On Shirking Duty
Judges 5:12-22
Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead your captivity captive, you son of Abinoam.…

There is a touch of scorn, as well as of reproach, in the question of the prophetess. And the question is one which, in the spirit of it, may be addressed to thousands to-day. There is a great battle now going on in the world — the battle between truth and error, right and wrong, love and misery. The conflict involves self-denial; and we have simply no right to "abide in the sheepfolds."

I. WE HAVE NO RIGHT TO SACRIFICE DUTY TO COMFORT. We are all tempted thus to prefer our own ease to the doing of our duty. There are multitudes, indeed, who will sacrifice comfort for the sake of some selfish end: their love of money, or of fame, or of pleasure, will lead them to take upon themselves a large amount of toil and trouble. But when it is a question of simple duty there are many who will shirk such duties rather than sacrifice their own personal ease. They would like to do good in the world; but it is too much trouble! Many a man shirks the duties of citizenship on the plea that he has no ambition to distinguish himself in public life. He finds his fireside very comfortable; the bosom of his family is his "sheepfold." Others shirk their duty to the Church and the cause of Christ simply through their love of selfish ease; they will not take the trouble to "do good as they have opportunity."

II. WE HAVE NO RIGHT TO SACRIFICE DUTY TO PEACE. It is right that you should shrink from the din of controversy and strife, and that you should prefer to live in concord with your neighbours; but it is wrong that, on this account, you should withhold your testimony and your influence from the cause of truth and justice.

III. WE HAVE NO RIGHT TO SACRIFICE DUTY TO GAIN. When Christ calls you into the conflict against the world's evil, when He calls you to protest by your own example against all dishonesty and falsehood, then you must be prepared to sacrifice some of the profits which fall to the lot of less scrupulous men, and you must be content, if necessary, with a smaller sheepfold.

(T. C. Finlayson.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam.

WEB: 'Awake, awake, Deborah! Awake, awake, utter a song! Arise, Barak, and lead away your captives, you son of Abinoam.'

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