“Then the survivors came down, the people against the nobles (the warring kings of Canaan).” (Judges Chap 5)
Who were the survivors? Those who had been victimized, terrorized, and marginalized. The survivors in the land of Israel were those tough, gritty, courageous people who had been through war, experienced helplessness and despair, and managed to live through it.
Debra was a “mother in Israel,” who rose to the challenge of leading an army of survivors against an invader who sought to plunder her land. In the midst of war, Debra tells the story in song:
“O my soul, march on in strength! Then the horses’ hooves pounded. The galloping, galloping of his (the Canaanite king’s) steeds.”
And then she pronounces a blessing—not upon the kings who came to her side, nor the mighty men of valor whom the survivors stirred to action, but upon another courageous woman , Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite. Though Heber was known to “ride the fence” in the battle between Israel and the kings of Canaan who sought to destroy them, his wife was willing to take an open stand on behalf of God’s chosen people by driving a stake through the head of Canaan’s mighty warrior, Sisera.
The purpose of Sisera is voiced by his mother who waits in vain for his chariot to return to her door. She quenches her fears with these words:
“Are they (the Canaanite army) not finding and dividing the spoil; to every man a girl or two; for Sisera, plunder of dyed garments, Plunder of garments embroidered and dyed, Two pieces of dyed embroidery for the next of the looter?”
Those who support the aggressor in his acts of victimization may think they are “riding the fence” but in reality they have taken their stand, just as Sisera’s mother did in supporting her son in his quest for plunder of the innocents.
Debra concludes her song with these words:
“Thus let all Your enemies perish, O Lord! But let those who love Him be like the sun when it comes out in full strength.”
Rise up, O blessed survivors, and take a stand for others who have been victimized, marginalized, and terrorized and you will “be like the sun when it comes out in full strength.”
*All scriptural references are from the Book of Judges.