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Midianites oppress Israel for seven years; call of Gideon to deliver Israel from the Midianites; Gideon's signs; his army reduced to 300; Gideon's victory.
And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee? (Judg. 6:14).
There was peace in the land for forty years because of the faith and courage of the prophetess Deborah. Then once again, the Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord and were delivered . . . into the hand of Midian seven years (6:1). After they prayed, God appeared to Gideon.
Gideon was from the half-tribe of Manasseh, where Baal worship was popular. But because of his faith and obedience to God, he was willing to risk his life in order to destroy the idol of Baal and offer sacrifices to Jehovah. Because of this, he faced hostile reaction from his own family, as well as from the men of the city (6:30).
At that time Israel was confronted with a vast invading army of 135,000 Midianite soldiers. Only 32,000 Israelites volunteered for battle (7:3). But 31,700 were disqualified, leaving only 300 soldiers to help Gideon conquer the Midianites.
Gideon was commanded to go in this thy might (6:14) and defeat the enemy. God certainly was not speaking of Gideon's mighty tribe for it was the smallest of all. Nor could He have been referring to his family, for it was the poorest. But this thy might rested in one thing — I sent thee.
No difficulty is so great that God cannot lead us through it. The things that confront a Christian are incidental in the light of the power of God. Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy (I Pet. 4:12-13).
Far too many Christians today, like Gideon's original army, are unqualified to serve God and are glad to be excused from sacrifice and service. They are too occupied with earthly things and are waiting for a more convenient time. Like Gideon's 300, the number of men and women who are dedicated enough to accomplish the will of God AT ANY COST are amazingly small. The believer's strength to overcome is from the Lord.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; (II Cor. 10:4).
Thought for Today:
God chooses the weakest, smallest, or least likely men's eyes to perform His work.
As The Sword of the Lord (Judg. 7:20). In the Apostle John's revelation of Jesus, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged Sword (Rev. 1:16). We know that the Sword is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17) and that Jesus is the Word of God made flesh (John 1:14).
6:1 into the hand = under the control; 6:3 came up against them = invaded the country; 6:13 befallen = happened to; 6:16 smite = strike down; 6:19 unleavened = yeast-free; 6:20 flesh = meat; 6:28 grove = trees or poles set up in a place of idol worship; 6:36 by mine hand = through me; 7:3 in the ears = within the hearing.
Optional Reading: John 15
Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 2:15
Romans 12: 15 - 21
Romans 12: 15
Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.