Less Faith Less Rewards

Judges 4


Jerry A Collins



v     How does God use women to accomplish His purposes?

v     What is the result of having less faith?

v     What kind of mentality should we have to obey God?


There come times when we just have to suck it up. When the task is daunting and the outcome is suspect. When it is time to finish the job in spite of the odds. We often face such an ordeal in our battle against sin in our lives and in the church. Getting a grip on a sinful habit or a sinful lifestyle or a sinful direction or a sinful alternative can be costly and difficult and often that is why we don’t finish the job in the first place. God seems to have expectations of us that are not realistic. Doe He really expects me to work my way out of this debt? Is God serious when He demands that I turn the other cheek and not defend myself? Can God really mean that I must love my wife and respect my husband? Remove the rage I feel or take up my cross daily and follow Christ? Of course He does and so much more. God is serious about our dealing with our sin and battling for complete victory in spite of the difficulties in doing so. He had the same expectations for His people, Israel in conquering the enemies and possessing their land.


The writer wants us to know the difficulty facing the northern tribes to finish the job of possession.

(1). They were separated from the stronger tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim and Judah south in the Central Hill Country.

(2) They were plagued by numbers of unconquered Canaanite centers. Most of these were located at strategic road centers, which were keys to the political and economic control of the north. The oppression of these tribes by the Canaanites must have caused serious economic problems for them. Judges 5:6-8 mentions the difficulties facing the northern tribes, who tended to keep off main roads controlled by Canaanite power centers

(3) The Canaanites were a superior fighting force spearheaded by 900 iron chariots. Now this is specifically mentioned twice vs 3, 13 and chariots mentioned 7 times. We learn that these tribes were severely oppressed by these well-equipped Canaanites for 20 years vs 3. In Josh 17:18 God said to drive out the Canaanites even though they had iron chariots. This they had not done. The job is not an easy one. Israel cried out to the Lord for help. A good place to go when you have nowhere else to go!

1. God wants you to fight your battles with sin. Don’t just sit there and take it but you might if you think the fight is difficult. You might try to find a way to cope with your sin or just endure it as best you can in spite of the hardships it brings. Or you might want to decide to cry out to God for help and fight your sin.

2. We will fight sin all the days of our lives. Some sin we will have victory over. Some sin will seem like these Canaanites—attacking us, overwhelming us, controlling us until we are oppressed by it and have it’s baggage to carry around in our lives. What God does not want you to do is live with it. You might be very angry with someone maybe for a long time and you have given little thought to letting go of that. Well that is one God wants you to fight—an iron chariot against you.

The odds are huge but possession God says is required.


The deteriorating situation in the north demanded immediate action. First, Deborah, is a prophetess judging Israel at this time in the security of the central Hill country south of the northern tribes between Ramah and Bethel. Summoning Barak, who lives in the north near Hazor the center of the Canaanite stronghold, she tells him to muster 10,000 men of the two tribes with greatest interest for victory—Naphtali and Zebulun vs 6. God says he will draw out Sisera the commander of these armies and God will give him and his army to Barak. So God will work in the fight against the enemy.

Second, Barak balks at this offer vs 8. He won’t go without Deborah. It is conditional obedience. He seems to have more confidence in the presence of Deborah than in the Word of God. We tend to do that with spiritual leaders. It is not necessary. The outcome of his conditional obedience is a partial reward for victory. Deborah would go but the honor of the victory would go to another woman vs 9-10. Some observations of Deborah:

1. She was a prophetess.

2. Israelite men sought her out for judgment in a specific place.

3. Her prophetic advice—revelation from God—included how to go war.

4. She refused personally to lead men. She summoned Barak to do that and was even reluctant to go with him into battle and announced God’s penalty against Barak

So she judged men and gave   God’s prophetic word to men but she was not willing to lead men. She gave wisdom, advice, and information (Like Priscilla Ac 18:26; Abigail 1 Sam 25; Mary Mag Jn 20:11; and Anna Lk 2:38 did).

Third, Israel had an overwhelming victory 11-16. As Barak and his army rushed down from Mt Tabor some 1300 ft high against a superior force God routed Sisera with the sword of Barak’s army. The confidence in his superior force shattered as we read Sisera alighted from his chariot and fled away on foot vs 15. How did this happen? God used man’s sword—that was the human side—but He also used a divine means—an unseasonable and violent storm that mired the chariots and horses kicking and flaying in the muck of the floodwaters of the Kishon river below (5:20-21).

1. When you fight the spiritual warfare God fights with you. Jesus says do not be anxious—so does Paul and Peter. Stick your neck out and determine to slay that sin—to fight for that righteous stand—it is the same battle God wants you to fight. Press for victory with the confidence that God will deliver it.

2. God has amazing creativity. You have the assurance of His strength for the spiritual battles you face though you cannot know how God will provide it. Don’t be paralyzed by the size of the battle. Don’t try to live with it. God can work.


In vs 11 Heber the Kenite independently settled his family in this region. The Kenites allied selves with Israel during the wilderness—related to Moses. They continue to cause problems hanging around Israel but not necessarily loyal to Israel. He made alliance with the Canaanites vs 17 near Hazor. So it’s natural for Sisera to flee to Kenites. Jael, the wife of Heber, invites Sisera into the tent, refreshes him, tucks him in, and she makes a decision contrary to her husband when his decision was contrary to God’s. Taking a tent peg vs 21 she hammers it thru his brain while Sisera fast asleep. 1. She seized the opportunity when she had it. 2. She used what was handy and what she was familiar with. Bedouin women pitch tents from place to place and she knows just how to handle one. Again, here we have an obscure person who somehow knows God’s will and act on it as she shouts to Barak vs 22. We read of these people who saw more than others like Rahab and act consistent with what they have to do God’s will. Then things flip and know the Canaanites are pressed heavier and heavier until destroyed vs 24.

PT: If you have mentality to be obedient to God you may have to act quickly with what you have and what you are familiar with.