Devotion – Judges 4

Another interesting story of God accomplishing his purpose.  The first thing you ought to notice is that a woman is judging Israel.  Deborah was used of God to lead His people out of their oppression to the king of Canaan.  She was a prophetess, and God spoke to her and told her to command to find Barak and tell him to raise up an army of 10,000 soldiers so God could deliver the king of Canaan and his army into Barak’s hands.

Barak’s response is interesting.  We don’t know if he was motivated by fear, or doubt.  But instead of saying, “Yes, I’ll do whatever God has said.”  Barak said, “I’ll only go if you go with me, Deborah.”  God’s response to Barak is interesting as well.  He told Barak that He would have given the glory for conquering the king to Barak, but because of his lack of faith and obedience, a woman would get the credit.

And sure enough, when the battle was over, Sisera, the king of Canaan, fled to a woman named Jael, thinking he would be safe.  Jael covered him up and hid him, but when Sisera fell asleep, Jael stuck a tent peg in his temple and killed him.  God still accomplished his plan of delivering his people, and judging Sisera.  But He used someone else, and Barak would not be known for conquering the king.

This is a good story to teach us why faith and obedience are so important.  Many times God tells us what we should do in life, but we find it difficult to follow Him.  Fear of rejection and persecution grips us, and we find it difficult to obey God because of our phobias.  One specific area is that of witnessing.  God may tell you to witness with a friend, or share your testimony with another person.  At times, my response to God’s leading has been, “Who, me?  I can’t do that alone.  What will they think.  I’ll get made fun of.  And I won’t know what to say.”  There have been times in my life,  when I didn’t trust and obey God to witness to my friends.  Then a friend got saved, came forward in church, and was baptized.  But the person was saved because of someone else’s witness.  It was so exciting to see the person accept Christ, but disappointing that I didn’t get to be a part of it.  It would have been so cool for that person to thank me for sharing the love of Christ with him, but I didn’t do that.  I would even feel a little guilty after the person was saved, because I knew I should have shared with him.

In the end, God will accomplish His purpose, but when we don’t trust Him and obey, we will never live in the blessings that God has planned.  What fears do you have that are keeping you from obeying God in an area of your life?  What blessings are you missing as you choose not to run full force ahead into God’s will?

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