Lessons from Barak

After Joshua and his generation died out, the Hebrews went into this cycle of turning away from God, God using the surrounding nations to punish them, crying out to God, God sending a judge to lead them out, peace throughout the life of the judge, and then repeat. Judges 4 records one such story…

The Hebrews had been subject to a king in Canaan for 20 years. During that time, God began to raise up and groom Deborah as a leader and judge for his people. When the timing was right, God told Deborah to send for Barak with this message-

“The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: Go, take 10,000 men…” Judges 4:6

And on the orders went for how Barak would defeat their oppressors. Yet Barak told Deborah he would only go if she went with him. So was his request a deal breaker? Yes & no.

No, because God still defeated the enemy of Israel.

Yes, because God who intended to use Barak as the main character used a woman instead. Jael the wife of Heber a relative of Moses’ father-in-law allowed the leader of the enemy’s army to enter their family’s tent. While he rested, Jael took a hammer and drove a tent peg through the temple of Israel’s enemy.

Three things to consider-

  1. God had plans to deliver Israel and his objective was going to be met regardless of Barak’s answer.
  2. Barak missed out on the blessings God had for him because he moved forward with a lack of complete obedience.
  3. Barak put more confidence in Deborah’s presence beside him that God’s presence inside him. Sometimes I do the same thing… the visible verses the invisible… but his lack of trust kept him from the position God wanted to put him in.

Barak’s story teaches me so much even today. God has a plan and goals that will be carried out but he won’t force us to do so even when he calls us out for something specific. If we refuse, he will call another… but we will miss the blessings of being God’s instrument.

I don’t know about anyone else but I know I don’t want to say no… or give a ‘yes, but’ answer to God. Yet while I don’t want to follow in Barak’s footsteps, I fear I often do because I let ‘good sense’ and fear keep me from boldly going where God is sending me. Because of the Word, Barak’s name will always be associated with incomplete obedience… I don’t want my name added to the list.

Lord, increase my faith. Help me to boldly say ‘Yes’ no matter the circumstances…. Not so my name will be lifted high among men but that I might be a part of bringing you glory! Amen!


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