Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.” (Judg. 4:8)

It’s easy to fool yourself into thinking you’re trusting God, when in fact you’re trusting something else—your own plans, insights, or experience; your understanding of the situation or circumstances; or the counsel and guidance of someone you look to as a mentor or hero.

In today’s verses, Barak falls this into this trap. Deborah—prophetess, judge, and leader of Israel—gave Barak a strategy and specific plans to follow for delivering Israel. The instructions were clear: go to Napthali and Zebulon, gather ten thousand troops, and lead them to Mount Tabor. Deborah would then lead the enemy directly into his hands. The source of the plan was equally clear: God had given it directly to Deborah.

Still, Barak hesitated and faltered. He didn’t refuse to gather troops or to lead them into battle, but he did refuse to implement the plan as God had laid out. He made it clear that he would only carry out God’s instructions if they were modified so that Deborah would accompany him rather than doing what God had appointed her to do. Barak had faith (see Heb. 11), but at the outset, his faith was more in Deborah than in God.

In our own lives, it’s important to be aware of where our faith and allegiances lie. While we are to respect and follow those God has placed in authority over us, our trust is to be in God


Follow God-appointed leaders while placing your ultimate trust in God.

Kevin R. Scott is a pastor and author of ReCreatable: How God Heals the Brokenness of Life. He lives with his family in middle Tennessee.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.