Tons of Nuggets
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"Barak said to her, "If you go with me, I will go; but if you don't go with me, I won't go." "Very well," Deborah said, "I will go with you. But because of the way you are going about this, the honor will not be yours, for the LORD will hand Sisera over to a woman." So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh, where he summoned Zebulun and Naphtali. Ten thousand men followed him, and Deborah also went with him. Now Heber the Kenite had left the other Kenites, the descendants of Hobab, Moses' brother-in-law, and pitched his tent by the great tree in Zaanannim near Kedesh. When they told Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor, Sisera gathered together his nine hundred iron chariots and all the men with him, from Harosheth Haggoyim to the Kishon River. Then Deborah said to Barak, "Go! This is the day the LORD has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the LORD gone ahead of you?" So Barak went down Mount Tabor, followed by ten thousand men. " Judges 4:8-13
* The Kenites had been allies with Israel and Jael (who we will see tomorrow) was Moses relative and was married to Heber. Heber is the one who told king Sisera where the Israelites were. But though the Kenites stopped supporting the Israelits it didn't throw God off. He even used their betrayal to bring victory just like being betrayed by a kiss brought victory through a kiss.
* God told Barak, through Deborah, to go attack which was a huge act of faith since they had hardly any weapons. To gather 10,000 men to go to battle without any weapons seems impossible. Barak and his men were not equipped but chose to step out anyway.
* The Canaanites depended on thier 900 chariots, "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. " Psalm 20:7 And it proved to not work out so well for them.
* "God used a mere honeybee (what Deborah means) to cast down human reason (meaning of Jabin), when it exalted itself against the knowledge of God. The judgemnt came upon the foe like lightening (meaning of Barak).
* God told Barak to step out and trust Him. A huge step of faith really but Barak said he would obey 'only if'. It wasn't bad or sin for Barak to ask for Deborah to go with him, in fact I would say it would be wise to have someone who hears from the Lord by your side. But when Barak said he wouldn't obey God unless she went, that exposed his reliance more upon the messenger than on the Message Giver.
* Barak was definately not perfect and fell short in his attitude of reliance, but that did not mess up God's ultimate plans for the Israelites to win this battle but it did change the effect on Barak's life of who got the honor.
* Deborah reminded him what was true, enabling them to move forward with courage.
* They didn't have some great strategy and the best resources (actually they had hardly any) but God came through because they obeyed Him. They humbled themselves under God's authority and He lifted them up. (1 Pet. 5:5-8). We don't need everything to be perfect before we do what God told us to do.
* When we feel unsure of if we are able to move forward, remember what is true about God will give us courage. And for others, the best way to en-courage/to give courage to others in our lives is to remind them what is true about God.
* God will use even betray and those who have abandoned us or others for His glory and to bring about His purposes.
* What's your stipulation? What is it that would cause you to say No to the Lord and what He wants of you?
* Are you trusting in something like chariots (material things or personal strength) to accomplish things rather than God?
* When things get hard, what truth about God most comforts you?
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