BARAK AND FAITH
TEXT: Judges 4:1-16
Introduction: One of the darkest periods in the history of the nation of Israel was the days of the Judges. But while many forsook the Lord and served idols during those times, there were exceptions.
One of the early exceptions was a man named Barak, the son of Abinoam from the town of Kedesh in the tribe of Naphtali. But in order to understand the background of Barak’s place in the story, we need to begin with the first five verses of Judges chapter 4.
As we shall see, Deborah summons Barak to lead the Israelites in battle against the Canaanites. The name Barak means “lightning,” and God used this humble man to strike a blow for His people against their enemies.
So let’s see what we can learn about TITLE in TEXT.
I. Barak’s call, vs. 6-7
A. Why? He wasn’t a military leader like Alexander the Great or Richard the Lionheart—but God looks at things differently: 1 Sam. 16:1-7
B. So when God chooses an instrument, He chooses one which will bring the most glory to Himself, not to man: Isa. 48:11
C. This helps to explain the strange call of Barak and illustrates an important Biblical principle: 1 Cor. 1:26-31
II. Barak’s request, vs. 8-13
A. This is the only time we actually hear from Barak himself, and it’s to ask Deborah, a woman, to go with him—why? Was he a coward?: Deut. 20:1. Kenny Chumbley:
But remember that Barak was called to lead a suicide mission. His was an ad hoc group of 10,000 infantry against a mobile force of 900 iron chariots (the most advanced weapon of the day, 1:19), in a place (flat ground) and at a time (the dry season) that put everything in the enemy’s favor. Militarily speaking, Barak “was sent on foot into the valley” (5:15) of death. Even the brave, at such times, have been known to cry out for their mother.
B. Knew Deborah was a prophetess and could provide God’s guidance in battle: Prov. 29:18
C. The point is that Barak knew that he needed God’s help: Jer. 10:23
III. Barak’s victory, vs. 14-16
A. Whatever fears, insecurities, and weaknesses Barak may have had, his trust in God turned certain defeat into a celebrated victory: Judg. 5:1-3, 28-31
B. This illustrates another important Biblical principle: Ps. 20:7-9
C. Thus, Barak is an example of the kind of faith that we need to please God: Heb. 11:1, 6
Conclusion: Note Heb. 11:32.
Every person has spiritual battles in which we’re engaged.
Christians have to deal with fleshly lusts which war against our souls.
But those outside of Christ are also being attacked by the devil in his attempt to keep them from obeying the gospel.
Yet, the story of Barak teaches us that if we’re in trouble, it’s not due to the strength of the enemy, but to our own lack of faith in God.
How’s your faith?
By Wayne S. Walker
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