Judges 5 is Deborah’s song after the Israelites free themselves from the king of Canaan. She blesses the Lord because the people offered themselves willingly and because the leaders led.
The people were willing to rise up and go fight the Lord’s battle, but they needed a leader to follow. Someone had to step up, step out, be willing to declare that this was the day the Lord was going to set them free.
God chose the leader. We already talked about his hesitancy. He actually refused unless Deborah went with him. Deborah was the real leader. She knew what God was doing and she was willing to walk in what He was showing her.
Jesus did what the Father was doing. He watched and followed. He submitted to the Father’s will each day. Sometimes He acted out of compassion, which was more of a response to the heart of God than the actions He was taking at the moment. It was still at the Father’s impulse.
If the Lord shows us a thing that needs doing, we need to step out and lead the way. God can redirect us if that is not His intention. God can send others along to complete the task if He just needed a leader to start things.
While some tribes are praised for their valor in the fight, the tribe of Reuben is described as searching their hearts. They stayed behind and didn’t fight. They didn’t go out with the Lord when He called them to battle.
What did they find when they searched their hearts? It doesn’t say. Did they not believe? Were they afraid? Were they content under the rule of a king other than God?
The song ends with a proclamation of a curse on the enemies of the Lord and a blessing to His friends. While we all want to be God’s friends and walk in His abundant blessing, I don’t think we should curse His enemies.
We need to always remember that but for the grace of God, that would be us. We were all God’s enemies, by very nature children of wrath, until by God’s mercy we were made alive in Christ, and only because of His great love, the love that loved us while we were yet sinners.