Judges 4 Devotional
By Pastor Lawrence
Walking with God is not always easy, nor is it comfortable, for oftentimes the Lord calls on us to do the very things that we fear in order to lessen our fear of man and increase the fear of God in us. What Deborah was asking Barak to do that day really made no sense to him at all as a commander of an army. Even though he had ten thousands soldiers at his disposal, they stood no chance against an army of nine hundred iron chariots. And the Lord, through Deborah, was telling Barak to remove his army from the high ground on Mt. Tabor and march them across an open plain for twelve miles to face these iron chariots on a plain in which they could do the most carnal damage. To Barak it seemed suicidal, like Pickett’s charge during the battle of Gettysburg when Robert E. Lee commanded his men to march across an open field with no protection which resulted in 2700 casualties that day.
In this case, the difference was that the Lord was assuring Barak through Deborah’s prophecy that they would be successful. But Barak would have to walk by faith in order to accomplish this task. At first, he failed the test and refused to go unless Deborah accompanied him, which would lead to a loss of glory on his part. Nevertheless, he did eventually obey the Lord and followed God’s instructions to a “T.” And the Lord did as he promised and intervened in the battle halting those iron chariots in their tracks. In the following chapter, we’re told that the Lord caused a sudden storm to come across the battlefield that afternoon causing a flashflood which rendered the chariots useless in the muck and the mud. During that freak storm, the Israelites killed every single man who stood against them except one, and the Lord proved once again that his Word never fails.
The only man who escaped was the leader of the Canaanites himself, Sisera, who made his way to a tent of one whom he thought to be a friend of the Canaanites. But even that “chance” encounter was sovereignly administered by the Lord, and the woman Jael was used by the Lord to kill this crafty individual with a tent peg while he was sleeping under her care, proving that the glory does not belong unto men but unto God. And as David says in Psalm 20:7, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
Who knows what the Lord is planning to do today and how he will carry out his glorious and mysterious will. He doesn’t always tell us the secret things that he plans to do, but he has given to us and to our children his revealed will, and we are told to listen and to obey his will, even when it doesn’t fully make sense to us, for God’s way is always good and God always keeps his promises.