The Few, The Courageous, The Blessed
“Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam. Then he made him that remaineth have dominion over the nobles among the people: the Lord made me have dominion over the mighty. Out of Ephraim was there a root of them against Amalek; after thee, Benjamin, among thy people; out of Machir came down governors, and out of Zebulun they that handle the pen of the writer. And 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. Why abodest thou among the sheepfolds, to hear the bleatings of the flocks? For the divisions of Reuben there were great searchings of heart. Gilead abode beyond Jordan: and why did Dan remain in ships? Asher continued on the sea shore, and abode in his breaches. Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field…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." Judges 5:12-31
Deborah was a prophetess, the wife of a leading Israelite. She held court and settled the disputes among the Israelite. Because of Israel’s disobedience they had fallen in to the hands of their enemies and were threatened by armies much greater than they. It was necessary to defend Isarel against Jabin and His army but only Naphtali and Zebulon showed up for the battle. The other tribes remained stalled in their camps, on their ships, on the other side of the river, and on the coasts in coves. While Naphtali and Zebulon risked their lives the others stayed in their places of “safety.” Did they not realize that their lives were at stake if Jabins army defeated their brothers? Why did they not come to help?
It’s often the case that a few carry the weight of responsibility for the many. Worse yet are those who want the benefits of the battle, to share in the spoils but are not willing to spend time in the trenches, or go up against the enemy. But God has never been defeated because the numbers were few. In fact, He does more with the jawbone of an ass in the hand of one man than his enemies can do with swords and chariots and a thousand horses. [Judges 15:15-17]
A man or a woman or a coalition of the willing resolved to follow God, and to be obedient to his righteous call will always be victorious even if they have to act without the help of the mighty ones. And still God blesses all He loves and all share in the benefit of peace “Then the land had peace for forty years.” Judges 5:31. but only the faithful receive a glorious reward.
“But may they who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength.” Judges 5:31