Daily Thought for: 16th March

DEBORAH AND BARAK: ‘I WILL HONOUR’

Judges 4. 4-9, 13-24; 5. 12-27, 31 

Deborah’s song provides, amongst other things, an honours list, a foreshadowing of the judgment seat of Christ; see also 2 Sam. 23, Heb. 11, Rom. 16 and 2 Tim. 4. 

Barak. His faith was not strong, and he was evidently hesitant and apprehensive, even reluctant, about leading Israel against the enemy. Deborah’s assistance and involvement at the head of the army was the decisive factor in his obedience to the divine summons; without this he was not prepared to act, Judg. 4. 8. In Hebrews chapter 11 there are 3 couplets of men of faith, each reversed chronologically, so as to give prominence to the man of stronger faith; and so we read ‘Gideon and Barak’, v. 32. Barak did gain the victory, nevertheless, and thus gained ‘a good report through faith’, Heb. 11. 39. 

Jael is to be compared to Rahab. Loyalty to God took precedence over any other, whether to country or guest (very important in Eastern customs). As with Ehud, her action was decisive, 3. 22; 4. 21. There can be no half measures with evil. Compromise is fatal. Thus she is honoured—blessed above women in the tent, 5. 24. 

Israel’s tribes. (i) Some of the tribes stayed away from the battle—Reuben, Dan, and Asher, 5. 16-17. We may compare the nobleman’s servant in the parable who returned to his master only the pound he had been given, Luke 19. 20-26. These tribes are reproved; cf. 1 Cor. 3. 15. 

(ii) Other tribes enlisted in the battle—Machir (Manasseh), Issachar, etc., 5. 14-15. We may compare Luke, ‘Only Luke is with me’, 2 Tim. 4. 11; and Phoebe, a ‘succourer of many’, Rom. 16. 1-3. Here are those ‘mentioned in despatches’

(iii) Two tribes, Zebulun and Naphtali, bore the brunt of the battle and ‘jeoparded their lives unto death’, v. 18. We may compare, likewise, Priscilla and Aquila who ‘risked their own necks’ for Paul, Rom. 16. 3-4, NASB; Abishai who heroically saved David’s life, 2 Sam. 21. 16-17, and David himself, who single-handedly confronted Goliath, 1 Sam. 17. These are awarded ‘highest honours’ in the roll of honour. 

 

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