I'm going through the Book of Judges for my daily quiet time. In this post, I'll focus on Judges 4:8-9. Deborah is a prophetess, and she wants for Barak to wage war against the Canaanite king Jabin, who has been afflicting Israel. In Judges 4:8-9, we read the following exchange (in the King James Version):
"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. And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding
the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the
LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and
went with Barak to Kedesh."
Deborah tells Barak that he would not
get the glory for Israel's victory over Jabin, for God would deliver
Sisera (the captain of Jabin's army) into the hands of a woman. How
would I feel if I were Barak? Part of me would probably be upset, for
I'm the sort of person who likes to be credited and applauded for my
And yet, on the other hand, I think that two things would
militate against me being overly upset. First of all, there's the
importance of my work: I'd be helping to deliver Israel from oppression,
which is good for my fellow Israelites and also for myself. And,
second, I would not be alone, for Deborah would be going with me. When I
feel isolated, that especially is when I desire glory in the eyes of
others and feel resentful when I do not have it, for I am looking for
some way to feel good about myself. But when I feel loved and supported
by others, then my hunger for glory is not as obsessive.
church several years ago, the Sabbath school teacher asked how many
servants of God there are whose names we do not know. Someone in the
congregation replied, "Most", meaning that we don't know most of the
names of God's servants! I think that it's good to acknowledge people
and their contribution. Yet, hopefully, even those who serve God
anonymously can feel good by remembering that their work is
important----that it's making the lives of other people better. And
it's even better if those who serve God anonymously do so with the
support of people who accept them.
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