Pastor Lynda MacDonald, Nova Scotia
We used to sing a song “send Judah first that the battle will be won”. I never really understood the meaning behind that chorus until I began to study the Old Testament through a Hebraic mind set (understanding it through the background of the Hebrew people).
In the book of Judges1: 1-12, Israel is preparing for battle and they inquire of the Lord, Who will be the first to go up and fight for us against the Canaanites? The Lord tells them ...Judah is to go. Later, in Judges 20:18 we find, ...who of us shall go first to fight against the Tribe of Benjamin? The Lord replied, “Judah is to go first”.
There were twelve tribes of Israel. So why would Judah be called to go up first? The Hebrew word translated as Judah is used many times in English as PRAISE. So the scripture could be translated as, LET PRAISE GO UP FIRST. This is good advice when we are looking at a battle, in the middle of a battle or after a battle is over. We need to praise (worship) Him continually. This acknowledges that God is our source no matter what is happening in our life.
Back to the song at the first of this article ‘send praise first that the battle will be won”. Now- I understand more clearly the meaning of this line in the song.
Common sense would dictate that the front line of attack and defence should be a fighting group but God knows the best battle plan and He sent Judah to go before the children of Israel so that praise and worship preceded the Israelites.
His plan is ageless and it always works.
I want to encourage you. In the middle of your battle, release praise (Judah) to go up first.At the first sign of a mental, spiritual or verbal battle – release praise. Let the praises of God flow out of your mouth. Let the praises of God pour out of your inner being like a river (John 7:38). I like what Joyce Myers says “run to the throne before you run to the phone”. God loves this kind of praise and this type of heart. He loves that before you put your own emotions and ideas first, you lift yourself up to Him. It is this kind of faith-building praise that will sustain you while you wait on God. This is the kind of praise that will keep you staying focused on God’s promise, His plan, and His provisions. The neat thing is that you will begin to notice that you have a mighty partner in this battle –a partner that cannot be beaten. He is the Almighty God (El Gabbor). He cannot lose a battle.
I would like to end this article with another worship song “We bring the sacrifice of praise into the House of the LORD (repeat) and we offer up to You the sacrifices of thanksgiving and we offer up to You the sacrifices of joy”. A sacrifice is that which costs us –it doesn’t come easy.
A great book to read is "Let Judah Go Up First" by Dr. Roy Blizzard. It provides the background through the Hebrew language to understand why God would choose Judah to go before the warriors.