Tuesday, April 04, 2017

"March On!"

Judges 4.2-3, 24 NASU

Pain photo from www.disaboom.com“…Jabin king of Canaan… oppressed the sons of Israel severely for twenty years.”


“The hands of the sons of Israel pressed heavier and heavier upon Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin the king of Canaan.”


Twenty years is a long time, especially long when living in servitude under the oppressive reign of a cruel dictator like “Jabin the king of Canaan.”  
Substitute any cruel dictator’s name for Jabin… Pharaoh, Herod, Nero, Stalin, Hitler, Ayotallah Kohomeini, Edi Amin, Saddam Hussein. History is filled with political bullies and murderers. 

Oppression can be psychological, as well as political. Many people live under the mental bondage resulting from dark and unhappy memories of the past. Broken promises, unfulfilled dreams, dashed hopes, desperate times, untrue friends, physical suffering, prolonged illness, family loss, financial despair, unresolved conflicts, open hostilities, mountainous debt, unyielding boredom, chronic pain… can weigh a soul down until it crumbles under the cruel and relentless pressure of mental oppression. Decades pass and the roots of hopelessness take firm grasp in the soil of a broken heart.

How did “the sons of Israel” overcome their oppressor? Where did Deborah, “a mother in Israel” (Judges 5.7), find the strength to lead Israel out from under the heavy hand of tyranny? What did it take to inspire a down-trodden nation to press “heavier and heavier upon Jabin the king of Canaan” until its people reversed the balance of power?

I found a little secret in the text of Deborah’s victory song:

“O my soul, march on with strength.”
Judges 5.21c

Sometimes you must simply command your soul to “march on.” There are no other answers. Refuse despair. Hang on to hope. Eventually, personal resolve weighs “heavier and heavier” than the oppression you face.

Trust Jesus and make yourself… “march on!”
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I found the black and white photograph entitled "Pain" at Disaboom - Live Forward community dedicated to "connecting the millions touched by disability".

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