Introduction: God can work things out for the good of His people, in spite of the shortcomings of people. The focus of this discussion is, “We should learn from the examples of Barak and Sisera.”
1. We should come when called. Notice in Judges 4:6 that Barak came when called by God through Deborah to serve. First, God is still calling His people to do good works (see Eph. 2:10; Mt. 5:13-16). Church and community have so many service needs that call for our attention.
Second, God is still calling through the voice of those He sent (see Jer. 3:15). Think about how you respond to God’s calling you to serve through the voice of your Pastor.
Think about your level of being a studying, serving, and giving disciple; being an enthusiastic worshipper; and inviting and trying to bring people with you to worship and study periods. Let’s work on responding to the call to serve.
2. We should seek the Lord’s presence. Notice in Judges 4:8 that Barak refused to go and fight without Deborah. Some scholars suggests that Barak equated the presence of Deborah with the presence of God.
If that is true, we should commend Barak for wanting the Lord to be with him. There are some people who do what seems right to them with no apparent concern about the Lord being with them (see Pro. 14:12; Ps. 127:1).
However, we should remember that the Lord’s presence doesn’t have to be restricted to human participation. When the Lord is with you, it doesn’t matter who else is with you or not with you. We should learn to pray in the spirit of Jesus’ prayer in Luke 22:42 – God’s will, not ours. Let’s work on seeking to live in God’s presence and will.
3. We should go when sent. Notice in Judges 4:10 that Barak actually went and fought the enemy. He went despite the honor going to a woman.
There are too many people who never go and do what the Lord has sent them to do. Some are professional students (see Mt. 7:24-27; Jm. 1:22), and some will not serve unless they feel honored or appreciated by people.
When your heart is right, you are not concerned about your honor or appreciation. You are concerned with the job getting done for God’s glory. Let’s work on going when sent to serve, without being overly concerned about our honor.
4. We should avoid being mean. Notice in Judges 4:2-3 that Sisera was cruel, oppressive, and mean. In like manner, there are some mean people in this world. Think about historical, international, national, local, church, and family meanness.
However, as disciples, we are called to break the cycle of meanness with love. We are called to forgive (see Mt. 6:14-15), be open to reconciliation, and live in the joy of the Lord. Let’s work on avoiding being mean.
5. God will set things right. Notice in Judges 4:21 that Sisera’s soldiers and chariots were destroyed, and he was killed by a woman nailing his head to the ground.
First, if you are Sisera (i.e., a mean person) repent (I Jn. 1:8-9), before God gets around to seeing that you reap what you have sown. Second, if you have a Sisera in your life, remember that God will set things right. Romans 12:17-21 is a great passage to keep in mind.
No matter how big and bad your enemies may appear, God is still working things out for the good of His people (see Rom. 8:28). Let’s live like we trust God to set things right. This kind of living should be known for obedience and confidence.
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