raise and glory ascribed to God. (1-5) The distress and
deliverance of Israel. (6-11) Some commended, others censured.
(12-23) Sisera's mother disappointed. (24-31)
Verses 1-5.: No time should be lost in returning thanks to the Lord for
his mercies; for our praises are most acceptable, pleasant, and
profitable, when they flow from a full heart. By this, love and
gratitude would be more excited and more deeply fixed in the
hearts of believers; the events would be more known and longer
remembered. Whatever Deborah, Barak, or the army had done, the
Lord must have all the praise. The will, the power, and the
success were all from Him.
Verses 6-11.: Deborah describes the distressed state of Israel under
the tyranny of Jabin, that their salvation might appear more
gracious. She shows what brought this misery upon them. It was
their idolatry. They chose new gods, with new names. But under
all these images, Satan was worshipped. Deborah was a mother to
Israel, by diligently promoting the salvation of their souls.
She calls on those who shared the advantages of this great
salvation, to offer up thanks to God for it. Let such as are
restored, not only to their liberty as other Israelites, but to
their rank, speak God's praises. This is the Lord's doing. In
these acts of his, justice was executed on his enemies. In times
of persecution, God's ordinances, the walls of salvation, whence
the waters of life are drawn, are resorted to at the hazard of
the lives of those who attend them. At all times Satan will
endeavour to hinder the believer from drawing near to the throne
of grace. Notice God's kindness to his trembling people. It is
the glory of God to protect those who are most exposed, and to
help the weakest. Let us notice the benefit we have from the
public peace, the inhabitants of villages especially, and give
God the praise.
Verses 12-23: Deborah called on her own soul to be in earnest. He that
will set the hearts of other men on fire with the love of
Christ, must himself burn with love. Praising God is a work we
should awake to, and awake ourselves unto. She notices who
fought against Israel, who fought for them, and who kept away.
Who fought against them. They were obstinate enemies to God's
people, therefore the more dangerous. Who fought for them. The
several tribes that helped are here spoken of with honour; for
though God is above all to be glorified, those who are employed
must have their due praise, to encourage others. But the whole
creation is at war with those to whom God is an enemy. The river
of Kishon fought against their enemies. At most times it was
shallow, yet now, probably by the great rain that fell, it was
so swelled, and the stream so deep and strong, that those who
attempted to pass, were drowned. Deborah's own soul fought
against them. When the soul is employed in holy exercises, and
heart-work is made of them, through the grace of God, the
strength of our spiritual enemies will be trodden down, and will
fall before us. She observes who kept away, and did not side
with Israel, as might have been expected. Thus many are kept
from doing their duty by the fear of trouble, the love of ease,
and undue affection to their worldly business and advantage.
Narrow, selfish spirits care not what becomes of God's church,
so that they can but get, keep, and save money. All seek their
own, (Php 2:21). A little will serve those for a pretence to
stay at home, who have no mind to engage in needful services,
because there is difficulty and danger in them. But we cannot
keep away from the contest between the Lord and his enemies; and
if we do not actively endeavour to promote his cause in this
wicked world, we shall fall under the curse against the workers
of iniquity. Though He needs no human help, yet he is pleased to
accept the services of those who improve their talents to
advance his cause. He requires every man to do so.
Verses 24-31: Jael had a special blessing. Those whose lot is cast in
the tent, in a low and narrow sphere, if they serve God
according to the powers he has given them, shall not lose their
reward. The mother of Sisera looked for his return, not in the
least fearing his success. Let us take heed of indulging eager
desires towards any temporal good, particularly toward that
which cherishes vain-glory, for that was what she here doted on.
What a picture does she present of an ungodly and sensual heart!
How shameful and childish these wishes of an aged mother and her
attendants for her son! And thus does God often bring ruin on
his enemies when they are most puffed up. Deborah concludes with
a prayer to God for the destruction of all his foes, and for the
comfort of all his friends. Such shall be the honour, and joy of
all who love God in sincerity, they shall shine for ever as the
sun in the firmament.