Now Heber the Kenite, of the children of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses, had separated himself from the Kenites and pitched his tent near the terebinth tree at Zaanaim, which is beside Kedesh.
And they reported to Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor. So Sisera gathered together all his chariots, nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people who were with him, from Harosheth Hagoyim to the River Kishon.
Then Deborah said to Barak, “Up! For this is the day in which the LORD has delivered Sisera into your hand. Has not the LORD gone out before you?” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him. And the LORD routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army with the edge of the sword before Barak; and Sisera alighted from his chariot and fled away on foot. But Barak pursued the chariots and the army as far as Harosheth Hagoyim, and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; not a man was left.
There’s a key detail about this battle that isn’t revealed until Judges 5:21. Sisera’s chariots got stuck (or even swept away) in the River Kishon. Chariots are great on dry ground, but get stuck in mud.
Deborah’s song in chapter five has led many commentators to conclude that the LORD brought extra rain to facilitate this. The resulting mire explains why Sisera abandoned his chariot, which would normally be faster transportation, and fled on foot.
Sisera’s 900 chariots were sitting ducks—easy pickings for Barak’s army of 10,000 men.
Weather is often a significant factor in war, even a decisive one. Three events from WWII illustrate this.
Reid Bryson, a major in the Weather Service of the U.S. Army Air Corps, made two forecasts that were ignored, at great cost. His forecast for a 30,000+ foot altitude bombing run (an unprecedented mission) predicted 168-knot headwinds (blowing west to east) over Tokyo. The commanding general ignored Bryson. Unfortunately for the general, Bryson was right, and the mission failed. Bryson’s predicted high-altitude westerly wind is now known as the jet stream.
Bryson’s forecast of Typhoon Cobra was similarly ignored, resulting in the sinking of three destroyers, the death of 790 sailors, damage to nine other warships, and the loss of many aircraft.
But the one that was decisive, and felt more like divine intervention, was the cold snap that froze Hitler’s army on the outskirts of Moscow and made them sitting ducks for the Russian soldiers who showed up on skis.
These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.