Daily Thought for: 17th March

GIDEON: THE MAN GOD CHOOSES

Judges 6 

The opening of Judges chapter 6 depicts the background of Gideon’s Spirit-inspired exploits. The victorious people of God under Joshua are now reduced to a fearful, impoverished people, oppressed by their enemies, Judg. 6. 3-4. The root cause is sin, in particular compromise. Living alongside the Canaanites, they have also married with them. No longer is Israel a separated people. Seven times in Judges we read of God delivering them into their enemies’ hands, 2. 14; 3. 7-8; 3. 12; 4. 1-2; 6. 1; 10. 6-7; 13. 1. 

Faith expressed in action. God chooses a man to deliver His people, and the first thing He looks for is faith, faith in action. We see in verse 11 a man doing something, however small, a man not prepared to let the enemy have what belongs to God and His people; cf. Shammah, 2 Sam. 23. 11-12. He is told to ‘Go in this thy might’, v. 14. What is it that overcomes the world? It is ‘our faith’, 1 John 5. 4; Heb. 11. 32. Gideon believes the miracles that have occurred in the nation’s history, and also recognizes that their servitude is the Lord’s doing, v. 13. 

Confession of weakness, vv. 15-16. He is the least in his father’s house. Judges shows us servants of God, weak in themselves, but strong in the Lord on whom they rely. 

Right priorities. Gideon faces a tremendous task, but before lifting a finger against the enemy, he worships, v. 24. He builds an altar; he worships before he acts. Then in verses 25-32 he obeys the Lord in his home situation, a true challenge. Perhaps he thought, ‘What will my father think?’ But he is now going forward with God, and what matters most is what God thinks. He tears down his father’s altar. 

Guidance from the Lord. He has still to fight the Midianites. Before he does, he feels the need to make sure he is in the will of God, and so he seeks a sign, vv. 36-40, the sign of the fleece. He asks twice, clearly wanting to be doubly sure. Why is this such a burden to him? Is it not that the lives of 30,000 others are involved? Should anything go wrong, therefore, it would not be his life only in jeopardy. How careful we need to be, when involving others in our actions, to ensure we are in the will of God. 

 

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