Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Barak's Reward

By Mary Vee
Judges 4

Commander Barak's Thoughts

Twenty long years of slavery

I'd waited twenty years for freedom.  The Lord chose me to command the Israelite army against our captors.

Jabin, that cruel king of Canaan, would lose once and for all. We'd have our freedom back.  How did I know? The Lord gave us permission to attack Jabin's commander, Sisera, and his army with nine hundred iron chariots. Hah! With the Lord in charge, Sisera didn't stand a chance.  

I led ten thousand men down the mountain path to the valley where Sisera's army sat like purring lions calling to us to come to dinner. To bad they didn't know they'd change into scaredy cats. Hah, hah! We had the Lord on our side.

Although I knew God would help us conquer the army, I wondered if I'd give the right commands. I'd always known what to do in battles before, but this time--well, I had doubts.  Would I send the men to the left when they should go right. What if a small band of Sisera's men looped behind us to set up a trap? I needed to be sure.

God chose judges to help us. He gave them our instructions. He chose Deborah to judge the Israelites the whole time nasty king Jabin held us captive.  Each day she sat under a tree and listened to people's problems then gave a judgment. 

The day she said, "God wants you to lead a battle against Sisera," I agreed to command, only if she went;I wanted to ask her God's plan during the battle. She grew angry, "Then you'll have no glory in this battle. Sisera will die at the hands of a woman."

I should have trusted God. 

I commanded my men to attack. They raised their weapons and pressed forward. Before my eyes Sisera's great army fell like raindrops tumbling from large buckets. My men didn't have to work at all. Sisera's iron chariots proved worthless. His best fighters held their swords like little boys. 

How? Why? Only the Lord could have won this battle for us.

I should have trusted God.

We pushed toward the back ranks of their army. To my right I noticed Sisera in his finest military dress leap off his invincible iron chariot and run.  His officer called out, "Retreat!" Their army ran away.

Hah! Scaredy cats. No way would I let them escape. God said He'd help us conquer Sisera's army, and conquer we would. We chased them a long way, tracking every soldier into woods, valleys, behind rocks, and ridges. Not one escaped--

--Except Sisera.

I looked everywhere.

I sent everyone of my men out to find him. 

How did he escape?

I went to Deborah and asked. "Where is Sisera?"

She took a deep breath and shook her head, "I told you. Since you insisted I come along instead of leading the battle as God said, a woman would receive the glory."

I wiped sweat from my forehead and sighed. 

Come back next time to read what happened to Sisera.

1.  Where is Sisera?
2.  Is he dead?
3.  Why didn't God let Commander Barak capture Sisera?
4.  Barak insisted _________ had to come to the battle before he agreed to command.
5.  Why did he choose her?
6. What did you learn from this story?

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