April 24 – Songs of Praise – Who Gets the Credit?

Read Judges 4:1-5:31

Who will get the credit?  Who will receive the recognition?  Deborah told Barak he wasn’t going to be the one.  Even though he would rally 10,000 troops, there would be one whose reputation would be greater than his.  In spite of the fact that he would be the leader of troops responsible for conquering 900 chariots of iron along with their leaders, someone else would be more widely known.  Although the victory song would mention his name, it would draw more attention to another.  Could he live with that reality?  Can you or I be at peace with that?

That question seemed to be important enough that Deborah warned Barak in advance that he would play second fiddle.  In verse 9, she said, “…the honor will not be yours, for the LORD will hand Sisera over to a woman.”  He would not be the one responsible for conquering Sisera himself.  That honor would go to…are you ready for this?  Drum roll, please…A woman would take him out!  An untrained housewife named Jael later killed Sisera with a tent peg.  Now, I am not trying to make any gender statements here, but there were likely no women numbered among the 10,000 troops going with Barak.  I wonder if it was hard to swallow that neither he nor his men would receive credit for eliminating Sisera.  Nevertheless, he rallied the troops and conquered the chariots.  Apparently, Barak was able to live with that reality.

Can you live with that reality?  Are you one who desires the credit and recognition due you?  Most of us enjoy receiving honors…especially when we have worked hard and sacrificed in order to achieve them.  But, thanksgiving requires that we are able to look beyond ourselves, recognize the contribution of others, and acknowledge our dependence on God.  Are you OK with that?

Our accomplishments, whether large or small, are not like a road leading to our own glory.  Instead, our successes in life provide us with the opportunity to honor the One who provides us with the resources and abilities to accomplish anything.  He is worthy of all praise!

Steve Kern

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