Where or in Whom Are We Placing Our Trust?
By Jennifer Slattery
“Barak said to her, ‘If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.” Judges 4:8
Trust comes hardest when we feel our lives or livelihood are threatened. I like to think I’m a risk taker, that I’d willingly go wherever and whenever God leads, but sometimes I struggle simply to share my faith with a neighbor or friend.
Needless to say, if I’d been Barak, the ancient Hebrew assigned to conquer the mighty nation that had been tormenting my people for two decades, I’d be nervous.
Though Scripture doesn’t tell us exactly how the Israelites suffered, we know their oppressors were powerful, cruel, and maintained a 900-iron-chariot army. Consider the psychological strain of living under such complete domination for twenty years. The Israelites had probably developed a victim’s mentality that led them to believe they were hopelessly defeated.
I’m not surprised, then, that Barak, God’s chosen warrior, struggled to obey. We’re not told whether or not he had military training or experience. All we know is that God called him to lead His army against a greatly feared pagan nation.
Barak’s response, when Deborah, God’s prophet, told him his assignment: “Fine. I’ll go, but only if you go with me” (Judges 4:8, paraphrased). Some suggest he was merely looking for support, but God had already taken care of that. He wasn’t sending Barak to war alone; 10,000 men were to fight alongside him.
Barak wanted Deborah, Israel’s judge and a well-respected and trusted prophet, to go with him. Could it be that Barak’s trust rested more in Deborah, God’s prophet, than in the Almighty Himself?
Sometimes it’s easier to trust something tangible, like a person or our job, rather than an unseen God. When that happens, it’s time to pause and remember who God is—His power, love, and faithfulness. The same God that brought victory to Barak and his men will do the same for us. In Him, we can move from fear to faith.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, is the author of eight contemporary novels, and helped write Wholly Loved’s Bible study based on the life of Sarai (Gen. 12-23) titled Becoming His Princess, releasing in the spring/summer of 2019. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com.
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