March 19, 2017

March 19, 2017


Focus Verse: “Barak said to her, ‘If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”’
Judges 4:8


I don’t think it’s possible for us to understand how amazing this passage is in our western culture today. I know that some would argue that women’s rights aren’t where they need to be (but then again, whose rights are where they need to be?), but we are so much farther in that area than these cultures back then, so it makes it very difficult for us to understand the difficulty in this verse.


A quick recap in case you aren’t reading the entirety of this section: the Israelites are being oppressed by the Canaanites, so the prophetess Deborah give Barak a message from the Lord (paraphrasing): “Go fight them and win!” To this response we see today’s focus verse.


I have seen some commentaries on this passage criticize Barak. He didn’t have the faith to go by himself so he had to ask the help of a woman (insert snide, snarky voice on “woman”). I don’t know if I buy that though. Sure, maybe Barak was a little scared and wanted a little reassurance from someone he knew had heard from God, but it’s not like Deborah was going to pick up a sword and fight with him. Maybe she would have, I guess prophetesses could have been a lot tougher back then.


I see humility when I look at Barak though. Enough humility to admit that he doesn’t have all of the answers, but he can recognize someone who has clearly heard from the Lord. Enough humility to say, “I don’t need the glory, I need God to move on my behalf.” His desire to see God save Israel was greater than any cultural backlash that would come from taking orders from a woman. It’s amazing what can happen when our pride takes a backseat to our desire for God.


Which one of those is driving you today? Your pride or your desire for God?

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