Bible In One Year-Day 98 (Tuesday, April 8, 2014)

Commentary: Judges7-9. Gideon, born into an idol worshipping family, was named after Baal, Jerubbaal, meaning “let Baal plead”. The name the Angel of the Lord called him was in line with what his destiny was all about, “mighty man of valor”, a military hero. Suffice to know that what was written in the book before God about Gideon was “mighty man of valor” and that was what the angel called him. Unfortunately, he was answering the call of the idol of his father’s house. In chapter7, he strategized his first battle which was not pleasing to God. Peter was an expert in fishing, but when Jesus entered his boat, He taught him a better way of catching fish. When God enters your life, your expertise becomes irrelevant. All He wants is submission and obedience. His ways are absolutely not the way we think;

Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Gideon was to face a battle in a way he had never done before. Initially he analized at the strength of his battle to plan his strategies, but God said “no, that won’t work”;

Judges 7:12 And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.”

No wonder he doubted God’s plan with only three hundred people. But that was his first battle anyway. God thereafter taught him how to select for battle; it is not a matter of numbers but of vision. The first set of people sent back was the fearful and the timid. They only joined because they were interested or wanted to identify with Gideon. These ones will not go far if they ever got to the battle field. Going into any warfare in fear ends in automatic failure. Fear kills faster than death. The fearful accomplishes nothing because they don’t go far. Such will discourage with fearful words, counsels and suggestions. They are easily disgusted when the trying time becomes more unfavorable. They would complain about everything because they can’t see what you do well but bad. They count on errors rather than vision. Even if the best is coming out of you, such will regard it as rubbish. A times they make mockery of the good you are doing that is touching lives. The next set was those who will not endure hardship. Such could sell Gideon if hunger and thirst catch up with them on the battle field. As a matter of fact, they could be carried away with money, beautiful women and deny Gideon; they have weak knees. They could easily compromise in the battle thereby putting your life and ministry in danger. They are controlled by their bellies. But the 300 men were the ones with vision, they are quite watchful. When a dog laps water, his eyes are still over his surroundings. These are what we go through in life as human beings. As we grow in life, we have many friends, but when the predicaments of life roll in, only few, if any, remains with us. Pastors, just like any other Christian, experience this. Jesus at one time had a huge congregation of followers but at another time, they were reduced to 12 and He even asked those who remained if they were ready to leave also;

John 6:66-67 “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.Then said Jesus to the twelve, Will ye also go away?”

Out of those 12, 11 of them turned the world upside down for Christ. It is not about numbers but about vision. We go through some difficulties at one point or the other in life and when people abandon us we feel rejected and depressed. The truth is that, God wants to take the glory which He does not want to share with anyone;

Judges 7:2 And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.”

You don’t need the huge number of friends you are relying on and which would break your heart, what you need around you are watchers and visioners; these are the ones that should carry the trumpet of the ministry. Though Gideon won this battle, which was the only recorded battle he fought, he lost the battle in his foundation which is idolatry. He used the spoil of the battle to make an idol which became a snare to him and the Israelites. Unfortunately, he was called Jerubaal on returning to his own house, Judges8:29. His son, Abimelech, was called by this idolatry name, Judg9:1. Abimelech was so wicked that the curse of Jotham came to pass on his head, Judges9:56-57. Only God’s way exalts us, Psalms 37:34 Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.” Our next reading is Judges10-12. Keep the fire burning and alive

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