Read Judges 4:6-24
“Has Not the Lord Gone Out Before You?”
There is a contrast between the wisdom of Deborah and the hesitancy of Barak in Judges 4. Remember Deborah was a “prophetess” (Judges 4:4), indicating that she received revelations from the Lord. But more than just receiving those revelations, she trusted in them!
She told Barak to go up against Sisera, the commander of the army of Jabin, the king of Canaan. Did Barak jump at the opportunity to obey the will of the Lord? No! Instead, he said, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go” (Judges 4:8). Perhaps he wanted the mouthpiece of God with him, but even if Deborah had refused to go, God had already promised deliverance.
Deborah agrees to accompany Barak on the mission, while continuing to give God the credit for the eventual victory, telling him that “the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman” (Judges 4:9). When the arrived at Mount Tabor, Deborah again reminded Barak, “Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has delivered Sisera into your hand. Has not the Lord gone out before you?” (Judges 4:14). At no point did Deborah take any credit for herself, nor give Barak any credit for what was about to transpire. The victory belonged to the Lord!
The inspired author of Judges then recounts the defeat of Jabin’s army, and reveals the woman through whom Sisera himself would be defeated. Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, took the commander into her tent. She gave him milk rather than water, helping him slumber. When he was asleep, she drove a tent peg through his temple with a hammer, killing him. Just as Deborah had prophesied, Sisera was defeated by “the hand of a woman” (Judges 4:9).
Barak hesitated, and God gave the opportunity to another. Do you ever hesitate at the Lord’s commands and promises? He commands belief, repentance, confession of faith, and immersion in water. Have you obeyed? If not, what is holding you back? He promises eternal life to those who submit to Him. Why are you reluctant to take hold of that precious promise?