Summary: Apply an obscure OT story to today, using the various events in a parallel form.
“Hitting the Nail on the Head”
OBJECTIVE: To apply this obscure OT story to today, using the various events in a parallel to today.
INTRODUCTION: Illustration “The Story of Deborah, Barak and Jael” Constantly throughout the OT we find that Israel would fall out of favor with GOD and He would use outside armies to bring judgment upon them.
At this time, GOD had given Israel over to JABIN, king of the CANAANITES. Israel repented and begged for a reprieve from the LORD.
The LORD had appointed DEBORAH a judge over Israel.
She called for BARAK, a military leader of the Israelites and told him that GOD had commanded that they fight against and defeat the Canaanites army. He was to go to Mt. Tabor with ten thousand men and GOD would draw SISERA, the commander of JABIN’s army to that place for his defeat.
BARAK told DEBORAH that he would go only if she went with him. She agreed but told him that the honor of the battle would go to a woman and not him.
BARAK’s men defeated SISERA’s army, but SISERA himself fled away in foot to a tent city, to the tent of a woman named JAEL. He went into her home without her husband present and asked for water to drink.
She gave him milk and allowed him to rest and even gave him a cover so that he could sleep. After falling asleep she crept to him and drove a tent peg through his temple and fastened him to the ground, killing him.
After this BARAK’s army was able to go and defeat JABIN the king
This story is a little bizarre to say the least.
And though it is a ‘victory’ story, it is not as well known in our Bible studies as others such as “David and Goliath” or “Joshua and the Walls of Jericho”.
But just because a story is obscure does not mean that it contains no lessons for today.
II Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”
This verse assures us that ALL scripture is given by God and ALL is profitable.
So what lessons can we find within this story?
I. THE LESSON CONCERNING CREDIT
a. It amazes me that BARAK would rather be assured that God was with him than receive credit for the battle
i. Some might argue that BARAK had little faith, and because of this he needed DEBORAH’s faith to make him feel better
ii. But I tend to agree more with the great Bible commentary writer, Matthew Henry, who said that BARAK refused to go into battle without the assurance of God’s favor and counsel.
iii. Because DEBORAH represented God’s counsel, he wanted her right beside him in battle
iv. When she warned him that the honor of the victory would then go to a woman, he did not change his request.
v. He knew that God’s counsel was more important than credit
b. People are notorious for fighting over credit – especially men!
i. Have you ever gone by a worksite? What do the signs say? “MEN AT WORK”!!!
ii. Women aren’t that bad – you don’t walk into a kitchen and pass a sign that says, “MOM’S DOING DISHES” (Taken from Chonda Pierce Standup Comedy Act)
c. Church folks also LOVE to receive credit for stuff
i. You spend time looking around churches and on almost every piece of furniture you will find name plates.
ii. Also we worry that we do not forget to recognize someone’s achievements, because if we forget to give credit we might hurt that person’s feelings
iii. Now I am not saying that a person should not be recognized for doing a fine job, but…
d. We should be seeking the counsel and approval of God ABOVE our own credit!
i. If you are working within the house of God, or you purchase something for the house of God, or you have special responsibilities in the house of God –
ii. You should be seeking the approval of God not credit from others!
e. That is what I believe was BARAK’s ultimate motivation for seeking the company of DEBORAH
i. He knew he was going to lose the HONOR of victory to a woman
ii. He decided not to concern himself with who was getting the credit but rather focused on what was important: winning the battle
f. Many of us get in fleshly battles over ‘credit’
i. We forget that we aren’t at war with one another
ii. Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”