(If it’s been a while since you were in the book of Judges, reading chapters 4 and 5 of that great book will be helpful today.)
I’ve been blessed this week to be at a PTP Spark conference in Valdosta, Georgia. One thing you can’t miss when you study the book of Judges, as we’ve done this week, is that, when God declares forthcoming victory for His people, nothing but nothing will get in the way of that victory. Sometimes God declares this future victory in the past tense, as in “I have given you…” or “The Lord has delivered…” Only God can make a promise in the past tense. But if God says it, It is as good as done. Nine hundred chariots of iron in Judges 4 would have seemed, in any mortal eyes, the sure-fire winner in the valley near the river Kishon. I know the army of Sisera rode proudly in these iron chariots to what they were sure would be the handy defeat of Israel.
But Sisera’s army was doomed before it was assembled. No amount of strategizing, no force of weaponry, or degree of morale could influence the divinely predetermined outcome. God had already spoken:
For this is the day in which the Lord has given Sisera into your hand. Does not the Lord go out before you (Judges 4:14)?
Sometimes today, for Cindy Colley, it’s hard to trust the predetermined outcome. Most of the world’s money is in Satan’s coffers. He is the one who is controlling the lives of the movers and shakers. He is all up in the lifestyles of the rich and famous. His people are, mostly, the ones who are in People magazine or on Forbes List. In a more personal way, it is his people who are the seemingly unrestrained enemies of the people of God. In fact, sometimes, it seems as if the life lived away from God holds a lot more glamour, financial security and applause than does living for Jesus.
But nine hundred chariots, when mired in a muddy, bloody plain are suddenly changed from an advantage in war, to a liability. You recall that all of Sisera’s men were killed and he, alone, ran on foot to the tent of Jail, in which, he would have a quick glass milk and a tent peg through his head. When God promises an outcome, that result is guaranteed.
Do we live like we believe the promises of God? Do I prioritize like I believe Matthew 6:33? Do I love God like I believe Romans 8:28? Do I petition the Father like I believe James 1:5? Do I solicit prayers from others like I believe James 5:16?
See, on that Sunday morning, two thousand years ago, when the tomb was found empty, the head of Satan was crushed. The body of the snake is still moving and affecting our society in some tragic ways, but the head of the snake is forever crushed. This glamorous people who are in the metaphorical 900 iron chariots of the devil today are just as surely on their way to hell as were the armies of Sisera on their way to defeat at muddy Kishon. No amazing strategy, wealth, artillery or company morale can alter the predetermined outcome of the devil’s army.
Of course, the only moving piece now, is you or me. If you are in the iron chariot headed for destruction, there is still time to switch sides. Jael, the wife of Heber, the Kenite, switched sides. She took advantage of Sisera’s deep sleep in her tent and then she put the nail through his temple. The prophetess Deborah, then sang these words about Jael:
Most blessed of women be Jael,
the wife of Heber the Kenite,
of tent-dwelling women most blessed.
He asked for water and she gave him milk;
she brought him curds in a noble’s bowl.
She sent her hand to the tent peg
and her right hand to the workmen’s mallet;
she struck Sisera;
she crushed his head;
she shattered and pierced his temple.
Between her feet
he sank, he fell, he lay still;
between her feet
he sank, he fell;
where he sank,
there he fell—dead.
(from Deborah’s song in Judges 5)
If you’re in the chariot headed for Kishon, now’s the time. Believe the amazing verifiably authentic Word of God and examine its directives for your life. Get on the team that has already been given the victory. He has already gone out before you.