Daily Devotional

Judges 4:4‭-‬8 ESV

"Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment. She sent and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-Naphtali and said to him, “Has not the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded you, ‘Go, gather your men at Mount Tabor, taking 10,000 from the people of Naphtali and the people of Zebulun. And I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to meet you by the river Kishon with his chariots and his troops, and I will give him into your hand’?” Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, I will go, but if you will not go with me, I will not go.”

1954 William Golding wrote a book about some well-educated English schoolboys who crashed into the paradise of a deserted island with no adult survivors. Many of you know this literary timeless classic is called Lord of the Flies and it asked the question of whether or not the boys would use their background and knowledge to create a new society of peace or if they’d go in a different direction. As the story goes on, things increase in their intensity. Instead of creating harmony and peace, they fight for power. They hunt and kill each other. They even cut the head off a pig and sacrifice it to an imaginary “beast” on the island. The “beast” is a symbol for the evil in the heart of every person, even children, and ultimately shows the consequences of what the world would look like if all rule and authority were removed and rejected.
Golding’s book, which sold more than 15 million copies, is popular not because it’s so unbelievable but because it’s so terrifyingly possible. And there’s something we learn about the nature and condition of our own hearts. We are a people who constantly reject God’s rule and authority over our lives while we make decisions based on our individual beliefs of right and wrong. However, if we allow God to be the authority in ours lives we'll never be steered wrong. 

In today's passage, prior to Deborah arriving on the scene, God’s people lived under the oppression of King Jabin for 20 years. But Deborah knew God’s power was greater and her knowledge of Him gave her boldness to move forward. Barak, Deborah’s general, led the army of God’s people and at first glance, one may conclude that Deborah had faith and Barak was scared but Deborah, at that time, represented God. Barak just wanted to know that the word of God was with him. He obeyed and used his gifts for God. Like Barak, we at times need encouragement from someone else to do difficult things. The simple reminder that God is with us is sometimes all we need to confidently move forward.

English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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