“Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the LORD will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh.
Good News Translation
She answered, “All right, I will go with you, but you won’t get any credit for the victory, because the LORD will hand Sisera over to a woman.” So Deborah set off for Kedesh with Barak.
Contemporary English Version
“All right, I’ll go!” she replied. “But I’m warning you that the LORD is going to let a woman defeat Sisera, and no one will honor you for winning the battle.” Deborah and Barak left for Kedesh,
Israel was led by three arms of governance. The Administrative arm later was led by a king. The prophetic arm was led by a prophet whoever God chose. The priestly led by Levites and Aaron’s family. Moses, Joshua, and Samuel among others served as the Prophet and Administrator of the people. This great position of prophet and administrator that Moses held, was at the time of our passage today held by a woman, Deborah. Deborah was the administrative leader known as Judge, but she was also a prophet. The office of the prophet was held in the highest honor in comparison to the other two offices. Yet in this honorable office, God placed a woman. A woman, yes, a woman. Yet we think they can’t be administrators or even prophets.
In our passage today, God sends Deborah to ask Barak to go to war against King Sisera the enemy of Israel. God through Deborah assures Barak that he will be victorious because God will actually do the fighting. Barak responds with reluctance, lack of faith in God, more faith in Deborah than God and he delegates God-given duty. God warns him immediately through Deborah, that his attitude and response to God’s commission and promise is not good. That kind of response could easily cause God to abandon him. Barak doesn’t repent and Deborah assures him that there will be victory, but he will not be credited with that victory. You will win but without honor!
Barak tells Deborah that he will only go to battle if Deborah goes with him. That meant he doubted God’s promise. That means he was more comfortable with Deborah’s presence than God’s. God through Deborah tells him that he will go to the battle and win, but honor will go to an inferior person according to Jewish culture. You will win but without honor!
When they went to battle, God frustrated Sisera and his army and they escaped. Sisera’s army was destroyed by the Israelites. Sisera ran to Jael’s house. Jael tricked Sisera and she then killed him by driving a peg through his temples. When Barak arrived Israel was victorious but honor went to Jael and not him. You will win but without honor!
If you do not trust God and you use the wrong short cuts in life, you may win resources and look wealthy and comfortable, but without the true pleasure of honor. You will win but without honor! You can cheat and pass exams, but you will never be able to explain yourself. You will fail at work. You will dodge assignments that require demonstration of knowledge. You will win but without honor! You can have a peaceful family or working environment where you threaten everyone to submission. You will get the calm but an uneasy calm that is deeply toxic and unfulfilling. You will win but without honor!
You can deceive someone into marriage, but once they discover the deception, you will never know happiness. You will win but without honor! You can borrow money using deceptive anecdotes, then spend time running away from lenders. You will never know happiness. You will win but without honor! You can gain wealth by making sacrifices as advised by witches. after that you will be haunted all the days of your life. You will see ghosts and hear voices. You will dream scary dreams every night. You will win but without honor!
Barak wanted the easy way. He didn’t want to go to war and sweat it out. He wanted Deborah to come to make things easy by her presence. He lacked self-confidence. He lacked faith in God. This success was out of God’s doing. God was willing to let Barak be honored. But Barak did not take the path God prescribed. Therefore he won but didn’t really win. You will win but without honor!
If you do not follow God’s prescription in life, you will fail. But if you win, it will be an empty victory. You will win but without honor. If you do not forgive, God will destroy you, but if He lets you win, it’s an empty win. You will win but without honor! If you revenge God will either punish you or let you have an empty victory. The victory does not excite nor inspire. You will make big achievements and great milestones but no one notices or cares about it. You will not find a sense of achievement. You will win but without honor!
Dear God, save me from the mistake Barak made. Let me trust You and do exactly what you want me to do. May whatever victory you give, come with honor, in Jesus’ name, Amen!
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