Judges 5:1-31 (Part 2) – What Both Sides of Charlottesville Worship: It Isn’t The One True God

Posted: August 15, 2017 in Book of Judges

Judges 5:1-31 (Part 2 of 3)
The Song of Deborah

When will it end? Violence for the sake of gods other than the true God. White supremicists who feel they have lost their voice in America and whose god is a time past in America. Liberals who praise the god of tolerance who are intolerant of anything not generically tolerant. And then there was one fool who thought driving a car into a crowd was OK because those on the other side so incensed him that they were dehumanized to him. Both sides of the protesting in Charlottesville were wrong. Both sides can itching for a fight and they got it. Both sides are intolerant of the other. Both sides worship something other than God. Lost in our polarized world today is the fact that we no longer worship God. We worship what we desire most and are intolerant of ideas other than what we desire most.

As a nation, we have become so enamored with ourselves and what we want that we cannot conceive of why another person believes differently than us. We demonize each other for believing differently than one another. Liberals stamp anything to do with the history of the South as wrong and are intent on re-writing the history of the South such anything that glorifies anything prior to the current century as racist rather than holding civil discussions about the balance of history vs. condemnation of what happened that was wrong in history. Extremists on the other side, white supremicists see the liberals as trying to take distinctives of a culture that no longer exists but should not be ignored. They see the liberals as trying to ram their revisionist tolerance down their throats where anything that is not according to their tolerance precepts must be wiped away from the earth. The gods that are being worshiped by each are not the God, the one true God.

All of the action that we saw in Charlottesville on Sunday is evidence of the idol worship of each side. The white supremicists may use the cross and talk of Jesus Christ and the church, but they do not worship the God of the Bible nor do they even understand who Jesus Christ is, nor do they represent Christ’s church in America. God does not value one race above another. God does not espouse the superiority of one race over another. We are all created equal in God’s eyes. He created us in His own image and each of us is offered saving grace through God’s own son, Jesus Christ. Salvation is not dependent on skin color. These supremicists worship what was once America. They worship the ideal of the past. They worship a time period that can never be recaptured. Because of economics, the idyllic South that they worship just can no longer exist. The South is now the fifth largest economy in the world and it is drawing people from all over the world because of the amazing opportunities here. The South is now a competitive marketplace but yet they yearn for a time when things were less competitive and was even harsh on non-wealthy whites. They worship an ideal that has nothing to do with God.

On the other side of the coin and the protest lines, the ultra left brandishes its sword of tolerance with equal disgrace. They justify violence because of their cause. Their violence is justified in the name of the religion of tolerance that they worship. We must all be the same in their eyes. There are no distinctives of culture and region. They worship sameness. They define what is right and what is moral. They define that which is acceptable and that which is not. They are characterized by having openly turned against God as an anachronism of the past that is no longer needed. It is they who define what is right now and anyone who does not subscribe to their view is a knuckle dragging bigot. They define that all things that were once wrong are now acceptable because the old ways oppressed free expression of self. The sad thing about the tolerance movement is the fact that they are so intolerant of those who do not subscribe to their brand of tolerance. Anyone who mentions faith or God or Jesus Christ or church is a backward Neanderthal who are vilified in the media. They worship something other than God. They worship the god of tolerance and it is they who define what is acceptably tolerant. In that sweeping tolerance of all things as they define, they define that we should all have access to everything for free because we deserve it. They worship a utopia of their own definition. Anything less is bigotry and open for ridicule.

The reason that I bring Charlottesville up today is because we are a nation that has strayed from God and we worship our own idols of the past or some idyllic present or future utopia to the exclusion of God. We worship idols. We may throw around God’s name but we do not worship Him. We worship ourselves and what we want. We define our own god now not the God who created us. What happened in Charlottesville over the weekend what done by what both sides see as morally right but yet are so both completely wrong. Charlottesville should be a clarion call to us as Christ followers to get out in the world and demonstrate to the world who God is, really is.

This song of Deborah was a reminder to the Israelites that they had strayed from God and it was God that saved them, not themselves. They worshiped other gods than the one true God and it brought an inner decay that made them easy prey. That’s what I thought of when it comes to what happened in Charlottesville, the inner decay and idol worship that has become our country.

Let’s read this passage once again in Judges 5:1-31:

5 On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song:

2
“When the princes in Israel take the lead,
when the people willingly offer themselves—
praise the Lord!

3
“Hear this, you kings! Listen, you rulers!
I, even I, will sing to[a] the Lord;
I will praise the Lord, the God of Israel, in song.

4
“When you, Lord, went out from Seir,
when you marched from the land of Edom,
the earth shook, the heavens poured,
the clouds poured down water.
5
The mountains quaked before the Lord, the One of Sinai,
before the Lord, the God of Israel.

6
“In the days of Shamgar son of Anath,
in the days of Jael, the highways were abandoned;
travelers took to winding paths.
7
Villagers in Israel would not fight;
they held back until I, Deborah, arose,
until I arose, a mother in Israel.
8
God chose new leaders
when war came to the city gates,
but not a shield or spear was seen
among forty thousand in Israel.
9
My heart is with Israel’s princes,
with the willing volunteers among the people.
Praise the Lord!

10
“You who ride on white donkeys,
sitting on your saddle blankets,
and you who walk along the road,
consider 11 the voice of the singers[b] at the watering places.
They recite the victories of the Lord,
the victories of his villagers in Israel.

“Then the people of the Lord
went down to the city gates.
12
‘Wake up, wake up, Deborah!
Wake up, wake up, break out in song!
Arise, Barak!
Take captive your captives, son of Abinoam.’

13
“The remnant of the nobles came down;
the people of the Lord came down to me against the mighty.
14
Some came from Ephraim, whose roots were in Amalek;
Benjamin was with the people who followed you.
From Makir captains came down,
from Zebulun those who bear a commander’s[c] staff.
15
The princes of Issachar were with Deborah;
yes, Issachar was with Barak,
sent under his command into the valley.
In the districts of Reuben
there was much searching of heart.
16
Why did you stay among the sheep pens[d]
to hear the whistling for the flocks?
In the districts of Reuben
there was much searching of heart.
17
Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan.
And Dan, why did he linger by the ships?
Asher remained on the coast
and stayed in his coves.
18
The people of Zebulun risked their very lives;
so did Naphtali on the terraced fields.

19
“Kings came, they fought,
the kings of Canaan fought.
At Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo,
they took no plunder of silver.
20
From the heavens the stars fought,
from their courses they fought against Sisera.
21
The river Kishon swept them away,
the age-old river, the river Kishon.
March on, my soul; be strong!
22
Then thundered the horses’ hooves—
galloping, galloping go his mighty steeds.
23
‘Curse Meroz,’ said the angel of the Lord.
‘Curse its people bitterly,
because they did not come to help the Lord,
to help the Lord against the mighty.’

24
“Most blessed of women be Jael,
the wife of Heber the Kenite,
most blessed of tent-dwelling women.
25
He asked for water, and she gave him milk;
in a bowl fit for nobles she brought him curdled milk.
26
Her hand reached for the tent peg,
her right hand for the workman’s hammer.
She struck Sisera, she crushed his head,
she shattered and pierced his temple.
27
At her feet he sank,
he fell; there he lay.
At her feet he sank, he fell;
where he sank, there he fell—dead.

28
“Through the window peered Sisera’s mother;
behind the lattice she cried out,
‘Why is his chariot so long in coming?
Why is the clatter of his chariots delayed?’
29
The wisest of her ladies answer her;
indeed, she keeps saying to herself,
30
‘Are they not finding and dividing the spoils:
a woman or two for each man,
colorful garments as plunder for Sisera,
colorful garments embroidered,
highly embroidered garments for my neck—
all this as plunder?’

31
“So may all your enemies perish, Lord!
But may all who love you be like the sun
when it rises in its strength.”

Then the land had peace forty years.

In this passage, we see that war was the inevitable result when Israel chose to follow false gods. Although God had given Israel clear directions, the people failed to put His words into practice. Without God at the center of their national life, pressure from the outside soon became greater than the power from within, and they were easy prey for their enemies. If you are letting a desire for recognition, craving for power, craving for popularity, or the love of money rule your life, you may find that you are willing to accept destructive behaviors into your life to satisfy these desires. As a nation, when we collectively stray from God, we no longer are willing to work for the common good and we desire our own way above all others. This passage reminds us that it is the Lord that gives us victory when we are submitted to His will and not our own.

Let us pray that we can demonstrate to the world who God really is. Let us pray that people do not see God in what happened in Charlottesville and how the two sides of our polarized America are just both wrong. We must return to the God of the Bible not the god of either side’s making. We have work to do as Christians to demonstrate who the real God is and who Jesus Christ really is. Our country has strayed so far from God that we have begun to define for ourselves who and what He is. Let us be the generation that ends this. Let us be the generation that saves our country and returns it to the God of the Bible. Let us be the generation that demonstrates that we are subject to God and not use a definition of god to suit ourselves. I pray that we as Christians do so in love but firmness. I pray for a reality check for our nation as to who God really is and not some hate filled god and not some god of intolerant tolerance. Let us return our nation to the true God, before we implode from within.

Amen and Amen.

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