"Stars In Their Courses"

J. D. Conley
April 24, 2016

For a third time, the nation of Israel had refused to learn the lesson of being faithful to God and to put away their idols. Once again, a pagan king is raised up to oppress Israel. Sadly, as the book of Judges records, this vicious cycle will continue for many years to come. A Canaanite leader known as "Jabin" [likely a title such as "Pharaoh"] is permitted to come on the scene and vex the nation of Israel for their sin. The Canaanites made slaves out of the Israelites turning "the land flowing with milk and honey," into a bitter and dire piece of real estate.

Israel's military force was greatly inferior, weak and small compared to the vast Canaanite forces. The Canaanites had 900 chariots of iron, (Judges 4:19). Although the number of Canaanite foot soldiers is unrecorded they no doubt numbered in the thousands. Simply put, the Israelites were in a hopeless situation. Jabin's general, Sisera, made sure the boot of Canaanite oppression remained firmly on the back of the necks of the Israelites. For twenty long years that boot was never lifted.

Finally, after suffering for two long decades Israel repented and implored the throne of God for help. This time God sent Israel a female deliverer/judge named Deborah. She in turn recruited Barak, a general from the tribe of Naphtali, to gather 10,000 warriors. She then guaranteed Barak victory, even though the enemy was larger and more powerful.

Just as the two forces were facing off, a miraculous storm hit. The fierceness of the storm caused utter confusion in the Canaanite ranks. The rain and cold air blew directly in the face of the Canaanites, making them unable to use their weapons; whereas the wind and rain were at the backs of the Israelites. Regarding this supernatural weather disturbance, Deborah pictures the heavens fighting for Israel, "They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera" (Judges 5:20).

What bearing does this bit of history have on us today? Simply this, when the situation appears hopeless, remember God's great power. Israel was woefully lacking against Canaan, but they won the victory because the heavens, [God] fought for them! Just as God fought for physical Israel, so will He fight for spiritual Israel.

"Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ" (2 Cor.2:14)