Our mother in Israel, Deborah calls for Barak who is the commander of the army at that time, She asks him, “Hasn’t the Lord God of Israel commanded you to deploy the troops at Mount Tabor?” She knew that God had spoken to him. Now she was holding him accountable and giving him direction. “Take with you ten thousand men of the sons of Naphtali and Zebulun.” God was sending him out to battle, a battle that seemed to Barak as useless. Then, speaking for God as a prophetess does, she tells him “I will deliver him into your hand.” You will be the victor. You will be the winner, you will knock them dead literally.
You would think that Barak as the commander of the army would be brave and courageous. After all, didn’t his gender and his position demand it? It was not so. Listen to his response. “If you will go with me, then I will go, but if you will not go with me, I will not go.” It doesn’t sound so brave, does it? To be fair, we do not know what caused Barak’s cowardice. After twenty years of oppression, as the commander of the army, Barak must have been lost in defeat. Oppression and defeat leave their toll on anyone’s soul. God raised up Deborah to bring strength and courage into the situation.
She didn’t chide him for his cowardice. She did, however, inform him of what it will cost him. “I will surely go with you; nevertheless, there will be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.”
Barak called forth the army to Kadesh and he took ten thousand men, under his command and Deborah went with him. Sisera, the enemy’s captain, hears the plan and gathers his nine hundred iron chariots, and the people that were with him and they go to the River Kishon. They don’t realize that God has called them there. Now all is ready.