September 28, 2020

Without Deborah

 Devotion for the Week...

A few years ago I was at a women's retreat and one of the speakers talked about the story of Barak, from the book of Judges. Here's the start of the story: 

"Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, was a prophet who was judging Israel at that time. She would sit under the Palm of Deborah, between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites would go to her for judgment. One day she sent for Barak son of Abinoam, who lived in Kedesh in the land of Naphtali. She said to him, 'This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: Call out 10,000 warriors from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun at Mount Tabor. And I will call out Sisera, commander of Jabin’s army, along with his chariots and warriors, to the Kishon River. There I will give you victory over him.' 

Barak told her, 'I will go, but only if you go with me.'

'Very well,” she replied, “I will go with you. But you will receive no honor in this venture, for the Lord’s victory over Sisera will be at the hands of a woman'" (Judges 4:4-9).

The speaker at the women's retreat spent a good 15 minutes or more emphasizing the importance of friendship and how valuable it is that we have friends who will go with us through life. She kept repeating Barak's line that he would only go if Deborah would go with him. It drove me crazy because Barak was not commended for his response - he was called out for it!

Barak's response was not a beautiful expression of his friendship with Deborah, it was a sign that he put more trust in her than he did in God. How easy is it to do that?? We can see the people around us. We know their skills and temperaments. We know what we can expect of them and how they will be able to help us. It's harder to trust in God, whom we can't see, when He's asking us to do something scary or hard.

God had already guaranteed Barak the victory, as Deborah had explained to him. God (and therefore Barak) didn't need Deborah for the victory. When Barak said he would only go if Deborah went, too, she did agree to go, but she also told him that the glory for the victory would go to someone else, not to him, because of his lack of faith. Thankfully, God understands when our faith is a little lacking, though that does sometimes mean we lose out on some blessings that could otherwise have been ours.

When God asks us to do something, do we put our trust in Him? Or do we look around for someone else to go with us as an extra talisman, or a little reassurance that things will go according to plan? Never mind that it's His plan to begin with, right? We want that extra security if we can get it.

If God asks us to do something, we can trust He will provide all we need |
Background quilt is Windows

Having friends is wonderful and life is better when we have others to share the burdens and triumphs with, there's no reason to deny that. But if God asks us to do something, we can trust that He will provide all we need to do it, even without Deborah.

1 comment:

  1. Leanne, I wrote to you earlier in the year, asking about using your quotes on my Caring Bridge page. God has asked me to trust Him with breast cancer. After 24 weeks of chemo that was hard beyond words and a double mastectomy,I can tell you that God provided. Many times I cried and told my husband that I couldn't do any more; yet each week I did because He provided the strength I needed. I still have 28 days of radiation to do, and I know He will provide for me then. When He asks us to do something, He WILL provide!!! He will never leave us to do it alone!


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