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 children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.... And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD (Judg. 6:1,6).
Once more the Israelites were enslaved, this time by the Midianites. The answer to their prayers began with an admonishment: 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. The people were left with the consciousness of their sins and with no hope of relief. They needed to recognize that their suffering was the direct result of their disregarding the Word of God. We must give the proper respect towards following the Word of God to the letter. God does not make suggestions. He draws the map to Him in His Word and detours will not get us there. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness (I Tim. 6:11).
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 in 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 well known, popular, or influential in their communities. But God knows our heart, and whether or not we will accept and follow His will. 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). Just as Gideon did we too must take our eyes and mind off circumstances and fix our faith on the Word of God.
Hearken, 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:
No difficulty is so great that God cannot lead us through it.
As The Sword of the LORD (Judges 7:20). In the Apostle John’s revelation of Jesus, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword (Revelation 1:16). We know that the sword is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17) and that Jesus is the Word of God made (became) flesh (John 1:14)
6:36 by my hand, through me; 7:4 try, test; 7:22 host, a army.
Pray for Government Officials:
on your local, State, and Federal levels • Pray for Country: Lebanon (4 million) in the Middle East • Major languages: Arabic and French • Limited religious freedom • 67% Muslim; 19% Roman Catholic; 10% Eastern Orthodox; 1% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for those who have hurt you (Matthew 5:44).
Optional Reading: John 15
Memory Verse for the Week: Revelation 5:2