I love the story of Gideon. In our evening Bible Study at home we are reading Judges, and last night was Judges 6-7.
Gideon was the smallest member of the smallest tribe, hiding from the Midianites, and was feeling abandoned by God. He told the Angel of the Lord that God had delivered the Israelites from the Egyptians but had abandoned them with the Midianites. I mean, they deserved to be left alone cause they AGAIN turned from the Lord and worshiped idols like Asherah and Baal. But, I don’t think it was God abandoning them, rather, they walked out of His umbrella of protection when they served other gods. Anyway, the Angel of the Lord shows up all nonchalant and calls this little dude a valiant warrior. Excuse me? Gideon immediately self-deprecated. Don’t we all? But, God knows His plans for us!!!
“The Lord answered, ‘I will be with you. Together we will win the fight with Midian.”Judges 6:16
Can we just take that and meditate on it for a minute? Just chew on that little nugget for a sec. Whatever we’re fighting against, whatever is in our face right now, whatever battle we’re in, we can thank the Lord that if He called us to it, He will bring us through it! Together with God, we will win the fight with ____________ (fill in the blank). Sin, worry, anger, fear, woes of any kind, sickness, grief. It may not be the way we expect, though. Read further on Gideon.
The Test and the Fleece:
Gideon has to make sure God is who He says He is. He brings a sacrifice of meat, bread, and soup. God instructs him and he obeys, covering the meat and bread with soup. Gross. Soggy. Yuck. God tells Gideon to strike the rock with his stick and he does. Very Moses/Elijah-like. God burns up the soggy bread and meat, which has to be mind-blowing. So, he decides he’ll do as God asks, destroys his father’s idols and replaces them with an altar to the Lord. This he does under cover of night so his dad and buddies don’t murder him when they find out (which they would have).
Next, Gideon asks the Lord to prove His faithfulness again. He reminds the Lord of His promise to use him and puts the fleece before God. He asks the Lord to make the ground dry and only the sheep wool wet. Then he’ll know it’s the Lord saying He’ll give them victory. It happens. He’s still not sure, so does it again (really pushing it), but this time he asks the Lord to make the ground wet and the fleece dry. Sure enough, it happens. That’s it, God must be who He says He is. Gideon waits for God’s further instruction.
God tells Gideon he has too many soldiers. He tells Gideon to get rid of the ones who are afraid: 22,000 (or 2/3 of his army) go home. He’s left with 10,000 soldiers. Then God has him send home another group and he’s left with 300 warriors to fight with him. That’s it, 300. That’s not a lot. That night the Lord speaks to Gideon again and says he needs to go and fight because he’ll win.
But God does something interesting here. The Lord knows Gideon’s heart and fear and anxiety, and says listen Gideon, if you’re afraid, go near the tents of your enemies and you’ll hear them say something that will give you all the confidence you need to do what I’ve commanded. He does, and he DOES! He overhears a dream of his enemy that makes him realize it’s for real; he will have victory! His enemies basically flee and start fighting themselves.
Tiny Gideon and his tiny army get the victory (big time), because no matter how tiny you are, with our big God on your side, you can “run through a troop or jump over a wall” (Psalm 18:29-36 – READ IT, BELIEVE IT!).
How it Relates to Us:
This story is amazing because there are so many facets to it and so many ways to learn from it. With all we’re facing right now, we need a Gideon-style confidence booster. We need a faith-building and hope-encouraging moment to tell our hearts God is going to fight our battles and provide us what we need. God will put us in the right place at the right time to make sure His calling for us doesn’t return void.
Yes, we will need to sacrifice of ourselves. We will need to follow the Lord’s instructions verbatim, and trust Him implicitly. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of living God, but it is also an awesome thing to PUT yourself in the hands of the living God.
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delights in his way.”Psalm 37:23
It was such a cool experience to share this Gideon story and message with my kids. To be able to tell them that the Lord will direct our paths and give us victory and even let us fight in the battles sometimes is such a privilege.
The Word is unchanging, God is ever faithful and true, and He will always lead us in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake. Seeing the light turn on in my kids’ eyes is so awesome. They now know (and I hope see from my example) that the Lord will put us in the right place at the right time in every circumstance and lead us in peace all the way. All we have to do is obey. And like the Israelite army (whittled down to 300), sometimes we need to do all and then stand still.
In certain circumstances, there are things you can/must do, and then you must wait and see the salvation of God. If you’re in tune with God through quiet time, prayer, and Bible study, you’ll know when it’s time to stand still and when it’s time to fight or take action. These are the lessons we need to take away from the Word. These are the faith-strengtheners we need to take every day so we know the Truth and can live according to it.
So today, I’m thankful for the Word and it’s relevance and unchanging …ness. God’s Word is living and active. We have everything we need right there for every day until He takes us home. I’m most thankful for my salvation that only comes through faith in Jesus Christ, His death on the cross, and His resurrection.
I’m thankful that God gave me a heritage of God-fearing family, with a legacy of loving Jesus. Now, I get to pass that down to my children and see their lives blessed by knowing and loving the Lord. What an incredible honor. And what awesome kids I’m blessed with. I’m thankful for my church, my family, my friends; my cup overflows. This year especially, I’m grateful for the Constitution and the Founding Fathers, and what God put together through them to protect us.
Today, keep Christ in the forefront of you mind. He is the original freedom fighter/provider. His death on the cross forever gives the world an offer of forgiveness and salvation, a place in heaven/eternity, and a peace that no one can take away. He is the reason the pilgrims landed where they did, the reason this country is what she is, and why we have the freedoms we possess and are guaranteed by our Constitution.
In this great country, the United States of America, no one can take those freedoms away, though they certainly try. So don’t give up your rights! Stand on the Word/Christ, and the Constitution, and hold the line. Thank God today for His great faithfulness toward this country. While you’re at it, thank a vet for their fighting to keep America free and safe.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving with much thanks and much giving.
God bless. <><