June 26 | Bible in a Year: Job 5-7; Acts 8:1-25
March on, my soul; be strong!
READ JUDGES 5:19–21
In 2012, Phillips, Craig and Dean released their song “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again.” It was inspired by the true story of a heart surgeon. After removing a patient’s heart to repair it, the surgeon returned it to the chest and began gently massaging it back to life. But the heart wouldn’t restart. More intense measures followed, but the heart still wouldn’t beat. Finally, the surgeon knelt next to the unconscious patient and spoke to her: “Miss Johnson,” he said, “this is your surgeon. The operation went perfectly. Your heart has been repaired. Now tell your heart to beat again.” Her heart began to beat.
The idea that we could tell our physical heart to do something might seem strange, but it has spiritual parallels. “Why, my soul, are you downcast?” the psalmist says to himself. “Put your hope in God” (Psalm 42:5). “Return to your rest, my soul,” says another, “for the LORD has been good to you” (116:7). After beating Israel’s enemies in war, Deborah, a judge, revealed that she too had spoken to her heart during battle. “March on, my soul,” she told it, “be strong!” (Judges 5:21), because the Lord had promised victory (4:6-7).
Our capable Surgeon has mended our heart (Psalm 103:3). So when fear, depression, or condemnation come, perhaps we too should address our souls and say: March on! Be strong! Feeble heart, beat again.
By Sheridan Voysey
REFLECT & PRAY
Master Physician, thank You for being with me in every trial and battle. Because of Your promised presence, I will direct my soul to act bravely.
What was your first response to the surgeon’s words to the patient? What words from Scripture do you need to speak to your soul today?
Today’s passage (Judges 5:19-21) is part of the Song of Deborah (vv. 1-31), sung by Deborah and Barak after they were victorious over the Canaanites (4:23-24). We first read of Deborah in Judges 4 and learn she was a prophetess, Lappidoth’s wife, and a judge (the only female judge in the book of Judges) who settled disputes among the Israelites (vv. 4-5). She served during a time when, once again, “the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD,” were oppressed, and cried out to God (vv. 1-3). In this case, Jabin, king of Canaan, had been oppressing the Israelites for twenty years. Deborah was holding court when she sent for Barak (son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali) and gave him God’s instructions to assemble an army to attack Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army. Barak agreed only on the condition that Deborah accompany him. She did, and the army was defeated. Alyson Kieda