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The Stars in Their Courses (7 of 23)
Series: The Hope of the Gospel
I have taken as my text a phrase from that fierce song of exultation and triumph which Deborah the prophetess sang over the defeat and death of Sisera. You remember the grim old story-typical of those primitive times from which it comes. The children of Israel had fallen under the domination of Jabin, king of Canaan, and Sisera was the instrument by whom their subjugation had been brought about. Sisera was Jabin's captain of the host, or, as we would say, he was Jabin's commander-in-chief. He was a mighty man of war and, as it seemed, an invincible general. He developed especially one arm of the service. Most great generals have had their favorite movements by which they have secured their victories. Sisera had his. He put his trust in the iron chariot plunging and tearing its way through the ranks of his enemies. He had nine hundred of these terrible chariots under his command, and the result was that no Israelite army could stand up against him. They feared the charge of these iron chariots. So for twenty years they bore the yoke and submitted to Jabin's oppressive rule. And then at length God kindled the passion for national freedom in the heart of a woman. Just as in later days France seemed to have almost resigned herself to British rule until Joan of Arc started her crusade and shamed the men into striking another blow for freedom, so in these far-off and primitive times it was from the lips of the prophetess Deborah that the trumpet call came to Israel to cast fear aside and to break in pieces the oppressor. It was not easy to rouse the people from their torpor and despair. They thought of Sisera and his chariots, and a crusade for freedom seemed a desperate and hopeless enterprise. Reuben thought it best to sit among his sheepfolds, and Dan to remain in ships, and Asher to sit still at the haven of the sea. But Deborah's passion kindled a passion like her own. I ...
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