God in prayer.
Sadly, as we often do, they did not cry out to God for wisdom before they sinned but only for deliverance after they sinned. In pure grace and mercy, God hears and answers the cry of prayer even from disobedient believers. From this scene, we learn that, as a believer, you cannot lose your salvation, but you can lose your blessing.
Like any good parent, God cannot bless a disobedient spiritual son or daughter. This explains why a saved person can live a life that is not blessed, for a season, until they repent and cry out to God for forgiveness and deliverance.
Sometimes, God works out our deliverance solely by Himself. Oftentimes, God chooses to work through a human leader. In the days of Judges, this included the godly judges like Deborah who is called a wife, prophetess, and judge.
We hear no mention of Deborah having children, and her role as wife is somewhat debated. Her name can refer to a husband but also possibly to an unmarried but high-spirited “fiery” woman. A Bible dictionary says, “Between these two terms is another identifier, the phrase…typically translated ‘wife of Lappidoth (Torches).’ However, it could equally mean ‘fiery (or spirited) woman’ (lit., ‘woman of torches’) because Lappidoth, elsewhere unknown in the Bible, is unlikely to be a man’s name and…can mean ‘woman of’ as well as ‘wife of.’” (1)
in this and the ensuing scenes of Deborah’s life and the rest of the judges, we see the principles of 2 Timothy 2:13 illustrated over and over, “if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.”
Our God is a covenant-making and keeping God. When He makes promises, He is faithful to fulfill them, even to people who are unfaithful to Him. If we want to be blessed by God, we need to repent of our sin, cry out to God in humble faith, and seek to obey His Word, which provides the terms of our covenant relationship with Him. Simply, God does not bless people unless they place themselves under His Word.
Look up Job 4:8, Proverbs 22:8, Hosea 8:7, 2 Corinthians 9:6, and Galatians 6:7-8 about how God instructs us that we will reap what we sow.
(1) Carol Meyers, “Deborah,” ed. David Noel Freedman, Allen C. Myers, and Astrid B. Beck, Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2000), 331.
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