“In the days of Shamgar, son of Anath,
In the days of Jael,
The highways were deserted,
And the travelers walked along the byways.
Village life ceased, it ceased in Israel,
Until I, Deborah, arose,
Arose a mother in Israel.
They chose new gods;
Then there was war in the gates;
Not a shield or spear was seen among forty thousand in Israel.
My heart is with the rulers of Israel
Who offered themselves willingly with the people.
Bless the LORD!
“Speak, you who ride on white donkeys,
Who sit in judges’ attire,
And who walk along the road.
Far from the noise of the archers, among the watering places,
There they shall recount the righteous acts of the LORD,
The righteous acts for His villagers in Israel;
Then the people of the LORD shall go down to the gates.”
It looks like all Israel needed was a little adult supervision and everything would be just hunky-dory.
But before “mom” showed up, life in Israel was anything but hunky-dory. The word “deserted” says it all. The highways were deserted, and the travelers walked along the byways. Village life ceased.
The deserted highways mean there was no significant traffic, thus no commerce. “Travelers walked along the byways,” hints at people avoiding the main roads because they aren’t safe. Normal life and commerce (village life) had ceased.
But it gets worse. They lost everything when, “They chose new gods.” They submitted so totally to their conquerors that, “Not a shield or spear was seen among forty thousand in Israel.”
So, their deliverance was all the more spectacular. And the tale should be told by all, from the nobles, “who ride on white donkeys, who sit in judges’ attire,” to the commoners, “who walk along the road.”
And, of course, they don’t take the credit. There they shall recount the righteous acts of the LORD.
Giving God the credit isn’t as easy as it sounds. Even when God’s hand is obvious, we want the glory.
Our sinful nature always seeks to self-promote.
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.