As the people of Israel came to Deborah for wisdom and advice, one man who didn’t go to Deborah was Barak, the son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali. Deborah knew that God was speaking to him, but he wasn’t responding. So she sent word for him to come to her so that she might reiterate what God was telling him to do.
“Has not the LORD, the God of Israel, commanded you, ‘Go, gather your men at Mount Tabor, taking 10,000 from the people of Naphtali and the people of Zebulun. And I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to meet you by the river Kishon with his chariots and his troops, and I will give him into your hand’?” (Judges 4:6-7 ESV)
Not only had God given Barak and order, but He’d also given him a promise. If he went, God would give him a victory. But Barak ignored God, and even when pressed by Deborah, he still expressed fear and reluctance. He said he would only go if Deborah went with him. He wouldn’t go without her.
Deborah agreed, but she warned him that if she went, he would not receive the glory of the battle, for God would deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman. Apparently, Barak didn’t care, so Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kadesh in order that he and his army might fight Sisera and his army.
It’s easy for us to judge Barak and wonder at his cowardice, but how many times has God given us an order and rather than obey, we tremble in fear? Let us pray that God will give us the courage of Deborah that we might not fear to fight against our enemies.
Read about Deborah and Barak: Judges 4
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