Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Shepastor: "If the Lord is With Us, Why...?"
16 GOD said to him, “I’ll be with you. Believe me, you’ll defeat Midian as one man.” Judges 6: 11-15, The Message Translation of the Bible
The Old Testament Judge, Gideon is most notably remembered for his obedience to God to reduce his army from thousands to a mere 300 men. With that small number of warriors, God used Gideon to defeat the Midianites, Amalakites and other formidable pagan nations to restore Israel’s land and place of prominence (Judges 7).
But Gideon did not start out as a towering giant of the faith. Gideon walked amidst a people whose hearts had waxed cold against God. They rebelled and forgot all that the Lord had done to deliver them from Egypt, taken them across the Red Sea, fed them with manna in the desert, gave them the “promised land” of Canaan etc. As a result, God allowed pagan nations to overtake them, oppress them, strip them, cause them to be defeated and impoverished. After all of that, they cried out to God for mercy and deliverance.
In an answer to the people’s prayer, God chose to show up and present Himself to the young man named Gideon…a fearful, disillusioned, “nobody…” or at least that is what Gideon thought of himself! God, however, saw something different, something mighty, something greater in Gideon. Verse number 12 states,
The angel of GOD appeared to him and said, “GOD is with you, O mighty warrior!”
Gideon was so distraught that he didn’t even appeared shocked or startled! He simply responded…
13 … “With me, my master? If GOD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all the miracle-wonders our parents and grandparents told us about, telling us, ‘Didn’t GOD deliver us from Egypt?’ The fact is, GOD has nothing to do with us—he has turned us over to Midian.”
Gideon had had it!!! He’d heard all about God’s miracles and wonders from the past, but right now as he faced “this present darkness,” he felt abandoned and like anything but a “mighty warrior.” Maybe he was so overwhelmed that he did not think about the behaviors of his people that placed them in their current predicament. Maybe he felt like he had nothing to do with their waywardness and was being afflicted unjustly.
Can you relate to Gideon? “If God is with us, why has all this happened to us?” As you read the newspaper, Facebook, Twitter, listen to the news, ponder the conditions of our schools, neighborhoods, communities, nation and world…If God is with us, why has all this happened to us?” Maybe your own personal plight is such a struggle that you are not looking beyond your front door… “If God is WITH ME, why has all this happened to me?”
God’s response to Gideon and to us…
14 But GOD faced him directly: “Go in this strength that is yours. Save Israel from Midian. Haven’t I just sent you?”
“But Lord, who am I? I can’t fight against…I don’t have the strength…I don’t have the means…I don’t have the wherewithal…”
15 Gideon said to him, “Me, my master? How and with what could I ever save Israel? Look at me. My clan’s the weakest in Manasseh and I’m the runt of the litter.”
16 GOD said to him, “I’ll be with you. Believe me, you’ll defeat Midian as one man.”
What is your “Midian?” What are you facing that feels impossible to beat? What enemy has stripped you of heart, health, and hope? The Lords says, “Go in this strength that is yours…I will be with you…believe me, you will defeat Midian.”
What is your strength? What is in your hand? “Nothing” is not an acceptable answer!!! God has given each of us something that is ours and ours alone – maybe it’s your voice…God has given you a word to speak life where things appear dead…maybe it’s your vision…God has shown you how things could be if you move by faith…maybe it’s your calm, prayerful demeanor…God wants to use you to provide a listening presence to help heal someone who needs to talk… maybe it’s your voice of reason in an unreasonable situation…God has given each of us something! Maybe it’s you as a resource… God wants to use you to mentor or to provide a meal, or to start a block club or to develop a prayer group…By faith, if we use “this strength” and go, God will be with us and will help us to defeat “Midian.”
When we are weak, God shows Himself mighty on our behalf. Avoid comparing yourself to others and what others have. God can and will use the small things to do GREAT THINGS if we would but trust Him, obey Him and use “this strength” that we have.
May you go in your strength, believe that God is with you and know that through Him, you WILL defeat the Midians in your life!
Post a comment or send me an email at Shepastor1@hotmail.com
Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,