Sorry for the lateness of this post. I have been quite sick this week, so it has been difficult getting things finished in a timely manner. Thank you for your understanding!
Have you ever been really good at something, but found someone else did what you should have—better? Was there something you were supposed to do, but didn’t feel like you could do very well—just to have someone else do it and they get the recognition? A bit humiliating, isn’t it? The heat and redness rise up your face in the realization of having goofed big time. This happened to Bible heroes, too. Pondering the next Big Bible Blunder, there were so many choices.
This time I decided to focus on Barak, the military leader of Israel in Judges 4. At one time in Israel’s history, there was odd sort of governmental system. God set judges over Israel as human conqueror or prophets of the Lord for them. Since they did not get rid of all the inhabitants of Canaan like they were supposed to under Joshua’s leadership, they reaped the consequences of the nuisances of the people who already lived there. Israel had a tendency to do what seemed right to each man. Not very orderly in my opinion. They would get into trouble, then God would send a deliverer to save them. In this case, Barak filled the deliverer role in Judges 5.
During this period of time, there was also a prophetess named Deborah. She would sit under a tree to judge various cases brought to her. Between the two of them, they kept order in the land. The Israelites called upon the Lord to deliver them from Jabin, King of Canaan who harshly held them captive are a result of their disobedience. One day, Barak was called by Deborah, the prophetess, to go up against Sisera and his army which God would deliver into Barak’s hand (verses 6 & 7). Her office as prophetess meant that she had a direct word from the Lord. That is why she called him to see her and hear what God had to say to him. For some reason, he felt tremendously inadequate. He also put her in God’s place by asking her to go with him. She was not God’s agent of deliverance, nor was she God. Deborah was simply God’s mouthpiece; she simply spoke what she heard from the Lord. Her response was, “Fine. I will go with you, but Israel will be delivered by the hand of a woman.” Ouch to his male ego! No glory that was normally due a military commander would be given to him. At that time, it was a man’s world and a man’s job to do. God put him in his place through women.
So what happened? Exactly as Deborah told him, a woman killed Sisera. Here’s how it went down: In Judges 5:18-22, Sisera had come into the camp of Israel looking for rest because he was exhausted. Jael, the wife of a man named Heber, saw Sisera, realizing he was an enemy. She invited him in, gave him wine to drink and a place in her tent to rest his head. When he was asleep, she took a hammer and a tent peg –those things were large and sharp—and bolted his head to the floor! As Barak came up to Jael’s tent and she ran out to meet him telling what had happened and showed him the evidence. There was nothing amazing like killing the commander in battle, in the manner most military leaders would valiantly do. Nope. Just a simple woman feigning hospitality, realizing the need to kill this guy. Barak’s army did take care of Sisera’s army killing them by the power of God. But there was not the usual glory he would have received. Humble pie was served as a lesson to Barak to do what God says to do, when He says to do it, the way He says to do it. Very simply put.
Sometimes we know there is something God wants us to do. For whatever excuse we give to not do it or ask someone to help us when He didn’t say to ask for help, we just don’t. God’s will and plan will be accomplished whether we do it or someone else does it. He will send someone else and let us know we should have done it. Humble pie. Ouch! Justly served. He wants us, the best one for the job to do it. Our gifts, talents and experiences are perfect for what He wants to accomplish through us. We may be capable of doing the task, but not as well without God’s Holy Spirit working through us. Sometimes we can’t do it even if it looks like we could. He reminds us we can do nothing on our own (John 15:5). Disobedience has a cost—a reminder of God’s sovereignty and who we are before Him. So the next time God send us to do something, we need to pray about it, do it, and give God the glory!
May God bless you!