Tag Archives: Gideon

Judges 6; Acts 10; Jeremiah 19; Mark 5

The Israelites were hungry.

The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight. So the Lord handed them over to the Midianites for seven years. The Midianites were so cruel that the Israelites made hiding places for themselves in the mountains, caves, and strongholds. Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, marauders from Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east would attack Israel, camping in the land and destroying crops as far away as Gaza. They left the Israelites with nothing to eat, taking all the sheep, goats, cattle, and donkeys. (Judges 6:1-4, NLT, emphasis added)

The Israelites were hungry, and this makes an impression upon me. How many times have I read Gideon’s story (it’s really a favorite!)? But this time, I notice the mention of food, and its scarcity.

11 Then the angel of the Lord came and sat beneath the great tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites. (Judges 6:11, NLT, emphasis added)

The Lord has a task for Gideon, and I love that part. But today, I notice Gideon’s response to the Lord.

18 Don’t go away until I come back and bring my offering to you.”

He answered, “I will stay here until you return.”

19 Gideon hurried home. He cooked a young goat, and with a basket of flour he baked some bread without yeast. Then, carrying the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot, he brought them out and presented them to the angel, who was under the great tree.

20 The angel of God said to him, “Place the meat and the unleavened bread on this rock, and pour the broth over it.” And Gideon did as he was told. 21 Then the angel of the Lord touched the meat and bread with the tip of the staff in his hand, and fire flamed up from the rock and consumed all he had brought. And the angel of the Lord disappeared. (Judges 6:18-21, NLT, emphasis added)

Gideon was from a small clan, and proclaimed himself the least within it. As I read on, even his family members were far from the Lord, and Gideon was afraid of them and other people in the town:

25 That night the Lord said to Gideon, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one that is seven years old. Pull down your father’s altar to Baal, and cut down the Asherah pole standing beside it. 26 Then build an altar to the Lord your God here on this hilltop sanctuary, laying the stones carefully. Sacrifice the bull as a burnt offering on the altar, using as fuel the wood of the Asherah pole you cut down.”

27 So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord had commanded. But he did it at night because he was afraid of the other members of his father’s household and the people of the town. (Judges 6:25-27, NLT, emphasis added)

I love how Gideon saw himself, and yet he acted in obedience and courage, even though he was afraid. I love how the Lord viewed Gideon as a “mighty hero” and gave him encouragement and signs. But what stands out to me today is Gideon’s enthusiasm and urgency–“Don’t go away until I come back and bring my offering to you.” And Gideon hurried home to get it. His offering was not from his abundance–food was scarce. His offering took effort–meat and bread. His offering was generous–not leftovers and not excuses. And this leaves a mighty impression upon me.

Lord, thank you for your generosity toward me. You encourage me and speak to my heart in your word. I value generosity, and I know you do too as you give so abundantly.

Courtney (66books365)

2 Comments

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan

Judges 7-8; Luke 22

We find the story of Gideon in our passage in Judges this morning. Many if not all of us have read this many times. There is one small bit of the story I have overlooked before:

Now the camp of Midian lay below him in the valley. 9 During that night the Lord said to Gideon, “Get up, go down against the camp, because I am going to give it into your hands. 10 If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah 11 and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp.” So he and Purah his servant went down to the outposts of the camp. 12 The Midianites, the Amalekites and all the other eastern peoples had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore.
13 Gideon arrived just as a man was telling a friend his dream. “I had a dream,” he was saying. “A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed.”
14 His friend responded, “This can be nothing other than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God has given the Midianites and the whole camp into his hands.” (Judges 7:8b-14 [NIV])

So the whole story as we know is a one of a test of faith for Gideon. God sees Gideon as a might warrior even though he was hiding in a grain bin. God whittles his men down past the bare minimum. No way would I have gone into battle with only 300 men. Then God gives Gideon something to hang on to. After he has obeyed God — probably thinking he’s going to die — he is given a reassurance that he will be victorious. It’s obvious he’s afraid — thus Purah going with him and then he hears good news. A prediction of victory from the enemy’s lips. What more could he ask for.

That happened to Moses too. It wasn’t till he started back to Egypt from the wilderness did God tell him the people that would have killed him for going back were gone.

How often does God do that for us? But it takes our obedience first before he reassures. Are you reading to do the next thing God wants you to do? If so don’t wait for the assurances, they will come after your first steps in His direction. 

2 Comments

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Judges, Luke, Uncategorized

Judges 6; Acts 10; Jeremiah 19; Mark 5

Sometimes I forget. Like Gideon, I keep my faith hidden and thresh my wheat in the wine press. Like Gideon, I tend to keep expectations low,  dreams limited and focus on getting by. Immediate disappointment is deferred that way, but in His Grace, God’s vision for life is higher than mine. My stale faith and prayers do not limit what God can do. To the contrary, time and time again, He delights in interrupting the normal.

Those interruptions are a gift to the person with the smallest of hopes. Consider the synagogue leader whose daughter is healed, the woman who dares to reach out in the crowd to discretely touch Jesus’s clothing, and the demoniac delivered from the Legion. But for those unable to cope with the fact that they are not in control and life as they know it has been irrevocably altered, the interruptions of God are unwelcome, if not terrifying. I am thinking of the  Gideon’s Midianite and Amalekite neighbors and later the  Gerasene swineherds.

God doesn’t allow me to stay stuck in the past. His ways break through conventions and rules to call me to the unexpected. I prayer that when He calls me to take the next risk, I will be quick to listen and obey as in the case of Cornelius and Peter. His grace enables me to let go of prejudices and old habits that may have served in the past, but will not work today.

Lord, do not allow me to cling to my ability to get it right. Let me hold tightly to the grace to which you have called me by name. Thank you for being my anchor and my hope. Your relentless pursuit of my soul never fails. It’s by the glorious, beautiful name of Jesus that I offer this prayer. Your sufficiency continues to amaze in ways never expected. Amen.

“We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf has entered…” Hebrews 6:19-20.

Kathy

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under 66 Books, Acts, Hebrews, Judges, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Mark

Judges 7-8; Luke 22

There are battles in life that I can not win, yet I gather all my resources and plan to soldier on and do the best I can. Enter God. The Lord says to Gideon,

“You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength saved her, announce now to the people, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.'” Judges 7:2-3.

By the end of the day, Gideon’s fighting force is reduced from 32,000 to 300 fighting men. Their weapons are replaced by trumpets, torches and clay jars and the battle is won. It is clear who delivers Israel from her enemies.

What is it that God is asking me to put aside so I can watch Him win the battle? Money? Time? Physical and emotional safety? Expectations? What false hope am I relying on that keeps me seeing the reality of God’s hand at work?

Jesus, had access to all worldly and heavenly powers, yet in obedience refused to spare himself the agony of the death on a Cross. Through His resurrection, God defeated the ultimate enemy, death. In the end, I take nothing and no one with me, save for the righteousness of Christ, so why do I hang on to old crutches which will fail to safely deliver into the presence of the living God?

Lord, you are patient, gracious and long to save. You want to free from all that keeps me from knowing and loving you. Expose any false hopes within so that may I rest in your care and enjoy the beauty of your Presence. You alone are my deliverer. Amen.

Klueh

 

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Judges, Luke, Uncategorized

Judges 6; Jeremiah 19; Mark 5; Acts 10

Look how the Lord uses us.

Sometimes where we see weak and fearful …

The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

“But Lord, ” Gideon asked, “how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

The LORD answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together.” Judges 14-16 (emphasis mine)

Gideon, afraid of his family and the townsmen, took cover in night to demolish an altar and remove the Asherah pole. Didn’t he hear what the angel of the Lord said? “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

… God sees a mighty warrior.

And sometimes where we see strength …

A strong man who broke through chains. No one could bind him. No one could subdue him–except this Legion, breaking him so he’d cry out and cut himself. Afflicted. When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him.

… God sees weakness.

He uses us in any way.

[Jesus said], “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him.

For His glory.

And all the people were amazed. (Mark 5:19-20)

In my weakness or His strength, all for His glory,

Courtney (66books365)

1 Comment

Filed under Judges, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Mark, New Testament, Old Testament