When God spoke of the faithful in Hebrews chapter 11 He included Barak. Barak delivered Israel from the hand of Jabin, king of Canaan. "And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets." (Hebrews 11:32.) Barak, together with Deborah, took a small army of ten thousand men from Naphtali and Zebulun and gained great victory by the power of God. This great victory led Deborah and Barak to sing that great victory song. (Judges 5) Let us learn about Barak:


          BARAK GREW UP IN A CITY OF REFUGE: Cities of refuge in the Bible were designated places where someone that had accidentally killed another person could go to escape the vengeance of outraged relatives or friends. There were six cities of refuge; three east of the Jordan River and west of the Jordan as designated to Moses before the Israelites crossed the Jordon the Promised Land. All six cities were Levitical cities, from among the 48 cities set aside for them. (Numbers 35:6-8). The Bible says, "And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Kirjatharba, which is Hebron, in the mountain of Judah. And on the other side Jordan by Jericho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the wilderness upon the plain out of the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead out of the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan out of the tribe of Manasseh." (Joshua 20:7-8)


          Barak was from Kedesh in Naphtali. Deborah, a prophetess called for the help of Barak. "Then she sent and called for Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali, and said to him, "Has not the Lord God of Israel commanded, 'Go and deploy troops at Mount Tabor; take with you ten thousand men of the sons of Naphtali and of the sons of Zebulun." (Judges 4:6.) Barak became a judge in Israel. He grew up in a city of refuge. As a judge in Israel he found his refuge and help in God. We too find God to be a place of refuge. "God is in her palaces; He is known as her refuge." (Psalm 48:3.)


          BARAK GATHERED HIS MEN AGAINST CHARIOTS OF IRON. "So Sisera gathered together all his chariots, nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people who were with him, from Harosheth Hagoyim to the River Kishon." (Judges 4:16.) It seemed an almost impossible task to fight against nine hundred chariots of iron. However, Barak learned that the odds are always in your favor when you are on God's side. When the victory was won praise was given to God. "Hear, O kings! Give ear, O princes! I, even I, will sing to the Lord; I will sing praise to the Lord God of Israel." (Judges 5:3.) Those who walk hand in hand with God will always be more than conquerors. (Romans 8:37)


          BARAK GAVE A GREAT EXAMPLE OF HOW PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO FOLLOW GOOD LEADERSHIP. "And the hand of the children of Israel grew stronger and stronger against Jabin king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan." (Judges 4:24) Boldness for God on the part of Barak encouraged others to be bold. This led to victory and peace, "so the land had rest for forty years." (Judges 5:31) People working together with one another and with God always enjoy great victories.


          To become a Christian you must hear (Romans 10:17), believe (John 8:24), repent (Acts 2:38), confess (Acts 8:37), and be baptized (Mark 16:16). As a Christian, let us be like Barak, always wise enough to do the will of God.


By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA