Text: Judges 4:4-16
I. The story of Deborah and Barak is one that many remember
A. In part it is because it involved a woman who was both a prophetess and a judge
1. She didn’t fight the battle, that was left to Barak, but she did travel with the army
2. Because of Barak unwillingness to go without Deborah, the blow that killed the commander of the Canaanite army, Sisera, went to a woman married to a Kenite
B. It was a tremendous because the Canaanites had the advantage in military technology
1. They had 900 iron chariots. The Israelites fought on foot.
2. The Israelites won, totally, completely - Judges 4:14-16
C. Deborah and Barak composed a song to commemorate the deed that is Judges 5
1. There is additional information in the song
2. Israel had an “army” of 40,000, but they had no shields or spears - Judges 5:8
a. It was a volunteer army - Judges 5:9
b. It was composed of Issachar, Zebulun, and Naphtali. These are the smaller tribes of Israel.
c. What happened to the large tribes that normally fought? - Judges 5:15-18
d. It appears they were just too busy to help their country men. Perhaps we can excuse them because it was far from their homes
3. But there was one town, Meroz, which had no excuse - Judges 5:23
a. We don’t know where this town was at, but it is believed to be in the area of the three tribes.
b. People were risking their lives to fight, and one town decided not to help
II. Those who do not join are against - Luke 11:23
A. There are responsibilities which cannot be ignored or neglected.
B. Jesus came to do battle against Satan - Luke 11:14-15
1. The Pharisees tried to deny that God was involved. They tried to slander the Lord’s character.
C. But notice that some wanted more proof - Luke 11:16
1. He just cast out a demon!
2. Because they did not support Christ, they were against him.
3. They were indifferent to the Lord - Matthew 11:23-24
D. Neglect to follow is not because of lack of evidence, but a denial of God
1. Is that not what Meroz did? They didn’t answer God’s call through Barak and Deborah. It was a denial that God wanted them
III. It is so easy to let others do the work
A. After all I have so much to do
1. We have limited time, no denying that - Psalms 90:10-12
2. But where we put our priorities shows our focus - Ephesians 5:16
3. Our lives are not a sacrifice when all we offer is convenience - Romans 12:1
B. We see neglectful indifference in the religious world
1. Look at the membership numbers of any large denominational church in your area. Now look at the attendance at the last worship.
2. Almost all denominations look at occasional service as pretty good
3. Is it a wonder that the same lazy attitude creeps into the church? - Matthew 12:30
IV. We have no fear of the result
A. “I know I ought to, but ...” - James 4:17
B. Jesus pointed out that ignoring God won’t be ignored - Luke 12:42-48
C. Jesus came to light a fire under people - Luke 12:49
D. How dare we try to put a damper on it?
V. Blessings come from doing - John 13:17
A. We must be doers of the Word - James 1:21-25
B. Will you be blessed because of your efforts or cursed because of you neglect?