Israel's repetitious disobedience results in their defeat and domination by Midian. Gideon takes a stand against his father's Baal worship. They battle the Midianites. How did the Lord select Gideon's army (Judg. 7:2-6)?
Verses for Today:
The Lord is with thee. . . . Go . . . and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee? (Judg. 6:12,14).
Once more the Israelites were enslaved, this time by the Midianites. And the children of Israel did evil (sinned) in the sight of the Lord: and the Lord delivered them into the hand (under the control) of Midian seven years. . . . Israel was greatly impoverished . . . and the children of Israel cried unto the Lord (6:1,6). The answer to their prayers began with reproof: The Lord sent a prophet . . . which said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt . . . out of the hand of all that oppressed you . . . and gave you their land . . . but ye have not obeyed My voice (6:8-10). There was no word of comfort, only reproof. They needed to recognize that their miserable suffering was the direct result of their disregarding the Word of God.
It would appear that this unnamed prophet may have had only one convert — Gideon: And the Angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said . . . The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. . . . Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites (6:12,14).
Gideon was deeply conscious of his poverty and his own limited ability, and confessed: Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house (6:15). We tend to think that the only people God can use are those who have influence in their communities. But, often these people are too busy, want to do it their way, or would rather compromise than lose their popularity.
Gideon was truly a man of inexperience and uncertainty, but he unconditionally obeyed the Lord without fear of the opposition. Gideon was ready to worship the God of Israel and built an altar there unto the Lord, and called it Jehovah (Yahweh)-Shalom (the Lord is peace) (6:24). We too must get our eyes off circumstances and fix our faith on the Word of God. Hearken (listen), my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him? (James 2:5).
Thought for Today:
God specializes in using the small or insignificant to do mighty things for His glory. He will even use "the least" who will obey Him (I Sam. 17:47).
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 =for idols; 6:36 by my hand =through me; 7:3 in the ears =within the hearing.
Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Clarence Rathbone • Staff: Al Joslyn • Government Officials: Gov. Christine Gregoire (WA) and Rep. Don Manzullo (IL) • Country: Chad (7 million) in north-central Africa • Major languages: French and Arabic • Limited religious freedom • 35% Muslim; 31% animist; 11% Protestant; 5% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Read the Word of God to build up your faith so that you can pray and ask in faith (Rom. 10:17).
Optional Reading: John 15
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:9-10