Press On!

“The kings came and they came to blows; then came to blows the kings of Canaan. At Ta’anak, at the waters of Meggido. They took no silver plunder. From heaven they came to blows; the stars in their fixed movement came to blows with Sisera. The river Qishon washed them away; the ancient river, the river Qishon. Press on my soul with strength.”

(Judges 5:19-21)

As the song moves on, we find Deborah and Baraq painting us a picture of the whole natural order being mustered to fight against Sisera and his troops. Given that sometimes the angels are referred to as stars (Revelation 1:20), some might be tempted to suggest that this is a reference to the angels themselves fighting alongside of the troops of Israel, but given the context, which speaks of other elements of the natural order also raising up in Israel’s defense, such a view would be a bit of a stretch. Thus, we see the natural order being described as animating itself and going to war.

Though this section is poetic in nature, and thus highly stylized and filled with imagery, we need to be clear as to the principle that the natural order acts in obedience to the will of its maker. Does that mean that every tornado, flood, hurricane, tsunami, earthquake, or wildfire is God waging war against wicked man? No. Not in a direct sense at least (see John 9:1-3). At the same time, we do live in a fallen world and such calamities and crises are meant to remind us that this world is not the way it should be and that we are not to find our contentment here.

Thus, whether we are facing the enemies of God in physical battle or intellectual debate or whether we are burdened under the weight of care, grief, worry, loss, or trials of life, the answer is the same as is found here in the words of Deborah and Baraq. “Press on my soul with strength!” …recognizing too, that true strength to carry on comes from God through his Holy Spirit.

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