Let us now take the remainder of Deborah’s noble song—
They were ready volunteers. Their hatred of Israel made them eager for the battle. They sought no other reward than that which they found in oppressing the nation they so much abhorred. Satan has his volunteers—shall any of us need pressing to serve the Lord?
The heavenly hosts entered the lists. The elements took Israel’s side. The rainy constellations were in the ascendant. The clouds blazed with lightning, and tremendous water-floods poured from them.
The torrent-bed being suddenly swollen, washed away whole armies of men.
The frighted horses pranced till their unshod hoofs failed them. Sisera’s boasted cavalry became useless, and his chariots of iron an encumbrance to his army.
The laggards of Meroz are cursed, not for what they did, but for what they failed to do. Fear made them neutral, and neutrals in a patriotic war are detestable. “I would thou wert either cold or hot.” Earnest spirits feel great indignation against good-for-nothing indifferents.
Judges 5:24, 25
Sisera saw the milk, but not the nail, and many tempted ones are in the same case.
Judges 5:26, 27
Lowly was Jael’s sphere, but she did for Israel her very best, therefore was she as much blessed as Barak who led the thousands of Israel to battle.
This is a beautiful picture of the disappointment of the women at home when their warriors returned not in triumph. They reckoned without God, and therefore their expectation failed them. The next epithet is ironical.
Judges 5:29, 30
Thus, in imagination, they divided the spoil of a victory which was never gained. How often have the enemies of the church reckoned upon her overthrow, and rejoiced by anticipation; but hitherto the Lord hath helped us.
Amen! Amen! Under the gospel we dare say Amen; but our wrestling is with principles, not men; with error, sin, Satan, unbelief. O for brave hands of men and women to smite these foes.
The foes of Zion quake for fright,
Where no fear was they quail;
For well they know that sword of might
Which cuts through coats of mail.
The Lord of old defiled their shields,
And all their spears he scorn’d;
Their bones lay scatter’d o’er the fields,
Unburied and unmourn’d.
Let Zion’s foes be fill’d with shame;
Her sons are bless’d of God;
Though scoffers now despise his name,
The Lord shall break their rod.