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Sunday, May 27, 2007


The story of Barak and the prophetess Deborah in the book of Judges fills me with some amusement, as well as food for thought. Deborah was judge over Israel at a time when they had been sold into the hands of Jabin, king of Canaan. The commander of Jabin's army was a man named Sisera who cruelly oppressed the Israelites.

Deborah sent for Barak and told him that the Lord had commanded him to take ten thousand men and go up against Sisera, and the Lord will deliver him into Barak's hands. Barak's response? "If you go with me, I will go; but if you don't go with me, I won't go." Now I could just picture Barak telling his buddies, "I'm going to fight Sisera, and Deborah is going with me." Their hoots of laughter would most likely ring out across the Kishon River. Then they would sober up and ask, "You're kidding, right?" But Barak's serious face would show he wasn't kidding.

Why would a man abandon his male ego and risk ridicule from his friends to ask a woman for help? I believe it could be one of two things: Deborah was a woman of power. As a judge, she settled disputes and people looked up to her. As a prophetess, her word could be trusted. But the other reason could be that Barak knew the anointing of the Lord was upon her, and he needed that if he was to succeed. But to ask a woman for help still seemed a bit cowardly. Nevertheless, the story goes on to say that Deborah accompanied Barak, and they defeated Sisera.

I think we could all, men and women, learn something from Barak. When we face tough issues, we should not be too proud to ask for help. And if it means asking someone who we might consider beneath us in station, let's do it. However, sometimes we might not find anyone we can ask. But Jesus is always there. He is the Christ, the anointed One. All power and wisdom reside in Him. We do not have to face our battles alone. We can say like Barak did: "If you go with me, I will go; but if you don't go with me, I won't go." It's the only sensible decision to make.
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