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Follow the Leader    Judges 4:1-4, 6-8a, 10; 5 1-5, 9-11a    July 15, 2012

 

Introduction

       Have you ever encourage others as they led in the Praise of our Lord.  Not only can we follow leaders but we can encourage them. It is a privilege to do so. 


 

1.   Follow the Leader and . . Encourage Them to Follow the Lord. 4:1-4, 6-8, 10

      A.   Encourage Them Through the . . Prayers to God. 4:1-3

1 The Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD after Ehud had died.

       2 So the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of

       his forces was Sisera who lived in Harosheth of the Nations.

       3 Then the Israelites cried out to the LORD, because Jabin had 900 iron chariots, and he harshly oppressed

       them 20 years.

 

      B.   Encourage Them Through the . . Prophets of God 4:4, 6-7

       4 Deborah, a woman who was a prophetess and the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time.

       4:6 She summoned Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “Hasn’t the LORD,

       the God of Israel, commanded you: ‘Go, deploy the troops on Mount Tabor, and take with you 10,000 men

       from the Naphtalites and Zebulunites

       7 Then I will lure Sisera commander of Jabin’s forces, his chariots, and his army at the Wadi Kishon to

       fight against you, and I will hand him over to you.’”

 

      C.   Encourage Them Through the . . Plan of God. 4:8, 10

       8 Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, I will go. But if you will not go with me, I will not go.”

       10 Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; 10,000 men followed him, and Deborah also went

       with him.


       What kind of an army do they face in 900 iron chariots when they have their prayers to God? Because they have not been living for the Lord and crying out to Him the enemy was very formidable. They had their eyes on the enemy and they caused harsh oppression for Israel but, “then” they called on the Lord. It is obvious a change of lifestyle and the prayers to God made a significant difference. God raised up some significant

prophets and specifically one named Deborah. She evidently got the message of the plan God had and she told Barak and the others. Then Barak made a great stand by announcing to Deborah, “If you will go with me,

I will go. But if you will not go with me, I will not go.” I find that somewhat humorous, but Deborah obviously was a woman of God and had the respect of all.


 

2.   Follow the Leader and . . Exalt in the Lord for His Victory. 5 1-5

      A.   Exalt with the Volunteers As They Join in the . . Praise. 4:1-3

1 On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang:

       2 When the leaders lead in Israel, when the people volunteer, praise the LORD.

       3 Listen, kings! Pay attention, princes! I will sing to the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of 

       Israel.

 

      B.   Exalt As the Lord Caused the Heavens to . . Pour God’s Blessings. 4:4-5

       4 LORD, when You came from Seir, when You marched from the fields of Edom, the earth trembled, the

       heavens poured rain, and the clouds poured water.

       5 The mountains melted before the LORD, even Sinai before the LORD, the God of Israel.



       What a joy to be able to exalt in the Lord because of all He has done. It is not only past blessings but those that Deborah and Barak had been used by God to lead and stand back and see the evidence of how God

accomplished it. Any and all who knew the Lord and also knew how He had given victory must have had praise swelling up in them and it had to come out in songs of praise. Then what a cause for further enjoyment as they

reflected on the power of God as they expressed how the heavens poured rain and the clouds poured water and

the mountains melted before Him. As we reflected earlier what are 900 chariots compared to the prayers of God’s people. What a joy to exalt in the blessings of God. Let us not forget this as we come toward our day of independence.


 

3    Follow the Leader and . . Enjoy Abundance of Praise to the Lord. 5:9-11

       A.   Enjoy the . . Position of Your Heart. 5:9

      9 My heart is with the leaders of Israel, with the volunteers of the people. Praise the LORD!

 

       B.   Enjoy the . . Privilege of Encouraging Others To Praise. 5:10-11

       10 You who ride on white donkeys, who sit on saddle blankets, and who travel on the road, give praise!

       11 Let them tell the righteous acts of the LORD, the righteous deeds of His warriors in Israel, with the

       voices of the singers at the watering places. Then the LORD’s people went down to the gates.


       Do you know your heart. When you see your mate, children or grand children what emotion come forward.

Emotional evidence does tell us about our heart especially if they followed with godly actions that further give praise. I consider it a joy to serve the Lord. It gave me joy to be in a place of leading the expression

of praise when my mother was present, the same is true when my wife and children were present. Many of us can point back to a great leader in our life and say we were glad we learned to Follow the Leader. Amen? Amen! ! (For a more detailed outline go to: http://www.preachhim.org/SundaySchoolIndex.html)