Being & Building Followers & Friends of Jesus
I love the stories of the Old Testament! Some people think they don’t apply to them because they happened so long ago. But God has treasures for us throughout every page of His book and they are just as relevant today as they were back then. Last week when I read about Gideon in the book of Judges, Chapter 6, I saw so many truths that I couldn’t wait to blog about it for the next couple of weeks as well!
Let me set the scene for you from Judges 6:1-10…. The Israelites had been disobedient to God and He had given them into the hands of the Midianites for seven year. The Israelites lived by escaping into mountain clefts, caves and strongholds because the Midianites were so oppressive. The Israelites tried to plant their crops but the Midianites with their sheep and cattle, and other enemies from the east, would come in like a swarm of locusts and ravage the land. The Israelites cried out to the Lord for help. So God sent them a prophet to remind them that God had brought them out of Egypt and out of slavery and He could do the same for them. God had told them not to fear and worship the gods of the people in whose land they lived, but they didn’t listen to Him.
So, you’re probably thinking… “What does the war with Midian and the Israelites have to do with me in this day and time? We don’t have wars like that here.” That may be true, but we, as Christians, have an enemy who can be very oppressive. He may even come in and ravage your home and send you into strongholds that you were not meant to live in. We can look at the spiritual parallels between now and then. So, the question is, are you being disobedient to God? Have you given Satan a foothold because of that disobedience? Has Satan run you into a stronghold of addiction, lust, pride, unforgiveness, etc.? The list can go on and on… God gave the Israelites to the enemy for a time because they were disobedient to Him. God disciplines those He loves. And He knows just what it will take to get us to cry out to Him, just like the Israelites cried out to God. God sent a prophet to tell the Israelites to remember Him and how He acted on their behalf in the past. Has God sent someone to you who is reminding you of how God has worked in your life? Or maybe you have a journal from your past that you can read for encouragement. It helps us to remember what God has done in our lives and in the lives of others so that we can have hope for what He’s going to do in our current circumstances.
When the Israelites cried out to God, He reminded them that He had told them not to fear and worship the gods of their enemies, but they did it anyway. Are there some gods of this world that you worship because you fear them? What about the fear of not having enough money, so you stay in a job that God has told you to leave? Or are you worshipping your job by spending too much time there and not enough time with your family? Are you afraid of what other people might think of you, so you worship their opinion? Are you worshipping the god of the economy because you’re afraid it will tank and along with it all of your wealth? Are you worshipping the god of pleasure, afraid that you will miss out on comforts you believe should be yours? Only God is worthy of our worship and our fear, or awe of Him. These other things are fleeting, and don’t matter in the end. God answered the cry of the Israelites and He raised up an unlikely warrior in Gideon. I suspect He can and is already in the process of raising up an unlikely warrior in you… Put away the gods of this world and turn to the only God who can truly change your life. He’s the only God who is worthy of our fear and our worship. Join me next week as we continue our journey into the life of Gideon, an unlikely warrior.
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