31 After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. He too saved Israel.
1 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, now that Ehud was dead. 2 So the Lord sold them into the hands of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. Sisera, the commander of his army, was based in Harosheth Haggoyim. 3 Because he had nine hundred chariots fitted with iron and had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the Lord for help.
Judges 3:31 – 4:1-3
Even though Shamgar follwed Ehud and he saved Israel, the Israelites once again (and it won’t be the last time) did evil in the eyes of the Lord. In other words they chose to disobey God and they were given under the rule of Jabin King of Canaan for twenty years. Twenty long years and finally they cried to the Lord for help. This time it was a woman who led them out of slavery – Deborah.
4 Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging [leading] Israel at that time…
6 She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor.
Oddly Barak would not go without her, so she went with him and the credit or honor would go to her.
8 Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”
9 “Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh.
A great battle ensured which the Israelites won and Sisera, the commander of Canaan’s army fled on foot. He was assassinated in his sleep.
23 On that day God subdued Jabin king of Canaan before the Israelites. 24 And the hand of the Israelites pressed harder and harder against Jabin king of Canaan until they destroyed him.
In chapter five you have the song of Deborah where she is honored as well as the woman who killed Sisera. At the end of the song we discover at the end of verse 31 Then the land had peace forty years. If you are keeping track 40 years is about the time of a generation. After Israel had first fallen into evil and had 8 years of slavery, they had peace for 40 years before they fell into sin once again. At that time they spent 18 years in slavery and then had 80 years of peace – two generations before it happened again. Today is about that time when they spent 20 years in slavery and after they were delivered by Deborah they again had 40 years of peace.
Tomorrow we will look at how they once again did evil in the eyes of the Lord. Once again punishment will follow. Consider how little time it takes for a paradigm shift to occur, going from doing/living as God wants them to live and only one generation later, two at best, they are doing evil in the eyes of the Lord. Think on why this occurs and what they might have done to prevent it, but did not do. Things changed slowly in those times. Today things change much more rapidly and we are seeing paradigm shifts much more quickly than every forty years. Be aware.