Monday, January 17, 2022

            The name Gideon means “hewer” or “the one who cuts down.” He was one of the judges chosen by God to deliver Israel when the people fell into the hands of an outside, invading foe. We should also note that the “invading foe” was the result of Israel’s sinfulness against God. The Lord would raise up an invading party to bring punishment to Israel so the nation would repent and call out to Him once again. There is a stirring story from Gideon’s life in Judges 7. Just before leading Israel into battle against the Midianites, God told Gideon that He had too many men willing to fight. Judges 7:2 reads, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” God knew that a large army would lead to Israel thinking they had saved themselves and that their power alone was overwhelming against Midian. Simply, the people would see their might and power and not His. This order in Judges 7:2 resulted in Gideon’s army shrinking form 22,000 men to 10,000.

              Yet still, too many men were in the army. God gave Gideon further orders to reduce the size of the army in Judges 7:4-8. At last, God had winnowed the army to a total of 300 men. Frankly, that was 300 more men than God “needed.” God had no need of anyone to defeat Midian but He graciously chose to work through Gideon, and this simplified army, so the people would both see and know His glory. The end of the story is God defeated Midian and freed Israel from the clutches of this opposing power. The lesson for us is to see the sufficiency of God. God was able and is always able to do as He chooses. That reality was true in Gideon’s day and remains true on a snowy Monday morning in January. God calls us to trust Him, to believe Him and to take Him at His word. Repentance is coming back to the Lord in the places and ways where we have denied Him, disobeyed Him or deserted Him. Repentance is believing once again that God can do as He wills and pleases in our lives and times and making life choices based on that reality. Gideon never robbed God of His glory or tried to take the credit for the victory in battle. The battle was the Lord’s and the victory was His. In life today, we would do well to imitate Gideon. We should endeavor to see that the battles we fight are His to fight and the victories we enjoy are victories that He has delivered to us. Life is always about seeing less of ourselves and more of Him. And life is about trusting more to Him and less to our hands and ways.

When the people tried to make Gideon their new king, he said to them, “The LORD will rule over you” (Judges 8:24). Maybe today you would say the same thing to some of the battles and trials that you face in life. “The LORD will rule over you” is a statement of faith and an act of faith. You are assigning the trial to the Lord for Him to address and manage. Numbers 23:19 says, “But God is not a man, so He does not lie. He is not human, so He does not change His mind. Has He ever spoken and failed to act? Has He ever promised and not carried it through?” You may want to build a fortress of Bible promises and verses that you can go to in times of challenge or crisis. These verses can help you see His power and glory. God can prove to us the same lesson He proved to Gideon—our God is a warrior and able to deliver His people in His ways for His glory. On this day that remembers and honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. we end with his words. “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” Have a wonderful Monday!

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