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Judges 5:1–5

Then Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam sang on that day, saying:

“When leaders lead in Israel,
When the people willingly offer themselves,
Bless the LORD!

“Hear, O kings! Give ear, O princes!
I, even I, will sing to the LORD;
I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel.

“LORD, when You went out from Seir,
When You marched from the field of Edom,
The earth trembled and the heavens poured,
The clouds also poured water;
The mountains gushed before the LORD,
This Sinai, before the LORD God of Israel.”

The song of Deborah and Barak will take up a week of DEEPs. Two typical themes recur:

  • It’s about God, not people. Though the events sung about involve people, He gets all the glory.
  • We can learn a lot from the things not sung. Some things are notably absent.

Modern Israel has conscription; everyone has to serve a term in the military. Ancient Israel did not. The soldiers who won this battle—against insurmountable odds—were like the American militias who won the Revolutionary War, except the American militias weren’t outnumbered the way the Israelites were.

So, when Deborah and Barak sing, “When leaders lead in Israel, when the people willingly offer themselves,” they’re singing of genuine heroic courage.

But where does that lead?

Bless the LORD!

So, who do they sing to? 

I, even I, will sing to the LORD;

They know who the real hero is.

The lesson seems simple enough. Worship the LORD.

But Americans do not get this. We worship people to an amazing extent. And the ones we worship the most, sports and entertainment stars, are some of the least important people in history. If they’d never been born, it wouldn’t have made much difference.

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:

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

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.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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