God always uses the Humble

“Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years” Judges 6:1 NKJV

Today I don’t want to study Judges. We get it – humans are bad, we lean towards being naughty, we constantly need saving, and even the judges in this book progressively become more and more fallible and the grievous sins of the people become more and more disgusting. We get that it snowballs so we see that only God can be the answer as no answer can come from man.
I look at current event – and I see with my own eyes, man is bad. I see the prophecies being fulfilled and I cry to God and ask, how much grace is left? Have we really run out? Is this really nearing the end?

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is in the book of Judges, chapters 6-7 (embedded below for your convenience).

Judges has 12 judges.  We have already read about the first 4: Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, & Deborah.  Today and tomorrow we read about Gideon. And over the next 6 or 7 days or so we will cover Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, and Samson.

We had the undescribed judge, then the left handed judge (left handed being a sign of human frailty), then the judge with the unfortunate name (another messed up human – it is worse to a bad name than to be left handed). Then we had a woman judge, she seem strong and well put together and as you read all the different studies on her life you wonder what is so wrong with her that she is 4th in this book – but it is worse in those days to be a respected, powerful and anointed by God, woman than it is to be a poorly named leftie. But there are still 8 worse judges – we are currently onto the doubtful and fearful weakling named Gideon.

We are introduced to him while he is hiding from the Midianites.  I doubt I can say much that most Christians haven’t heard before since a seventh of this book is dedicated to him and there are a multitude of lessons to learn from this man. He has the kind of human frailty and weaknesses that we can relate to – we see ourselves on this level, being a people who God wants to use but we are timid and doubt that He wants to use us. If you are unfamiliar – there are a multitude of Gideon themed devotionals and bible studies on the market.

11 Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”
13 Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”
14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?”
15 So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”
Judges 6:11-15

As most studies point out the Lord calls Gideon a mighty man of valor – and Gideon sees himself as a no one. But before he even points it out – he has questions for God!!!
This is my mood today. I have questions for God.
God, if you are for us, why has this happened?  In both Gideon’s story and ours the answer is in verse 10, just before we are introduced to Gideon: “But you [the people as a whole] have not obeyed My voice”.
Father God, where are all the miracles which we read about in the Bible that it says will follow those of us who believe? In both Gideon’s story and ours the answer is in verse 10, just before we are introduced to Gideon: “But you [the people as a whole] have not obeyed My voice”.
Lord of lords – have you delivered us into the hands of a pandemic, into the great reset, and into a global slave state?? Lord, have you forsaken us?! Lord, Lord – yes, I get it I have sinned and deserve destruction and all of mankind has returned to the days of judges and worst, to the days of Noah and the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. I weep watching them reject grace. But Lord – can’t you pour out grace one last time? One more push for the salvation of mankind?! Only you can soften heart with grace – is it too late to turn away your wrath! Woe is me to have to live and see such sorrow!

In the last days man will raise himself up.

Six is a symbol for man – three times is a symbol of the Trinity – among all the interpretation of “666” in the Revelation, the fact that is can represent many things at once and one of them is man raising himself against the Lord… well it is Biblical and found in other passages that man does this in the end – just like in the beginning of sin. Man is always fighting humility.

Lately every time I hear someone say Christians need to rise up – or a prayer to raise us up… I cringe. My spirit recoils – and I ask God what is wrong with what they have said and what they have prayed.
Gideon had one thing right. He was a man of valor because he was humble.
In Samuel 2:8, He raises poor from dust (in Hebrew, the humble from the dust) and he raises the needy from ashes (the Hebrew word for lacking and ashes symbolize sacrifice – showing these are those who have depleted themselves, surrendered all of God).

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” James 4:10 NKJV

We will not survive the time in which we live if we do not get low and get close to God. Get low because of our own propensity to sin – get low standing in the gap for the sinners of our world. We must cry out for God to heal our friends and family – soften their hearts and transform them by grace. Now is not the time to be lifted but the time to be low.

He will lift us when the trumpet sounds and in the twinkling of an eye – therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest for workers, pray for those who are working to spread the gospel. You can joint them! If you cannot preach or teach – you can click share and share a message, a sermon, a devotional or even one of these post. Let God guide these into the hands of those who need to hear it. The time is short.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Hebrews 2:14 – NEW MEMORY VERSE!!!! Jesus defeated the devil!
NKJV – “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,”
NAS – “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,”
ESV – “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,”
NLT – “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.”
NIV – “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Judges 6-7 NKJV

Midianites Oppress Israel

Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years, and the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of the Midianites, the children of Israel made for themselves the dens, the caves, and the strongholds which are in the mountains. So it was, whenever Israel had sown, Midianites would come up; also Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. Then they would encamp against them and destroy the produce of the earth as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep nor ox nor donkey. For they would come up with their livestock and their tents, coming in as numerous as locusts; both they and their camels were [a]without number; and they would enter the land to destroy it. So Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord.

And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried out to the Lord because of the Midianites, that the Lord sent a prophet to the children of Israel, who said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I brought you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of [b]bondage; and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land. 10 Also I said to you, “I am the Lord your God; do not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.” But you have not obeyed My voice.’ ”

Gideon

11 Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!”

13 Gideon said to Him, “O [c]my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”

14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?”

15 So he said to Him, “O [d]my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”

16 And the Lord said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall [e]defeat the Midianites as one man.”

17 Then he said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who talk with me. 18 Do not depart from here, I pray, until I come to You and bring out my offering and set it before You.”

And He said, “I will wait until you come back.”

19 So Gideon went in and prepared a young goat, and unleavened bread from an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot; and he brought them out to Him under the terebinth tree and presented them. 20 The Angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And he did so.

21 Then the Angel of the Lord put out the end of the staff that was in His hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. And the Angel of the Lord departed out of his sight.

22 Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the Lord. So Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord God! For I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face.”

23 Then the Lord said to him, “Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die.” 24 So Gideon built an altar there to the Lord, and called it [f]The-Lord-Is-Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

25 Now it came to pass the same night that the Lord said to him, “Take your father’s young bull, the second bull of seven years old, and tear down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the [g]wooden image that is beside it; 26 and build an altar to the Lord your God on top of this [h]rock in the proper arrangement, and take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the image which you shall cut down.” 27 So Gideon took ten men from among his servants and did as the Lord had said to him. But because he feared his father’s household and the men of the city too much to do it by day, he did it by night.

Gideon Destroys the Altar of Baal

28 And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, there was the altar of Baal, torn down; and the wooden image that was beside it was cut down, and the second bull was being offered on the altar which had been built. 29 So they said to one another, “Who has done this thing?” And when they had inquired and asked, they said, “Gideon the son of Joash has done this thing.” 30 Then the men of the city said to Joash, “Bring out your son, that he may die, because he has torn down the altar of Baal, and because he has cut down the wooden image that was beside it.”

31 But Joash said to all who stood against him, “Would you [i]plead for Baal? Would you save him? Let the one who would plead for him be put to death by morning! If he is a god, let him plead for himself, because his altar has been torn down!” 32 Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal,[j] saying, “Let Baal plead against him, because he has torn down his altar.”

33 Then all the Midianites and Amalekites, the people of the East, gathered together; and they crossed over and encamped in the Valley of Jezreel. 34 But the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon; then he blew the trumpet, and the Abiezrites gathered behind him. 35 And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, who also gathered behind him. He also sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali; and they came up to meet them.

The Sign of the Fleece

36 So Gideon said to God, “If You will save Israel by my hand as You have said— 37 look, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that You will save Israel by my hand, as You have said.” 38 And it was so. When he rose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece together, he wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me, but let me speak just once more: Let me test, I pray, just once more with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, but on all the ground let there be dew.” 40 And God did so that night. It was dry on the fleece only, but there was dew on all the ground.

Gideon’s Valiant Three Hundred

Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the well of Harod, so that the camp of the Midianites was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley.

And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ Now therefore, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and afraid, let him turn and depart at once from Mount Gilead.’ ” And twenty-two thousand of the people returned, and ten thousand remained.

But the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many; bring them down to the water, and I will test them for you there. Then it will be, that of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ the same shall go with you; and of whomever I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ the same shall not go.” So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “Everyone who laps from the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set apart by himself; likewise everyone who gets down on his knees to drink.” And the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men; but all the rest of the people got down on their knees to drink water. Then the Lord said to Gideon, “By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand. Let all the other people go, every man to his [k]place.” So the people took provisions and their trumpets in their hands. And he sent away all the rest of Israel, every man to his tent, and retained those three hundred men. Now the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.

It happened on the same night that the Lord said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have delivered it into your hand. 10 But if you are afraid to go down, go down to the camp with Purah your servant, 11 and you shall hear what they say; and afterward [l]your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp.” Then he went down with Purah his servant to the outpost of the armed men who were in the camp. 12 Now the Midianites and Amalekites, all the people of the East, were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were [m]without number, as the sand by the seashore in multitude.

13 And when Gideon had come, there was a man telling a dream to his companion. He said, “I have had a dream: To my surprise, a loaf of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian; it came to a tent and struck it so that it fell and overturned, and the tent collapsed.”

14 Then his companion answered and said, “This is nothing else but the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel! Into his hand God has delivered Midian and the whole camp.”

15 And so it was, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, that he worshiped. He returned to the camp of Israel, and said, “Arise, for the Lord has delivered the camp of Midian into your hand.” 16 Then he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet into every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and torches inside the pitchers. 17 And he said to them, “Look at me and do likewise; watch, and when I come to the edge of the camp you shall do as I do: 18 When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then you also blow the trumpets on every side of the whole camp, and say, ‘The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!’ ”

19 So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outpost of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just as they had posted the watch; and they blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers that were in their hands. 20 Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers—they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing—and they cried, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!” 21 And every man stood in his place all around the camp; and the whole army ran and cried out and fled. 22 When the three hundred blew the trumpets, the Lord set every man’s sword against his companion throughout the whole camp; and the army fled to [n]Beth Acacia, toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel Meholah, by Tabbath.

23 And the men of Israel gathered together from Naphtali, Asher, and all Manasseh, and pursued the Midianites.

24 Then Gideon sent messengers throughout all the mountains of Ephraim, saying, “Come down against the Midianites, and seize from them the watering places as far as Beth Barah and the Jordan.” Then all the men of Ephraim gathered together and seized the watering places as far as Beth Barah and the Jordan. 25 And they captured two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb. They killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb, and Zeeb they killed at the winepress of Zeeb. They pursued Midian and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side of the Jordan.

Footnotes

  1. Judges 6:5 innumerable
  2. Judges 6:8 slavery
  3. Judges 6:13 Heb. adoni, used of man
  4. Judges 6:15 Heb. Adonai, used of God
  5. Judges 6:16 Lit. strike
  6. Judges 6:24 Heb. YHWH Shalom
  7. Judges 6:25 Heb. Asherah, a Canaanite goddess
  8. Judges 6:26 stronghold
  9. Judges 6:31 contend
  10. Judges 6:32 Lit. Let Baal Plead
  11. Judges 7:7 home
  12. Judges 7:11 you shall be encouraged
  13. Judges 7:12 innumerable
  14. Judges 7:22 Heb. Beth Shittah

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