Scripture: Judges 4-5, Psalm 39, 41, 1 Corinthians 13

Judges 4:8-9 Then Barak replied, “I will go if you go with me, but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go either.” 

9 She answered, “All right, I will go with you, but you won’t get any credit for the victory, because the Lord will hand Sisera over to a woman.” So Deborah set off for Kedesh with Barak. 

Observation/application

Rather than simply obeying God, Barak made a deal: “I’ll obey God if…” 

Deborah, a prophet and judge in Israel, tells Barak he is to gather an army and attack the enemy who vastly outnumbers him and is better equipped.  To Barak, it might have seemed like a suicide mission.  He responds that he’ll go only if Deborah goes with him.  It seems that Barak wanted the guarantee of the prophet’s presence.  The word of the Lord wasn’t enough.

Deborah agrees to go, but tells Barak that he won’t get the credit for the victory; that will go to a woman!  Obviously, Barak is being reprimanded and punished.  For what?  We’re better together—why was he being punished for asking Deborah along?

I think Barak showed a lack of faith.  Deborah had prophesied that he should gather the army and the Lord promised, “I will give you victory over him (King Jabin).”  Rather than trusting God and obeying His command and believing His promise, Barak put his own condition upon obedience.  “I’ll obey God if…”  

In the words of Darth Vader, “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”    

God came through on His end of the deal—He gave Barak victory over his enemies.  But as predicted, Barak did not get the credit for killing the enemy king—that went to a woman.  

The lesson for me: trust and obey.  Don’t put conditions upon your obedience.  “I’ll obey God if…”  Have the courage and faith to simply obey.

Prayer: Lord, give me the courage and faith to simply obey you without conditions.  I never want to say, “I’ll obey God if…”  I want to simply trust and obey.