Bible Lesson: Deborah and Barak (Judges 4-5)

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The following lesson is a continuation of a study in Judges.  In the last lesson students discovered that the Israelites continued in a cycle of sin and when they cried out to God He sent them deliverers (judges) and rescued them.  In this lesson the students will learn that God uses people to show His glory.  The lesson was prepared for older students.  This is only a suggested guide.  Adapt the lesson for your ministry’s needs.

Bible Passage: Judges 4-5
Bible Story Title: Deborah and Barak
Target Age Group:  Ages 9-11 (3rd-5th Grade U.S.A.)
Target Time Frame: 60 Minutes
Original Teaching Context: Sunday School
Image Credits:  Sweet Publishing and Distant Shores Media

Supply List:  BiblesMap of land of Canaan, activity pages, pens/pencils.
Learning Goal:  Students will learn that God uses people to show His glory.
Learning Activity #1:  Activity pages  Use these pages as an activity for students while waiting for them to arrive.
Memory Verse:  Judges 2:18 “Whenever the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge, and He saved them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge. For the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who afflicted and oppressed them.” ESV
Bible Lesson:  Deborah and Barak (Judges 4-5)
 (Begin with prayer)
What is the goal or purpose of God’s plan?
God’s goal is to show His glory.
In the lives of people God works out His plan to show His glory.
What does it mean when we say ‘to show His glory’?  To show His glory is to reveal His greatness and power.  God is the creator of all things.  He is the One true God and has the authority to do whatever He pleases.
In our Bible lesson today we are going to see how God uses people to show His glory.
Bible Lesson:  Deborah & Barak
Let’s review the ABC’s of Judges. (Abandon, Bondage, Cried, Delivered, Ease)
Turn in your Bible to Judges 4.  Let’s read verses 1-3. Which of the ABC’s are in these verses:
A-Verse 1 “The Israelites once again did evil in the eyes of the Lord.”
B-Verse 2 “The LORD sold them into the hands of Jabin, a king of Canaan”
C-Verse 3 “Cruelly oppressed for 20 years, they cried to the LORD for help”
(Use a map showing Israel’s earlier settlements and point out the areas mentioned in the passage of Scripture.)
No matter how dark the world may seem because of people’s sin, God can still show His glory in the most dark and difficult times.
God’s people Israel had been given His promises.  Through God’s people the Savior would be born.  God’s people continually sinned and abandoned the One true God and became slaves to sin.  Nothing can stop God’s plan and through the wickedness and rebellion of His people He was able to reveal His glory.
During that 20 years God raised up another judge.  Let’s learn about this judge by reading verse 4-5.  Who is the judge? (Deborah) What do we learn about her? (She is a prophetess and people came to her to have their disputes decided)
A prophetess is a woman who receives God’s message for His people and she shares it.
(Judges 4:6-7) Deborah sends for a man named Barak who lived in Kedesh (Show on map).  When Barak arrives Deborah gives him God’s message.  Let’s read that message in the last part of verse 6 and 7.  Through Deborah God was going to lure Sisera and his army right to Barak and his army to defeat.
Read verse 8.  This verse seems to imply that Barak was too fearful to do what God had asked him to do.  However, in Hebrews 11 his name appears as a man who had faith (Heb. 11:32) even if it was as ‘small as a mustard seed’. (Matthew 17:20) He believed God could do what Deborah said, but his faith may have needed her presence because she was God’s instrument to speak His Word.  Sometimes in life we need to have people with a stronger faith than ours to help us in our time of difficulty.  As we grow in our faith we can step out in faith and trust God fully and not need someone to go with us to do what God has asked.
(Judges 4:9-13) Deborah agreed to go but since Barak was too fearful to go without Deborah a woman would receive the honor for killing Sisera.
When Sisera heard the news that Barak and his army had gone up to Mt.Tabor he gathered his army and went to the KishonRiver.
Let’s read Judges 4:14-16. In verse 14 whom did Deborah tell Barak had given Sisera into his hands and had gone on before him? (The LORD) Who routed Sisera’s army? (The LORD) In verse 16 how many soldiers survived? (None)
(Judges 4:17-23) All of Sisera’s soldiers had been defeated but he was able to escape.  He ran by foot to the tent of a woman named Jael.  When Jael saw Sisera she told him not to be afraid so he entered her tent.  She covered him and brought him milk to drink because he was thirsty.
Sisera asked Jael to stand at the doorway of her tent and if she is asked if anyone is there she is to tell them ‘no’.
Sisera fell asleep thinking he was safe from his enemies.  Meanwhile Jael takes a tent peg and ends his life while he is sleeping.
When Barak came into the territory that Jael lived she told him to come and see the man he was looking for.  When Barak looked inside her tent, there lay Sisera dead.  This is the woman who Deborah had prophesied that the LORD would use to kill Sisera because Barak was fearful.
In Judges 5 Deborah and Barak sing a song that honors God.  In the previous chapter we see how God used Deborah, Barak, and Jael to show His glory.  In this chapter we see that God also used these people to show His glory and to deliver Israel from their enemies:
Judges 5:9-Willing volunteers among the people
Judges 5:13-15a-Some came from Ephraim, Benjamin, Zebulun and Issachar
Judges 5:18-People of Zebulun risked their very lives so did Naphtali
Every Israelite had a choice to be used to show His glory or not.  Read these verses and see what we learn:
Judges 5:15b-17-Reuben stayed among the campfires; Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan; Dan & Asher remained by the coast
Judges 5:23-Meroz was cursed because they did not come to help the LORD
Today people can choose to believe and obey God or they can choose to reject Him.  Every person has a choice when they are introduced to Jesus, the Savior God promised to send. They can believe that He died on the cross for their sins, was buried and rose from the grave and be delivered from the bondage of sin and receive eternal life.  They can choose not to believe and remain a slave to sin and face God’s punishment for their sin.
If you are a believer God has created you to do His good work.  (Ephesians 2:10) You can choose to allow God to show His glory through you or you can refuse.  You will not lose your salvation but you will miss out on rewards when you stand before Jesus.
After studying these Scriptures would you say you are willing to allow God to show His glory through your life?  If so what are you doing each day to be used by Him?  Maybe you are not willing to be used by God to show His glory.  Let’s use the first few minutes of our prayer time to respond to God about what we discovered about our own hearts.
Close in prayer.
 Review Questions:

  1. What character traits about God do you see in these chapters?
  2. How can students your age be used by God to show His glory?
  3. Who was your favorite character in the lesson today and why?
  4. What are some reasons people give as to why they aren’t willing to serve God?
  5. How are you serving God?

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