Scripture Read: Judges 4:6-9 Now she sent and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali, and said to him, “Behold, the Lord, the God of Israel, has commanded, ‘Go and march to Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men from the sons of Naphtali and from the sons of Zebulun. ‘I will draw out to you Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his many troops to the river Kishon, and I will give him into your hand.’ ” Then Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” She said, “I will surely go with you; nevertheless, the honor shall not be yours on the journey that you are about to take, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hands of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh.
Application: Lord as we continue reading about Deborah, help us to not only see the greatness of her character, let us determine to imitate those things in her that please You. Deborah ignored the society she lived in; as far as how it influenced her, she walked with God. She demonstrated her maturity that all great leaders possess as she waited on God. Through 20 years of living under the harsh rule of an idolatress King, she was faithful to minister until God spoke and commanded her to help the nation of Israel to be delivered. In this next section of scripture she reveals her humility. This is a character trait that is essential in every leader, but many times is lacking. The limelight of leadership can deceive the leader into believing that he or she is what is important. The leader that possesses this quality understands what is important is the plan of God and they have been privileged to be included in the execution of that plan. They see themselves as an important part, yes, but only because God has made them important. Deborah expresses her humility clearly in her response to Barak’s response to her counsel. Barak failed to “step up” and be the leader that God intended him to be. I will return to that thought in a moment, but first I would like to celebrate what Deborah shows us.
Not only did Deborah walk with God, waited on God, she also worked for God! No ego involved, she did not put Barak down and tell him how much better she is. She made it clear to him that he was missing what God had intended and due to that God will give the victory to someone else! When we think of Deborah working for God, with no personal agenda we should ask ourselves: Am I doing this to be appreciated? When our agenda is His agenda appreciation is never the drive. Sure it feels good, but just the knowledge that He is pleased is enough, even if no one else appreciates it. Lastly the sad truth we must learn from Barak is that many times we rob what God desires to do in our lives by our unwillingness to just follow Him and do what He says.
Meditation Questions: How important is it to you that people notice what you do and thank you for it? When someone else is being honored, does that give you joy? When your name is left out of a list of a group that is being honored, how do you handle that? Have you ever done something that God led you to do and kept it a secret just between you and He? How often do you take your agenda to God and ask Him to mold it to His agenda? What does that say?