A Passive Leader

God’s people are not called to comfortable passivity but to faithful activity. As much as we like to think about the courageous examples the judges of Israel left behind, their character flaws remind us of our own apathy, faithlessness, and forgetfulness. Until this point in time, Othniel and Ehud stand out as sterling examples of what faithful obedience and reliance on Yahweh look like. But things go downhill rather quickly. Judges chapter 4 reveals a notable digression with the spiritual state of Israel. Not only are the years of oppression increasing with each cycle, but the leaders themselves are an indication of where Israel is at. Following Ehud’s years of judgment, God raised up Deborah to judge Israel. The faithful leadership Deborah provided is a stark contrast to Israel’s lack of male leadership. Her interaction with Barak only accentuates this dismal reality. Nonetheless, God once again hears the cries of His children and uses flawed people to bring about Israel’s deliverance. What we see in Barak’s response to Deborah’s plan of attack is nothing short of shameful passivity and a lack of trust in Yahweh. Rather than taking his marching orders, he refuses to lead his army to Mt Tabor to lay a trap for Sisera unless Deborah goes with him. This may seem harmless enough. What’s the big deal with asking a prophetess of God to go with him? But Barak wasn’t simply making a request. He states in v8, “If you will not go with me, I will not go.” What’s at the heart of Barak’s passive obedience? Misplaced trust. Barak was walking by sight and not by faith. His trust was in man, or in this case a woman, rather than in God. He failed to see that the power comes from God, not the person. As a result, Barak forfeited a significant blessing that the narrative will later reveal. Passivity comes with a cost. The greatest of which is failing to allow God to use you for the purpose of glorifying Himself from a heart of obedience. May we refuse passivity and recommit ourselves to the faithful activity of trusting a God who desires to bless and reward, to a God who is powerfully in control, to a God whose glory is unmatched, and to a God who will use you for His redemptive purposes. There is no greater privilege or calling in life.  –Pastor Nate

Sunday at Liberty

9AM: Ezra Leads the People–Ezra 2

10AM: Pastor Rory–A Passive Leader–Judges 4:1-14 (sermon notes)

11:45AM: Potluck

12:30PM: Church Family Meeting

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