BIBLE READING: Judges 6-8
The story of Gideon is one of the most powerful examples of Gods power being shown through obedience. Just imagine a group of 300 men defeating an army of almost 150,000 without even having to lift a sword. It never fails; every time I read that verse “…every man stood in his place…”(Judges 6.21), I still get chills. Yet for all the power that is displayed in Judges 6 through Gideon and his men, the story starts out very depressing.
“ The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD gave them into the hand of Midian seven years. And the hand of Midian overpowered Israel, and because of Midian the people of Israel made for themselves the dens that are in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds. For whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. They would encamp against them and devour the produce of the land, as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel and no sheep or ox or donkey. For they would come up with their livestock and their tents; they would come like locusts in number–both they and their camels could not be counted–so that they laid waste the land as they came in. And Israel was brought very low because of Midian…” (Judges 6:1-6)
How is it possible that the same people who had made a commitment under the leadership of Moses and Joshua turn so far away from the LORD, that God would allow the Midianintes to overtake them?
I mean this is the same people who marched around a city and it fell, who took out cities like Ai and Bethel and overthrew wicked kings like Adoni-Bezek and now they are hiding in caves, hiding their food living in fear of a pagan nation? When you are on the outside looking in, it just doesn’t make sense that they would have fallen so far away from the God they had once pledged their faithfulness. However, if instead of looking outside in, maybe we need to look inside out. How many times have we fallen away from a God who loves us, sacrificed for us, and promises us encouragement, comfort and strength, only to turn away from him and live a life of fear, worry and anxiety? I don’t know about you, but I suddenly feel my own toes being stepped on a bit. In no way am I trying to excuse or minimize their behavior, but I do feel that we should all take a long look in the mirror and see if we are just as untrusting and fickle as the Israelites. If that is the case, then remember what happens at the end of the story, when they turned back to the LORD…VICTORY…OVERWHELMING VICTORY! Stop living in worry and fear of the unknown and start living in faith of the One who does know, and we too can have …VICTORY…OVERWHELMING VICTORY.