March 9, 2022
Thank you for praying for our prodigals and for revival. Prayer is a resource graciously given to us by God for the furtherance of His kingdom. We need to continually avail ourselves of it!
When you read the story of Barak in Judges 4, you might question why he is among the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11. One lesson that can be learned is that true faith utilizes the resources that God provides. Barak did that!
The Bible says, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30, emphasis added).
In the case of Barak, God provided him with a good woman, with a woman who feared the Lord! Her name was Deborah. She was not his wife, but she was a judge in Israel and was used by God to partner with him in defeating the enemy (Judges 4:4-5).
How did this all work out?
Israel was under the oppression of Jabin king of Canaan and his army leader Sisera for 20 years. They had 900 chariots of iron and acted with great cruelty (Judges 4:2-3). It was Deborah who was the prophetess. She was the judge of Israel. She heard from the Lord and summoned Barak into action.
Barak needed to listen to what she said, because she was God’s messenger in his life. She informed him that he was God’s man for the task. “Has not the LORD, the God of Israel, commanded you” (Judges 4:6).
Deborah was quite clear that if she went into battle with Barak he would not receive the honor for the victory. “For the LORD will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman” (Judges 4:9). This didn’t matter to Barak. He wasn’t interested in getting the credit, he just wanted Israel to be free, which is another indicator of true faith. And that is exactly what happened.
The words of Deborah revealed her faith. She said, “Up! For this is the day in which the LORD has given Sisera into your hand. Does not the LORD go out before you?” (Judges 4:14). In her mind the battle was won by God before it even happened.
It is good that Barak didn’t scoff, minimize, or disregard the resource that God brought into his life. He could have tried to do it alone, but she was God’s answer to the present need. He could have acted in pride, but he chose faith.
This story elevates the value of God-fearing women, and shows what can be accomplished when a life is surrendered to the Lord. She was the means of Israel's victory. And the reason Barak is highlighted in Hebrews 11 was because of his willingness to act in faith by taking her advice.
Discerning the voice of God in your life is crucial, and recognizing who He uses to speak that truth is equally important. God’s Word is the final authority, and the godly people He has put around you are there to help you in your faith-walk.
May we all be Barak-like in our faith and utilize the resources that God gives for us to accomplish His kingdom work!
Love in Christ,