Judges 4:1-7 – Here we go again
Updated: Jan 28, 2021
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.’”
I have written and posted an interpretation about this reading, back on October 23, 2017. That article was devoted to explaining the feminine aspect of “Deborah, a prophetess, wife of Lappidoth,” who “was judging Israel.” I stand behind that view still and welcome you to read that posting. This reading about a female judge fits the theme of the season, after having read about Jesus telling parables: a king sending his servant out to invite people to a wedding for his son; and, ten engaged virgins keeping their lamps lit for the bridegroom. Christians are not judged by God because of their sex organs. They are judged by their hearts and who they love enough to merge with spiritually in marriage. However, there is another view I want to present now here, which still fits that same theme.
This fresh perspective is one I have had for a long time, simply based on the history of the Israelite people since they were led across the Jordan Riven and dispersed into lands that were already settled by other peoples. They went in to lands they did not previously possess and took the lands of others, all with the help of the Holy Spirit. When the people that lived near where they set up their camps complained loudly and with force against that “illegal migration,” the Holy Spirit led the Israelites to victory. In some places, like near Lebanon (the northern reaches of the tribes Asher and Naphtali), the people who lived there were so nice and kind to the newcomer Israelites that it was so ‘kumbaya’ the Israelites broke God’s commandment and blended with the Phoenicians. However, not everyone was so accepting (it is still the same way today, since 1900 when the illegal immigrant Jews returned and forced their way into power) and the difficulties followed a trend that developed.
In this reading from the Book of Judges, the focus now needs to be placed on where the words state: “The Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, after Ehud died.” Ehud had been a Judge, sent to drag the Israelites from the up and down cycle they went into: Forty years able to follow some Judge; forty years doing what they pleased; forty years of emotional stability and, forty years of fearful punishment. All of the ups and downs were based on how well they adhered to the Laws, or the agreement that allowed them to squat on someone else’s land and call it their own.
Deborah is then representative of one who never strayed away from service to God, never was swayed to lust after self-importance and one who never got lost thinking she was anybody worthy of respect. That was all because she knew in her heart: if one does not respect God and one’s commitment to that marriage, then one is worthless. Deborah, as a female, as a woman, as a wife, as a prophetess, and as a Judge, is then the epitome of what all who serve God must be like. That is an important lesson here. That lesson still fits the theme of the Ordinary after Pentecost season (and all seasons, since the message is always the same): Stop thinking your mortal body is golden and start being a wife to the Lord (regardless of your feeble human gender).
Of course, the application of an Israelite history lesson has to be applied to modern-day Christians. The up and down call for judges is not about some prophetess found sitting under a tree (not the translation that should come from the truth of the Hebrew written) – of which Americans, Europeans, and International Christians have none available to go to in times of worry – but about the ongoing merry-go-round of souls in bodies of flesh.
Ehud is a lesson, simply by him being named. That name means: 1. I Shall Praise; and, 2. Union, Joining Together. [Abarim Publications] How is that name for a lesson on marriage … one that constantly praises the Lord? Still, because Ehud had died, which is itself a statement of a lost leader to guide souls in human flesh, it speaks of the trap of reincarnation those souls who depend on judges like Ehud, because they prefer the ‘swinging singles’ lifestyle. That is, they like it until the time comes to pay the piper.
Ehud’s loss then reflects upon the Israelite people as souls whose past lives had a record of serving God, so God shined His blessings on them. In modern terms, Ehud might be seen as someone of influence, such as a Billy Graham or perhaps as a bishop of some organized form of Christianity that stood up against evil trends. Such readily known individuals would become magnets for seekers to surround, praying his or her incarnation as a judge would surround them with the grace of God.
The problem with such mortals is just that: they die because they are mortal. The twenty years following Ehud’s time found the Israelites having been sold into slavery to King Jabin of Canaan. That represented a subsequent incarnation of the Israelite people (thus a pattern all Christians repeat also), following the model ‘when the judge is away the mortal souls will sinfully play.’ While the Israelites are a historic entity, reincarnated Christians in the same predicament might find a different scenario. Perhaps, those who lived high on the hog in a past life will then find their souls as Untouchables in India, born into slum conditions and abject poverty, where daily persecution has then become a normal way of life. That then leads to one crying out to the Lord for help, which means one found Christianity as a means for hope, in a world that so loves beating the crap out of some folk.
The promise of God (as delivered clearly by Jesus) is sacrifice now for a greater reward when life is over. Being born an Untouchable must be part of God’s plan. Rather than moan and groan about it, with nothing ever changing, realize an inner ‘Garden of Eden’ and piss everyone off by smiling in a world of misery. Finding Deborah, as a prophetess, becomes the reward of having stopped blaming the world for one’s problems; it means one’s soul has married God. [Can Untouchable Indians happily sing the Lynn Anderson tune to God … “You never promised me a rose garden …”?]
Finding Deborah then reflects the real possibility of being reincarnated as a different sex, with the ultimate reward of knowing God from experience, not from words in a book. Being reborn as Deborah means listening to those who are seeking relief and letting God speak through you. Deborah [like Ehud] symbolizes one who listens to God at all times and speaks only what the Father says to speak. It is like an Apostle or Saint, but because they didn’t have people around back then called such, the judges were akin to Oracles of Truth.
This means the entrance of “Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali” reflects how God uses human bodies of flesh as He Wills them to be used. There is nothing worship-worthy about some guy named Barak. He was the son of someone in the region of the northern tribe Naphtali. He was little more than strong man du jour, with an army that followed him. If his name makes one regurgitate memories of the Muslim-Communist Barack Hussein Obama, well there you go. The symbolism of “Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali” is little more than some modern politician (we no longer allow dictators, like Napoleon or Hitler to rise to power … do we?) that will be used by God to bring relief to the huddled masses crying out to God for help. Being used by God does not mean one has attained sainthood. It means God works in mysterious ways.
The thing about Deborah is she died [also a mortal] and the cycle repeated. Gideon came next, followed by a host of others. You probably would not recognize many of those names, other than Sampson and maybe Micah. The last of the judges would be Eli and Samuel. It really can be summed up as a whole, reflecting the failure of the Israelite people to figure out their past history: Serve God and all is well; serve self and all goes to Hell. Did they learn that? Hell no!
When Samuel was a judge of Israel the Israelites finally got fed up with their up and down merry-go-round and demanded Samuel go tell God to give them a king, “to be like other godless nations” (I added the “godless” part).
The sad lesson that teaches is nobody ever seems to learn this: If you externalize God, you can will yourself to act good for a period of time, until the whispers of Satan get in your ear one too many times and you break. You then start worshiping yourself as a god and all HELL breaks loose upon your soul.
Round and round you go. Where you stop nobody knows.
The only way off that “here in the money today and lost and broke tomorrow” cycle of reincarnation – when God is the Judge (He was the Judge within all the Judges, which made them special) – is to stop listening to the whispers of Satan; telling you, “Oooh baby, you so hot! You so pretty! You so idolizable!” When you stop worshiping at the temple of self-pleasures, your soul can begin the process of detoxification from sin.
The saying is: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” The mantra of addiction recovery says, “The first step in removing a problem is admitting you have a problem.” The response of a true wife of God, when He asks your opinion is, “You know.”
The lesson today is camouflaged by the self-importance Christians have, which is based on boldly saying, “I believe in Jesus Christ.” Since Deborah was Old Testament, those Christians who believe in Jesus Christ probably are thinking (if they even listen to this old Jewish stuff), “I guess I believe in Deborah, ’cause its in the Bible.”
If the story of Deborah was to get into the brain of a Jewish writer of Hollywood screen plays, he, she or it might dress Deborah up like Wonder Woman, with Barak her sidekick. They would possess amazing costumes, bracelets, lassos, and super powers. Some signal made by the poor common folk would allow Deborah and Barak to zoom in, riding some fast car-plane-motorcycle and save the day. Then, as the ending credits stream by, some small child would say, with a tear running down his, her or its cheek, “Thank you Wonder Deborah.”
It is the Christian ego that forbids it from ever seeing the externalization of God; AND JESUS CHRIST is why there is always a sequel built into the storyline. It is the failure to marry God, give rebirth to His Son, and BE JESUS CHRIST REBORN that is the answer never seen, which screams, “Cut! Re-take!” The Israelites were given the Law (they lost the stone tablets somehow) to learn and live by; but that didn’t work out too well. God sent His Son Jesus to teach that becoming him was the way. Without learning that lesson of commitment, then one is committed to a recycling of self … a soul always trying on new flesh.
When the disciples were sent out in ministry prior to Jesus’ death, they were all used by God, just like He used “Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali.” Deborah was Jesus in female form. She just was not told by God, “Tell them to be you reborn.” God had a plan for that later; but first, He wanted to drive home the point of the roller coaster, merry-go-round, up and down recycling of reincarnation theme … that it eventually gets to be tiresome. It will eventually drive believers to commit and marry God; or to demand, “Give us a king so we can be like other nations!!!”
Belief in Jesus Christ is not the same as being Jesus Christ reborn. One believes what one is told to believe. The other has faith from personal experience.
Guess what, Christians of today? You have demanded God give you a king too, just like the Israelites who would beget two ruined nations and lost lands. God gave you Jesus of Nazareth, just like He gave the Israelites David (after their choice of Saul failed miserably). You prance about merrily, doing what you love to do, not thinking once about the Law or doing what God wants you to do (that’s what hired hands are paid to do!). You feel safe and secure thinking Jesus is your king; so, you don’t have to do anything (anything that is not self-serving).
Christianity is a word that says, “A collection of those reborn as Jesus Christ. All are Saints who preach the true meaning of divine Scripture, so others can also be led to become Jesus Christ reborn.” However, the word “Christianity,” when defined as “a social club of pretenders,” is wicked.
Just yesterday (10/20/2020) the false pope calling himself Francis said, “Forget about Scripture! In turn, recognize that what God called an abomination (through Moses) must now be deemed as holy!” People calling themselves “Christian” applauded this act of a Roman pope pretending to be a god on earth.
That instead sounds like someone who is acting like an oppressive king … perhaps one reborn as Jabin of Canaan? … not a judge that will save the people. Sounds like the majority of the world that accepts marriage as a Union or Joining Together for the purpose of making babies, so parents can Praise God for giving them a beautifully crafted soul in human flesh (natural, not adopted) is just full of shit. Right Antipope Fran? Did Ehud die and leave you in charge?
Just imagine what it will be like, should God hear the pleas of true Christians crying out for help and imagine should God use His power to “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.” Ouch! My imagination sees a very bloody and senseless future, if that is the case. But the question now is, “Are there any true Christians left to pray for God’s help?”
Hollywood once answered our question, “Who ya gonna call?” with the answer that was “Ghostbusters.” We all know that was farcical. But, as America is on the eve of an election, when spit and venom is flying everywhere, along with the gnashing of teeth looking for new opposing political party ass to chew on, the question might be, “Who’s gonna win?” The answer might be the defeat of evil once again (not likely, in my mind), but it might be the triumph of evil over a godless people.
Time will tell.
R. T. Tippett … reporting from the outer darkness that is planet earth.