What battle awaits you?

What battle awaits you?

The book of Judges in the Bible makes for a very engaging read. I still clearly remember the first time I ever read about Gideon. I was on the London Underground, jaw wide open and could barely contain my excitement as the story unfolded and Gideon’s army got smaller and smaller.

The Judges were leaders in Israel, before a King was appointed. They would rise up each time Israel was oppressed by a foreign nation, and rescue God’s people.

In Hebrews 11:32 the writer commends a handful of judges by name. They are praised for their great faith in the face of opposition. To my surprise Barak is among them.

In Judges 4 we read Israel had been under cruel and oppressive rule for 20 years at the hand of King Sisera.

Deborah, a prophetess, instructs Barak to put together an army of 10,000 men. This is a relatively small number of men to fight the 900 iron chariots of Sisera.

Barak says he will only go if Deborah comes with him. Deborah agrees and lets him know that he will not gain glory from the battle as a woman will be the one to take Sisera’s life.

Barak goes into battle. He is winning. King Sisera flees the fight and takes refuge in a tent, where, surely enough, Jael (a woman) takes his life.

I had always assumed Barak was being punished for being too afraid to go into battle on his own. However, why then is he commended as having great faith by the writer of Hebrews?

I have recently been reading through ‘Judges for you’ by Timothy Keller. It has been an accessible and enjoyable read.

In this book Keller suggests that actually it wasn’t wrong for Barak to want the prophet of God to be with him in battle. Rather this was a godly attitude. And, instead of being a consequence of his actions, Deborah is merely stating a fact when she tells Barak the glory of the battle will not be his.

Therefore, Barak becomes an extraordinary example of faith. He goes into battle against a far stronger and better equipped army knowing full well that he won’t get any praise for having done it. Knowing that he may even be ridiculed for not killing the King himself, but allowing a woman to do so.

What courage and humility!

It is a real challenge to us all. Am I content to serve God even when it means not being recognised by those around me for what I’ve done? Am I willing to serve at the cost of being ridiculed?

The reason Barak wasn’t awarded the glory of the battle was because God was the real victor. Deborah’s song in chapter 5 reveals it was unexpected rain that washed away Sisera’s chariots and left the army fleeing before Barak.

God didn’t want Israel to put their trust in the strength of men. God wanted them to put their trust in Him.

And God still wants us to put our trust in Him today.

It is said everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. So, going back to the title of this blog, my question to you is; what battle are you facing today?

Whatever it is, whether internal or external, be courageous, be humble but most of all trust God – from Him comes our salvation.

Recipe

A while back I wrote a post about a battle in our home between key lime and banoffee Pie!

Banoffee is definitely winning, mostly because it is so easy to make. Especially now you can buy the caramel in a tin.

Banoffee Pie

Ingredients

  • 100 g butter
  • 250 g digestive biscuits
  • 397 g carnation caramel tin
  • 2 large ripe bananas sliced
  • 300 ml double cream whipped
  • grated dark chocolate to decorate

Instructions

  1. Grease and base line a 20cm loose bottomed tin
  2. Crush the digestive biscuits till they are crumbs
  3. Mix through the melted butter
  4. Press the mixture onto the bottom and sides of the tin and chill for at least 10 minutes (a good time to whip the cream and slice the bananas).
  5. Remove from fridge, spoon in the caramel and level out (be careful not to stir the caramel or it can become too loose)
  6. Place banana slices on top of the caramel.
  7. Top with whipped cream and decorate with grated chocolate.

One Reply to “What battle awaits you?”

  1. Yum, banoffee pie is my winner 😁😁. That’s an interesting perspective on Barack, and does indeed make sense of the reference in Hebrews.

    I recently enjoyed hearing the story of Jehoshaphat, a great reminder that winning battles (internal ones usually) can be achieved through giving thanks and praise to God…. I like your blog, I remember finding the one you did on sleeplessness really useful, I still reflect on the points you made when I find myself unable to sleep. Keep up the good work!

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