Devotions for March 20, 2017

JUDGES 4:1-9

After Ehud’s death, the Israelites again did evil in the Lord’s sight. 2 So the Lord turned them over to King Jabin of Hazor, a Canaanite king. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-haggoyim. 3 Sisera, who had 900 iron chariots, ruthlessly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years. Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help.

4 Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, was a prophet who was judging Israel at that time. 5 She would sit under the Palm of Deborah, between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites would go to her for judgment. 6 One day she sent for Barak son of Abinoam, who lived in Kedesh in the land of Naphtali. She said to him, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: Call out 10,000 warriors from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun at Mount Tabor. 7 And I will call out Sisera, commander of Jabin’s army, along with his chariots and warriors, to the Kishon River. There I will give you victory over him.”

8 Barak told her, “I will go, but only if you go with me.”

9 “Very well,” she replied, “I will go with you. But you will receive no honor in this venture, for the Lord’s victory over Sisera will be at the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh.

UNCONDITIONAL OBEDIENCE

Have you ever heard the phrase “delayed obedience isn’t obedience at all”? It’s very true. When we delay our obedience it is only a fraction of what obedience should be. And it is the exact same thing when we put conditions on our obedience. Barak put conditions on his obedience and in the end, missed out on the honor that he would have had if he obeyed unconditionally.

PERSONAL REFLECTION

Q: How does Barak answer God’s command? What would an unconditionally obedient answer look like?

Q: Do you find that your “obedience” is often conditional? What are the areas in your life that you may need to start obeying unconditionally?

Q: Do you know anyone who’s obedience is often conditional? How can you help them see the honor they may be missing out on because of their conditional obedience?

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