The Brooklyn & Brooklyn Citizen January 10, 1915


We have heretofore pointed out that the great antitypical Battle of Armageddon will quickly follow the present world-war. Today's Study relates to the first of the great battles in the Valley of Megiddo, noted for its many slaughters, and therefore made the basis of Divine prediction respecting the "Time of Trouble such as was not since there was a nation," which will precede and prepare the way for Messiah's glorious Rule of a thousand years.

The Israelites, guilty of idolatry, had, according to God's Covenant with them, been chastened by the permitting of their enemies to vanquish them. General Sisera, of the Canaanites, having humbled the Israelites of North Palestine for years, started southward with a large army, intent upon victories. The strength of his army is shown in the statement that it contained nine hundred iron chariots.

When he had gotten as far southward as the Valley of Megiddo, messengers reached him, informing him that Barak, a leader amongst the Israelites, was coming southward with an army of ten thousand Israelites. Under Divine guidance Barak made Mt. Tabor his army base later known as the Mount of Transfiguration, where Messiah's coming Kingdom was represented in a vision. 2 Pet. 1:16-21.

General Sisera advanced with his army on both sides of the River Kishon. Then the word of the Lord directed General Barak to advance against the Canaanites. Sisera's army was discomfited and scattered. A great cloud-burst swelled the river, making quagmires of the lower valleys, rendering useless Sisera's chariots. His soldiers, fleeing for their lives, were cut down by the Israelites, while other thousands were swept by the freshets down to the sea.

This interference of God on behalf of His people is figuratively styled the fighting of the stars of heaven against Sisera's army. Similarly, in the great Armageddon near at hand, it will not be human might that will prevail, but the hosts of humanity will effect the complete disruption of the Present Order of things; for every man's hand shall be against his brother and his neighbor. (Eze. 38:21; Zech. 14:13.) It is the cloud-burst of Truth and the rising waters of knowledge which are bringing to pass this [HGL683] great human catastrophe which the Lord will overrule for the world's blessing.


Although the Lord has usually been pleased to use men in connection with His work, not only as typical characters, but also as evangels of the Gospel, nevertheless, Scriptures picture noble women who, because of delinquency of men, have been almost forced into public service by God's providence. Notable amongst such is Mrs. Deborah. She perceived no neglect of the Divine Law had resulted in the captivity of her people, and that what was needed was a guide to point the people back to God.

The Canaanites, whom they had not conquered, had conquered Israel. This conquest, permitted of God, had its insidious start when the Israelites, neglecting the Divine direction to live separate from all other peoples, had begun to intermarry with the Canaanites. These had enticed their husbands and their children to worship the heathen gods. Apparently many Israelites who had not gone over to idolatry had nearly lost their knowledge and appreciation of the true God.

In the dark hour of Israel's oppression, the princes of the tribes seemed to lack patriotism, as well as faith in God. Each tribe was a separate state, and there was no cohesion between them the Divinely intended bond of union, the true religion, having relaxed. About this time the Lord, seeking a channel through which to be gracious to His people, found that channel in a woman Deborah. She realized the situation more keenly than others, probably because more deeply consecrated to God. She moved from her home in the northern part to a central place in the Highlands of Ephraim. From there she sent encouraging, stimulating messages to the chief men of the various tribes.

Deborah was respected, her counsel appreciated, and her advice sought. In this sense she judged admonished guided Israel. She is styled a prophetess. This might mean either a public teacher or one through whom the Lord send special messages. Some things connected with the story indicate the latter.

When Sisera's army had proceeded southward to Megiddo, Deborah sent word to Barak, a leader in her tribe Naphtali to march immediately to battle with ten thousand Israelites. Barak refused unless she would cooperate. She agreed to do so, forewarning him, however, that thus he would miss a part of his blessing by reason of his lack of courage. Thus it was that when the army moved to Mt. Tabor, it was under General Barak's command, but a woman was God's agent in directing the battle which brought such signal victory.


General Sisera's chariots stuck in the mire; his army defeated, he fled afoot with others, only to be overtaken by the victors. Entering a supposedly hospitable tent, he hid himself and fell asleep. His hostess improved the opportunity and drove a tent-pin through his temple. The act has be denounced as a breach of hospitality; but others have defended it on the ground that the custom still among the Arabs of Palestine is that any man intruding into a woman's tent is worthy of death. Let us remember that Jael was not a Christian woman, not begotten of the Holy Spirit, not taught in the School of Christ; and that whatever may be said of her would have no bearing in respect to Christians, who are under the new Law of the Spirit of Christ the Law of Love.

Incidentally, let us remember that no Jew stood in the same relationship to God and His purposes that the true Christians occupy. The Jews warfare typifies our warfare as New Creatures against the weaknesses and appetites of our flesh. Let us remember also that the death of Sisera and his army did not precipitate them into a hell of eternal torture, but merely was the way by which they were 'gathered to their fathers'- "slept with their fathers." They have known nothing since, and will know nothing until the time of their awakening, which God has so graciously timed that it will be after Messiah shall have taken possession of the world, and by the establishment of His Kingdom shall have overthrown the Kingdom of Satan and the reign of Sin and Death. Like the remainder of mankind, Sisera and his army will then come forth, as a result of the redemptive work of Jesus, finished at Calvary.

Only those who have heard Christ, have accepted Him and have been begotten of the Holy Spirit as New Creatures only these are on trial now. The trial of all the remainder of the world is future.

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