Question 1. Describe what you think conditions might have been like for a family in Israel at this time. Judges 4:1-3
Well I would say it was hard and evil. The people of that time did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. Kinda like life in The United States. People are always doing things they know are wrong and then when something like a natural disaster happens people (mainly people who don't know God) scream out where was God when this happened. God never leaves his throne, but after a while he does give us unto our sin. Several times in history His people have done what was evil in His sight and they have reaped the consequences of their decisions.
2. Judges 4:1-3 How do I think Iwould have reacted to such conditions?
Like the Israelites?
I think I would have cried out to the Lord. I am crying out to the Lord. Probably not as much as I should or for the right things, but that is where He comes in and gives me the desires of my heart and makes my will align with His will. But just crying out to the Lord is not enough. We have to listen to His answer and act on His answer, do what He says, not just react like a spoiled child. But we will react to His word instead of acting on His word. And God knows that and just like any other good Father he gives us a second chance to make the right decision. But not after punishment first. The punishment does not have to be supernatural, it could be a natural consequence of a bad decision, but we have to live with it because we chose to take matters into our own hands and not listen to what God told us to do. His way is always perfect. Maybe not the easiest task but always perfect.
3. Judges 4:4-8 What was Barak afraid of?
Barak was probably afraid of fighting and facing those chariots. I know I would be.
Why would having Deborah along alleviate those fears?
Well I would think that since Deborah knew of the plans of the military and what God had told Barak would happen. I think that Barak thought of Deborah as kind of a security blanket. You know have the one that God favors with you and maybe God's favor will be mandatory. Even though God had already told Barak that the Israelites were going to win. What did Barak have to worry about. Honestly nothing. He just had to believe what God told him and act on it. So easy to say and so hard to actually do. I am so thankful that God understands that and He loves me and holds my hand along the way, and when I mess up He just picks me up and sets me down and sends me on my way again. Thank you Jesus for loving me enough to let me make mistakes and learn from them and hopefully move forward and not make those same old mistakes over and over again.
4. Judges 4:4-8 Which of Deborah's characteristics would you most like to have? What would you do if you had that characteristic? What can you do to develop that characteristic?
Deborah was wise. I think I would love to have wisdom. Well for one thing if I had wisdom I probably not make the same stupid mistakes that I make now. I would know exactly what to say and when to say it. ( a problem I have now, talking when I should be quiet). Developing that characteristic comes from God. Developing wisdom first comes from praying to God and asking. But also asking with the right heart set. If I am asking for wisdom so I can have people look at me and say wow how smart is she. then that is the wrong reason to get wisdom. If I am asking for wisdom becuase having wisdom will bring me closer to the Lord. then that is the right reason to ask for it.
5. Judges 4:9-10 How do you think the Israelite men felt about the honor for this victory going to Deborah and Jael?
Well, the men were probably jealous that they were not getting the honor and probably a little perturbed becuase women could not fight in the military so how could they get the honor when they would not even fight. It was probably even more humbling because there were at least 10,000 men going out and one woman was going to get the glory of this victory. I bet there were 10,000 egos that were bruised.
6. Judges 4:9-10 When a woman succeeds today, what are the reactions of the men around her?
The reactions of the men around her will probably vary depending on the relationship between that woman and that man. If the woman beat out the man for the successfull position then the man will probably be kinda bitter and angry that he did not get chosen but she did.
If the man was not turned down for the same position as the woman and is now considered and "equal" with the woman, at least in the business sense then I guess the reaction would be congratulatory.
Then there are always those men that think women should be at home and nothing will make them happy but living in the 1950's. I think now a days that view is a personal one and should be treated as such. If a woman feels called to stay at home then her and her husband should pray about it and agree. If a woman feels like her place is working out side of the home again her and her husband should pray about it and agree.
7. Judges 5:7 What does Deborah call herself in this verse? What does this tell you about Deborah?
Deborah calls herself a mother in Israel. Deborah's first calling was to be a mother. Her other calling was to be a judge in Israel. I think she stepped up to the position as judge because no man would. I say that because I do not think that God would have blessed her in the way that He did if He did not call her to that position.
Deborah was not focused on her success outside of the home. Her main concern was for her children and her family. If she raised good children then her legacy continued. Although we remember her for her job as judge. Which is typical of us. Focus on the worldly accomplishment.
8. Judges 5:7 What lesson for my own life can I gain from this verse.
I need to focus on what God has called me to in this life. I need to be aware of God's calling on my life. I need to not be scared to step up and be successful as long as God is the center of my focus. As long as my focus is on God and how my success can bring Him glory then I will be successful at least in the eyes of God. And that should be all that matters.