Judges 4:8, 9
And Barak said to her, If you will go with me, then I will go: but if you will not go with me, then I will not go.…
I. THEY WHO UNDERTAKE TO ADVOCATE DIFFICULT TASKS SHOULD BE WILLING TO SHARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE EXECUTION OF THEM. Deborah urges Barak to fight; Barak will raise the standard only on condition that the prophetess will accompany him. There are prophets who sit with Deborah under the palm tree and advise noble deeds while they excuse themselves from facing the danger of achieving them. In the spiritual warfare of the Church we find critics who can see the defects of the work others are doing, and advise great improvements, yet who will never encounter the perils of the mission-field or the drudgery of more homely work. It is well to devise good measures, but it is better, like Deborah, to help in the execution of them.
II. IN THE BATTLE OF LIFE A GREAT VARIETY OF SERVICE IS REQUISITE FOR FINAL SUCCESS. Deborah cannot lead the army, but she can inspire it. Barak cannot prophesy, but he can fight. Thus Deborah cannot secure victory without Barak, nor Barak without Deborah. We are members one of another, and all the members have not the same office. There is work for the seer and work for the warrior. The world always needs its prophets and its heroes. The worker without the thinker will blunder into confusion; the thinker without the worker will fail for want of power to execute his designs. Brain work is at least as important as mechanical work. It is therefore foolish for practical men to despise the men of thought as mere theorists, and foolish for the thinkers to treat the active men of business with philosophical contempt. It is peculiarly woman's work to cheer and encourage those who are called to the dangerous tasks of life. Wives and mothers who dissuade their husbands and sons from their duty because it appears to be dangerous are indulging in weak and foolish affection. The highest love will seek to encourage those who are loved in all that is great and noble.
III. IN THE SERVICE OF GOD THE FIRST REQUISITE FOR SUCCESS IS THE INSPIRING AID OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD. Deborah is a prophetess. She is gifted with the wisdom and enthusiasm of direct inspiration, and thus becomes the inspirer of Barak and his troops. Barak feels that if Deborah goes with him God's counsel and encouragement will be given him. Do we not trust too much to the mere machinery of our Church organisations in the execution of our work? One prophet in our midst is worth a thousand dull, earthly-minded men The great need of the Church in her battle with the evil of the world is the presence of the Spirit of God in light and power, to guide and to energise her dark and weak efforts. It is foolish to go up to our spiritual warfare without seeking the presence of God to accompany us (Exodus 33:15). If God go with us we shall need no special order of prophets, for then every soldier of Christ will be a prophet (Joel 2:28). - A.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go.