Judges 4

Thank Heaven For Little Girls.

“Very well,” she replied, “I will go with you. But since you have made this choice, you will receive no honor. For the LORD’s victory over Sisera will be at the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh. ­– Judges 4:9 NLT

Barak hesitated. This valiant warrior was given the honor of leading God’s troops into battle against the Canaanites, but he hesitated. He told Deborah, the judge God had raised up to lead His people, that he would not go into battle unless she went with him. We don’t know the exact reason for his reluctance to fight without her, but it seems clear that he was unwilling to do the job he had been called to do. He tells Deborah, “I will go, but only if you go with me!” (Judges 4:9 NLT). For refusing to simply obey the command of God, Barak would lose the honor that would come with the defeat of the Canaanites. God had already assured him of victory, but Barak would not get to enjoy the glory that normally comes to the conquering hero. Instead, an obscure woman named Jael would get the glory and honor.

The key to this story is that God is the one who deserves recognition and honor. He is the one who rescued the Israelites from the hands of the Canaanites, in spite of their unfaithfulness. He rose up Deborah. He gave her the command to attack the Canaanites. He led her to choose Barak to lead the troops. He assured them of their victory. And he placed Jael at just the right place at the right time to ensure that Sisera would be killed. This was God’s battle and God’s victory. And He determined who He would use to bring it all about. The fact that He chose to use two women to bring about a resounding victory just further illustrates the power of God. In that culture, women were not held in high esteem. They were viewed as little more than property. But God chooses to use two women to bring about a great victory. It is Deborah, a woman, who leads Barak, the great warrior, into battle against the Canaanites. It is Jael, who eliminates the Canaanite threat once and for all by killing the Canaanite king Sisera.

But when all is said and done, it is God who gets the glory. “So on that day Israel saw God subdue Jabin, the Canaanite king” (Judges 4:23 NLT). God will use whoever He wills to accomplish His will. In this case He chose to use two women. Barak hesitated. Jael didn’t. But God gets all the glory. Deborah, Barak, and Jael would all eventually fade into obscurity, but not God. He would continue to lead and deliver His people just as He does today. And He is using men and women of all types to accomplish His will. Are you one of them?

Father, use me. I want to be like Jael, ready to do Your will – to get my hands dirty if necessary. I want to be used by You to bring about victory, but I want You to get all the glory. Raise up a host of men and women in Your church who will serve like Jael. There is work to be done and You will accomplish it through some unexpected sources. Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men