Then they told Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor. Sisera called together all his chariots, nine hundred iron chariots, and all the people who were with him, from Harosheth-hagoyim to the river Kishon. Deborah said to Barak, “Arise! For this is the day in which the Lord has given Sisera into your hands; behold, the Lord has gone out before you.” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him.

Judges chapter 4 is a narrative account of the exploits of Deborah and Barak. Deborah—the only female judge—told Barak, an Israelite general, that God would give them victory over their enemy, Sisera, who was the captain of Jabin’s army. As in this case, things don’t always go the way we think they should, but we can be assured that God always has a plan. God loved Israel too much to let them go their own way. This is true for us, too! God never leaves His people alone, even when they seek to run from Him. No matter how far we run…He is there!

Can you think of any words more comforting than, “Behold, the Lord has gone out before you”? It is an echo from Deuteronomy 31:8, “The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” These are some of the most reassuring words in the entire Bible. No obstacle is too great for God to overcome, and no problem is too small for Him to care about.

He goes before you. He will be with you. Take relief in these words today! And, just as Deborah charged Barak, “Arise” in faithfulness today.

• Where do you need to be reminded of the Lord’s continual presence?

• How might that change the way you respond to challenges in life?

• Thank God for helping you deal with all the challenges of life by His continual presence.