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Judges 6 (NKJV)
7
And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried out to the LORD because of the Midianites, 8
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 bondage;
9
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.’”

~~~

NOTE: It is easy to emotionally distance ourselves from these historical, Biblical narratives. Yet, people are people -- in our humanity, we are just like them and they are like us.

Do we fear man or do we fear God? It is easy for us to say, "I fear God alone".

There are two (2) kinds of trials:
1.
persecution for obedience (which the Lord through I Peter says that this causes God's glory to be manifest in and through us)
2.
trial because of disobedience, for which God is not glorified in us.

The Israelites were suffering because they feared man, the surrounding nations, and the false gods more than the true and living God.

We believe that we are different. Yet are we fearing and loving God above all? Are we fearful of the culture and the false gods around us... or do we stand up for righteousness no matter what the cost?

Have we faced persecution or threat of death because of Christ? How would we react?

Our hearts flowing into actions determine the nature of our trials.

Thank God that Gideon shows us that, even in the midst of fears and anxieties, we can LEARN to fear and obey God so He is first in our lives. As we obey with alal of our hearts, even trembling, God will bless.

"We know that all things work together for good to those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28). If we keep our hearts sensitive and obedient, even if while we are fearful and trembling, God will be glorified in us and we will be blessed.

Judges 6 (NKJV)
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,[Hebrew adoni, used of man]

if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us?

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, [Hebrew Adonai, used of God]
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 defeat the Midianites as one man.”

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 The-LORD-Is-Peace.[Hebrew YHWH Shalom]

NOTE: I find it extremely fascinating and comforting that the pre-incarnate Lord Jesus keeps appearing in the pages of history to assure that God's covenant will be fulfilled.

In light of the rebuke the Israelites just received for fearing the surrounding culture and false gods more than the living Lord... I find this very encouraging indeed.

Note that in verses 13 and 15, the Lord uses Gideon to foreshadow the fullness of the God the Son later revealed in the NT:
verse 13 - fully man
verse 15 - fully God

Note that God wants to be for us YAHWEH SHALOM - God of peace. God can only reveal His peace to us as we surrender and obey.

Luke 22:70 -- Jesus is the I AM!

John 10 (NKJV)
30
I and My Father are one.”
31
Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32
Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?”
33
The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”

Psalm 95 (NKJV)
8
“Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, [Meribah]
As in the day of trial [Massah]

in the wilderness,
9
When your fathers tested Me; They tried Me, though they saw My work.

NOTE:
Note the original context of the rebellion to which the Lord is referring:

Exodus 17 (NKJV)
6
Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.” And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
7
So he called the name of the place
Massah [Literally Tempted] and Meribah, [Literally Contention]

because of the contention of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?”

NOTE: How often do we complain? I take strength from this, that I can learn to pray and go to God with everything no matter how overwhelming it may seem to me.

The Israelites were in the wilderness for two (2) reasons:
1.
God's sovereign will. They had to cross the desert to get to the Promised Land.

2.
God's discipline because of disobedience. After the refusal to obey in Numbers 14, God had to wait for the entire generation of parents had to die off before He could fulfill His promise.

Still, God in His mercy, is a covenant making and covenant keeping God. He did fulfill His word.

I read something in the Tehillim (Psalms with Jewish rabbinical notes) that really blessed and challenged me last night:

"God gave the Torah [i.e., God's Word] to Israel in order to instruct and chastise them."

May you and I make a point, even in weakness, to learn from God's Word the way He intended through surrender and faith.

God will rebuke sin in our lives. Whether it is easy or hard for us depends on whether we chose to surrender and obey, as we trust the Spirit.

Vance

amen Bro Mike

Chris and his new one "Arriving" do it for me...

They usher me into the Throne Room of our Mighty GOD!

Chris Tomlin and Daily Word...winning combination... GOD Bless you for your ministry!

What a Mighty GOD we serve!

Judges 6:1-40

This generation is blessed in so many ways. We are blessed because we have a record of those that have gone before us as what to do and not do. We can read and experience vicariously what other saints of God have experienced, be they failures or triumphs. So, with Gideon we get to look at a man swimming in a sea of doubts, angst, and uncertainty. God does not wipe him out but continues to work with Him and to answer his wavering questions of faith.

What I see in the big picture is this; our rebellion against the voice of God causes us to not recognize His voice in the midst of our despair. We question God, “Is it You?” We fail to trust, because we are surrounded by untrustworthy people. We first see Gideon, threshing wheat in the bottom of a winepress, an arduous job. Fear of the Midianites, and all the other enemies, had Gideon doing a job that should have been done out in the open so the wind could catch the grains of wheat as it’s thrown in the air, separating the chaff from the wheat, in a confined space with no wind. Hard work was made even harder because of a nation’s sin.

As I tried to visualize this scene and all the extra work it took, I was reminded of the words of Jesus,

Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30 KJVR)

When we go our own way, we take on the tremendous burden sin directly and indirectly brings upon us. When Godeon is called, God gives him a new perspective of who and what He is, “A Mighty hero …” When he is called God sends Him out in his own strength because “The Lord” will be with him and that is all Gideon needs. O, that I would learn this lesson. There is nothing in my own strength that can get any godly assignment done, it is only because “God is with me,’ that the purposes of God will be accomplished upon the earth.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Judges 6

Often I pray about being in the will of God, and truthfully I still struggle with what His Will is for me.

Reading about Gideon, I kept thinking - Come on, man! Commands this explicit - just do it!

Then the "Spirit of the Lord" entered Gideon and I thought - all right this is it - go get 'em.

Yet there are still doubts and tests of God.

I would like to think I am different, but I wonder - if some daunting opportunity comes before me that I discern is in the Will of God - will I have the courage to step forward and serve. What if it is out of my comfort zone?

It is all so humbling, and right now I can only pray that God would give me the strength and courage to move down the path He has for me.

Healing

Came up early in the year.

About two months ago, I blew out my left elbow. Puffy, sore, and tender I could deal with - I figured time would heal it. About a month ago real bad burning sensations would start when my elbow was bent. These burning sensations increased in intensity and frequency, especially at night as I would bend my arm when I slept.

Finally decided I needed to go see a doctor.

Yesterday I was in my attorney's office, and as I left I winced in pain as my elbow really hurt.

Attorney asked what was wrong, and when he heard asked if he could pray about my injury. He is a long-time Christian from my church. I said - 'it is a minor thing, I really don't feel comfortable praying to God asking for healing, when so many others have more serious problems, injuries, illnesses, etc.'

He said, 'I have no problem asking Him for you.' He put his arm around me and prayed. Don't remember what he said, I just mumbled an "amen" at the end and headed home.

By the time I got home, I realized I had driven all the way home with elbow bent and no pain. Woke up this morning, and puffiness, soreness, tender spots were gone. I have been pain free all day.

I really struggle with praying for myself. When God sent Christ to die for our sins, I thought - 'you really never have to do anything else for me'. That is enough. Let me just serve you now. I will pray for others.

Then I think about what a Father would do for his child, and maybe I need to re-evaluate my thinking. Maybe my refusal to go To God through Christ about my physical struggles is just a form of Pride. Maybe I need to embrace the "Abba" relationship with God.

Anyway, just thought I would share this moment with the blog.

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