Saturday, October 29th, 2016
Suffering (Part 33)
Then the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites. The Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, 'The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.' Then Gideon said to Him, 'O my Lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, 'Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?' But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.' The Lord looked at him and said, 'Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?' He said to Him, 'O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father's house.'
Judges 6:11-15 (NASB)*
When Midian defeated Israel, the Lord called Gideon to fight for Him, but Gideon said he was deficient: his kin were too few and he was too young to battle such an overwhelming foe. At the same time, he was plucky enough to ask God why He allowed their torment.
Because the Midianites 'Would come in like locusts for number, both they and their camels were innumerable; and they came into the land to devastate it. So Israel was brought very low because of Midian...' (Judges 6:5).
So Gideon decided to test God, and the Lord agreed to perform three signs. Once done, Gideon became His key man in a war of the 'haves' versus the 'have nots.' When Gideon assembled a small army, the Lord told the 'have nots' to have less: to cut their fighting force to 300: thus to know their victory was through Him.*
Actors, models and talent for Christ: In the eyes of the men of their age, most Bible heroes were deficient: Abraham and Sarah were too old.** Other chosen leaders were too young.*** Jacob was a cunning fugitive. Joseph was stuck deeply in prison. Moses lacked the confidence to speak. Rahab lacked purity and kinship. David lacked the crown he was promised. Joseph and Mary lacked prominence. Jesus lacked all symbols of kingship. His disciples lacked education. Paul, their ruthless hunter, lacked mercy. Peter lacked the courage to claim Christ.
God takes pleasure in filling your lacks, so believe in His sufficiency and deny your insufficiency.
To Be Continued...
* Through Gideon and his tiny army, the Lord killed over 100,000 Midianites, and 40 years of peace for Israel followed.
* The Story of Gideon: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges+6-8&version=NASB
** So were Caleb, Zechariah and Elizabeth.
*** Such as Gideon, David, Jeremiah and Timothy.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Suffering series.