Hello Hello, Beautiful People! I hope you all are doing well! So as the past week has been going on, a lot of prevalent roadblocks… er… what I considered inescapable fires came up in my faith. These obstacles really exposed a lot of hindrance in my faith that God has currently been using to further grow me. To say the least, it has been a very interesting week. Deep questions have been raised. Ugliness has been shown and the true nature of me and our God has been shown. That is why I am super excited to share this post with y’all. When I first studied this story it really resonated with everything I have been writing about, but now since I have experienced God in this way, it brings about the passion that I have about the Truth that I know with such fervor, I can’t help but be excited about it all. With that being said, I want to give y’all the daily reminder to please like, subscribe, and comment on my posts. I would love to hear your feedback and help y’all anyway I can. With that being said, let’s dive on in!
“So may all your enemies perish, Lord! But may all who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength. Then the land had peace for forty years. (Judges 5:31). Isn’t that a beautiful thought? Isn’t that a beautiful way to wrap up a chapter? To celebrate a victory, give hats off to the winner and admire a job well done… I mean peace for forty years? I can barely have peace for a day! And yet, after forty years this wasn’t the case anymore for the Israelites.
So may all your enemies perish, Lord! But may all who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength.Emphasis mine
You see there was a warning being given here whilst praises about God were being sung. You see, God just brought the Israelites through a great victory, and the only thing that they needed to be reminded of was to continually rise up like the sun. But they didn’t rise up. At the beginning of chapter six, it states, “The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord [again].” This is a common theme in the book of Judges, as well as, in the Old Testament and in today’s world. Because of their disobedience, od allowed the Midianites to heavily oppress the Israelites, and because they were so oppressive, they had to hide in caves, mountain clefts, and strongholds.
Yikes. That has got to suck. Having to hide from something that evidently is gonna hurt you. I haven’t done anything like that ever.
Okay, that was heavy sarcasm. I do that way more than I would ever like to admit. But let’s refocus on God here. In verse seven it states, “When the Israelites cried out to the Lord because of Midian, he sent a prophet.” The prophet declared to the Israelites their sins, and tells them that “they have not listened to [Him].” Meanwhile, the angel of the Lord went to Gideon, son of Joash the Abiezrite. While he was working on providing for his family– a current struggle due to the oppression– God met him and called him to save his family and all of Isreal. Let’s take a look at the interaction:
11 The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrahthat belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”Emphasis Mine
13 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”
14 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”
16 The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”
17 Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a signthat it is really you talking to me. 18 Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.”
And the Lord said, “I will wait until you return.”
You have to admire the man for his honesty. And I don’t know about you but I see a common theme running through here and another interaction between a man and God, let’s see if we can point out the similarities:
7 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”Emphasis Mine
11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you[b] will worship God on this mountain.”
13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
Hmm… sounds familiar now doesn’t it? One of the most famous stories of the Bible starts with a man questioning how in the world they are to do what God has called them to do. Another man who lived in the land they were given, just under oppression due to their disobedience, is asking the same question. God calls us much in the same way, and His answer is much the same.
”I will be with you.”Emphasis Mine
Thanks be to God for being so patient as we question His goodness like Gideon did before he was called. Thanks be to God for being so patient while we flip out and wrestle with what we are called to do. And thanks be to God for being big enough and just being enough to help us through everything.
The biggest realization I had when I read this was that connection, and the point that Gideon felt like he was the one that was the least equipped to be called. He, loosely translated, is telling God, “God I can’t do this. My people are the weakest. I’m the weakest in my family. It truly can’t be me.”
(Ouch. Jesus and I are throwing so much shade at myself right now.)
Yet God’s immediate response is “I will be with you.” He doesn’t promise smooth sailing or easy passage, just that He will be with Gideon. As the story progresses, Gideon– from the direction from God– removes physically and metaphorically the idols the Israelites are holding in their hearts and he departs to wage war on the Midianites. When this happened he originally had 32,000 men BUT God gave Gideon specific directions to whittle his army down to 300 men. No one died, they just had to keep an eye on the camp and others were sent home. God did this so the Israelites couldn’t boast about it being on their own accord– just solely God’s. And you want to know something? God showed up.
9 During that night the Lord said to Gideon, “Get up, go down against the camp, because I am going to give it into your hands. 10 If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah 11 and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp.” So he and Purah his servant went down to the outposts of the camp. 12 The Midianites, the Amalekites and all the other eastern peoples had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore.
13 Gideon arrived just as a man was telling a friend his dream. “I had a dream,” he was saying. “A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed.”
14 His friend responded, “This can be nothing other than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God has given the Midianites and the whole camp into his hands.”
15 When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he bowed down and worshiped. He returned to the camp of Israel and called out, “Get up! The Lord has given the Midianite camp into your hands.” 16 Dividing the three hundred men into three companies, he placed trumpets and empty jars in the hands of all of them, with torches inside.
17 “Watch me,” he told them. “Follow my lead. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly as I do. 18 When I and all who are with me blow our trumpets, then from all around the camp blow yours and shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon.’”
19 Gideon and the hundred men with him reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guard. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands. 20 The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, “A sword for the Lordand for Gideon!” 21 While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled.
22 When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the Lord caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords.
God knew Gideon was terrified. God knew their fear. Thanks be to God for forever being faithful, but the thing is, NOT ONE OF THE ISRAELITES LIFTED A FINGER.
Talk about WOW.
I don’t know what you are going through. I have no idea. But God is faithful. I have no idea what He is calling you to. But God will be there to get you through. I have no idea what is oppressing you, but God is calling you to turn to Him and allow Him the ability to free you. I don’t know why hard times occur all the time, but sometimes they occur so you can reconnect or build a stronger connection with Him.
What He is calling you too looks terrifying, but it is worth it. He will be with you, and much like Gideon had numerous questions. I know you will too, just don’t let your questions hinder your faith. Trust Him and trust me. I am currently walking through my inability to let people in right now. God has made it known to me that it is time to work on this, and I am terrified. I hate it, yet I am being obedient and clinging to the promise that He is with me. (Always easier said than done by the way.) I’m in the middle of the journey now, you may just be beginning. Keep the faith. It’ll all be worth it.
If any of you are struggling, one book I’d recommend giving a read is It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way by Lyse Terkhurst. It’s helped me through so much of my struggles and has helped me keep going.
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading. This blog is something I am so passionate about, and if it helps you in any way, I am truly glad. I love you all bunches, and you all are prayed for and loved. Please feel free to like, comment, and subscribe to my page!
Have a great week!