Hall of Faith: Barak, the Unknown Soldier

Barak was a 12th-century BC ruler and Judge of Ancient Israel. As military commander in

Barak asked Deborah to go into battle with him

the biblical Book of Judges, Barak, with Deborah the prophetess, from the Tribe of Ephraim, defeated the Canaanite armies led by Sisera.

The name Barak in the Bible means lightening.

Barak was the son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali, Barak’s mother was from the Tribe of Benjamin and he was the next judge after Deborah and preceded Gideon. His story is told in the Book of Judges, Chapters 4 and 5. “Barak was a war leader, not a position for a timid man. When the fighting started, he was right in it leading his men. He pursued the fleeing host and wiped them out to a man,

Barak gathers the troops

hardly the sign of a timid and weak man.”

Deborah summons Barak from his home to lead ten thousand men to Mount Tabor. He agrees as long as Deborah goes with him. Deborah agrees to go, but tells him that none of the glory of the battle will fall to him, but to a woman. When they get there, they are attacked, which is what Deborah expects.

However, Sisera, leader of the the Hazor’s, and his troops flee. They are then eventually slain by Barak’s army. “God went before Barak, and chapter five tells us even the stars in heaven fought the Canaanites, and their bodies were washed away in the river.”

Deborah and Barak stood on Mount Tabor and watched the enemy gather their troops

“And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which Jehovah hath delivered Sisera into thy hand; is not Jehovah gone out before thee?” {Judges 4:14}

A cloudburst causes the river to flow and allows the Canaanite’s to move with greater ease. Sisera takes refuge in the tent of Jael, a Kenite woman. Once Sisera falls asleep, Jael kills him. When Barak arrives, Jael shows him the head of Sisera.

“So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel. And the hand of the children of Israel prevailed more and more against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.” {Judges 4:23-24}

Barak defeating the enemy

In Chapter 5, the story is re-told in verse. However, Deborah and Barak begin by singing praises to God and giving him the glory.

So, what can we learn about God from the story of Barak?

1. God prepared the way for him

2. God went before him and his troops

3. God subdued his enemies

We see more of how God provided than Barak’s faith, yet he is named in the Hall of Faith. Barak is named and Deborah is not. I don’t know why that is, but it tells me that Barak had faith in God and was faithful to God’s will.

Yet, because of Chapter 5, we can also learn a few lessons from Barak. They are:

1. Barak gave glory to God

God allowed a woman to have the victory

2. Barak was meek

3. Barak made mistakes he learned from and accepted the consequences

4. Barak glorified God in front of others

5. Barak saw God do a mighty work through him

6. Barak pointed to God as the source of his strength

7. Barak allowed God to work through him

OfftheGridnews, describes Barak as “ meek and gave glory to God when it would have been natural to want to seek his own fame as a result of a great military victory. Not only did he give the glory to God, but he stood meekly in front of Israel and sang a song with the prophetess assigning that glory where it belonged” which is why he appeared in the Hall of Faith.

Barak is unknown today because he gave God all of the glory.

How do you give God the glory?

Pictures courtesy of FreeBibleImages.org