God’s Covenant with Judges and Kings

Key Verse: “Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go. And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.”
—Judges 4:8,9

Selected Scripture:
Judges 4:4-10, 12-16

WHEN JABIN BROUGHT the Israelites under his subjection, the individual who had the greatest degree of appreciation for the Divine laws, and an ability to stimulate the people back to the worship of the Heavenly Father, was a woman named Deborah. She also served as one of Israel’s judges. (Judg. 4:4) She was employed by the Heavenly Father to speak to the people and communicate messages with regard to his plan and purposes in freeing them from servitude.—vs. 5

“She sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Ke¬≠desh¬≠naphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the Lord God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?”—vs. 6

It would not do to have a woman as the commander of the army, and thus Deborah nominated Barak for this purpose. God was involved in Deborah’s pronouncements, as she indicated the order to raise an army to fight against Jabin’s forces was not of her doing, but rather, ‘Hath not the Lord God of Israel commanded,’ and “I will deliver him into thine hand,” rightfully ascribing this direction to the proper source.—vs. 7

Our Key Verse gives insight with regard to Barak in terms of his own feelings about the matter, as well as the esteem in which he held Deborah. He insisted that her presence with him in battle would be necessary. She had great faith and courage and indicated that she would indeed go with Barak, but he would be unable to get the credit for the victory which was sure to follow. Barak did not have the same degree of courage as Deborah manifested, although his faith is cited in the New Testament.—Heb. 11:32

The ultimate defeat of Israel’s enemies is recorded in the details given in the balance of the chapter. (Judg. 4:10-24) Deborah’s prediction that, because of Barak’s reluctance to lead (vs. 9), credit for the victory over Sisera would be given to a woman, was fulfilled as Jael slew him while he was asleep in her tent.—vs. 21

An important principle for believers today is the realization that when it comes to the selection of the body of Christ, faithfulness has a higher priority than fleshly distinctions. “As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3:27-29) “As the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”—I Cor. 12:12,13

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