First Week After Epiphany, Monday, January 10, 2022
After Ehud died, the Israelites again did what the LORD said was wrong. So [the LORD] let Jabin, a king of Canaan who ruled in the city of Hazor, defeat Israel. Sisera, who lived in Harosheth Haggoyim, was the commander of Jabin’s army. Because he had nine hundred iron chariots and was very cruel to the people of Israel for twenty years, they cried to the LORD for help.
A prophetess named Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, was judge of Israel at that time. Deborah would sit under the Palm Tree of Deborah, which was between the cities of Ramah and Bethel, in the mountains of Ephraim. And the people of Israel would come to her to settle their arguments.
Deborah sent a message to Barak son of Abinoam. Barak lived in the city of Kedesh, which is in the area of Naphtali. Deborah said to Barak, “The LORD, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go and gather ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them to Mount Tabor. I will make Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, and his chariots, and his army meet you at the Kishon River. I will hand Sisera over to you.’”
Then Barak said to Deborah, “I will go if you will go with me, but if you won’t go with me, I won’t go.”
“Of course I will go with you,” Deborah answered, “but you will not get credit for the victory. The LORD will let a woman defeat Sisera.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh. At Kedesh, Barak called the people of Zebulun and Naphtali together. From them, he gathered ten thousand men to follow him, and Deborah went with him also.
Now Heber the Kenite had left the other Kenites, the descendants of Hobab, Moses’ brother-in-law. Heber had put up his tent by the great tree in Zaanannim, near Kedesh.
When Sisera was told that Barak son of Abinoam had gone to Mount Tabor, Sisera gathered his nine hundred iron chariots and all the men with him, from Harosheth Haggoyim to the Kishon River.
Then Deborah said to Barak, “Get up! Today is the day the LORD will hand over Sisera. The LORD has already cleared the way for you.” So Barak led ten thousand men down Mount Tabor. As Barak approached, the LORD confused Sisera and his army and chariots. The LORD defeated them with the sword, but Sisera left his chariot and ran away on foot. Barak and his men chased Sisera’s chariots and army to Harosheth Haggoyim. With their swords they killed all of Sisera’s men; not one of them was left alive.
(New Century Version (NCV))
Loving Divine Family,
You call us forth into your sacred prayer space. You invite us to meditate with you among the trees. As we listen to their songs and wisdom, you breathe your love into us. Life-giving Spirit fills us. You teach us your ancient ways and wisdom and bring us Elders and mentors to help and guide us on our journey.
Thank you for the wise Elders, mentors, and prophets in our lives who speak your truth and love to us. Their words lift us up and remind us of who we are, your precious beloved children.
I hear your wisdom in the trees today, loving Yahweh, and thank you for…
We glory in you, God! The victory in our battles belongs only to you. You are always with us and see us safely to the end of each day. You stand watch when we are asleep, and not just over us, but over all our loved ones as well. Your love and mercy for us are endless. We praise you for your favour upon us, and journey in a good way today because of you.
With joy, we praise you!
Cherie and Donovan Mutschler
Other Lectionary Readings for Today: