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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Fight- Part 3

In the times of the book of Judges, the Israelites were doing pretty much what we do: in times of hardship and oppression, they cried out to the Lord, their God. (Remember 911?)
But when things smoothed out and enemies ceased to oppress,  they became complacent and forgot to worship God. They also allowed idol worship to flourish. Oh well, keeping an idol around isn't all that serious, is it? (The presence of an idol demonstrates that the Israelites didn't fully trust God.)

In Gideon's time things had gotten so bad that he was forced to thresh wheat in the winepress so the Midianites wouldn't steal or destroy his crop.

God came to Gideon and told him  "I am sending you to save Israel. I will be with you when you fight and destroy the Midianites." (paraphrase mine)

 Before Gideon went out to do battle, God first asked him to destroy his father's Baal idol and to prepare a proper altar in which to worship God. (God must be worshiped sincerely, and He must come first if we hope to win a battle that He has called us to fight.)

Perhaps you know the rest of the story. Before Gideon and his men went out to battle the Midianites, God told him that he still had too many men. Out of ten thousand men he still had, God allowed Gideon to have only three hundred men. (Talk about a classic David and Goliath scenario!)

God said, "With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand.
(Note: God says, "I will save you." Who saves? Gideon. No. God. God saves. Remember, the Bible is about God, and only secondarily about men.)

God prepared the battle by spreading fear and confusion among the Midianites. By the time Gideon arrived, the Midianites were ready to flee in terror. As they did so, more Israelites were called into the battle to pursue their enemy. Eventually surrounded and trapped, the Midianites were defeated.

Everything about Gideon and his battle is amazing. The victory was so clearly engineered by God, again.

Things to note:
  1. Gideon first had to clean up his own family's ties to idol worship.
  2. His own family at first misunderstood and wanted to kill him. (When you first try to clean up shop, expect to get flack from those close to you)
  3. Although God called Gideon, the young man had to respond in obedience and action.
  4. And, most important, God was the orchestrator of this entire battle. Gideon simply responded in obedience. Then God filled Him with His spirit and Gideon was able to accomplish the impossible.

There are so many lessons to learn from this wonderful account. Today, one lesson that really strikes me is:
the complete sovereignty of God.
In other places of scripture, God says, (and I paraphrase): I am the Lord, there is no one who can stand before Me. I make nations rise and fall. I laugh at puny people who think they are more clever and more powerful than I Am. (examples: Job, chapters 38, 39; Psalm 2; Psalm 14; Revelation, chapter 4, etc.)

Yes, God is mighty. We have seen that in these three posts about His involvement in warfare.
But, isn't it also wonderful that His purposes are always holy and just?
And isn't it thrilling that, whatever He accomplishes, it is for the love of us, His children?

"Holy,holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." (Rev. 4:8)


  1. Amen! Especially to #2 - His own family at first misunderstood and wanted to kill him. (When you first try to clean up shop, expect to get flack from those close to you). Been there, done that... not easy but necessary.

    God bless you Dena :-)

    Have a great week :-)


  2. Yep, Ron, it happened to me. Wasn't pleasant but I needed, for my spiritual health and journey, to establish new boundaries. Isn't it amazing how Gideon's story has applications for each of us?