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Answering The Atheist
December 9, 2007 / Volume 7, Issue 49

Can God stop iron chariots? He can do anything (Judges 4:13-16), but iron chariots are too hard for Him (Judges 1:19)? Is there a contradiction?

Certainly God is able to stop iron chariots and be victorious over them. Deborah and Barak went to battle in faith, and God gave them the victory (Judges 4:13-16)

But what about the iron chariots of Judges 1:19? Is it that God could not overcome them? See what the text says: "So the LORD was with Judah. And they drove out the mountaineers, but they could not drive out the inhabitants of the lowland, because they had chariots of iron." Who had trouble with the chariots, the LORD or the people of Judah? It does not say "He could not drive them out", but rather, "they could not drive them out".

As one follows through the rest of the chapter, it becomes apparent that none of the men of Israel approached the duty of driving the inhabitants of the land out with the certainty of faith. Time and again, we're told that they did not drive the inhabitants out (v 21, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33). God had given the land into Judah's hand (v 2), it was up to Judah to work to purge the land. It was not the LORD who failed, it was the men of Judah.

There is no contradiction.

This article is a response to Skeptic's Annotated Bible