Gideon, an Example

The Israelites had a forty year rest after Barak and Deborah fought against the Canaanites in the book of Judges chapters 4-5. Deborah prayed – she fought by spiritual means.

Judges 6:1 says in the NKJV: Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord.

Throughout the book of Judges, the Israelites served God under a judge and then after the judge died, the people turned to the gods of their neighbors. God didn’t chase them down. He let them serve the false gods and their enemies began to treat them badly. Sometimes it was many years of hardship and then they’d realize they’d turned their backs on God and then they’d call out to Him and repent and ask for help.

Gideon said he was the least of the tribe of Manasseh, and the least of his family. He tried to thresh wheat in the wine press because the Midianites kept destroying their food as soon as they grew it.

The Angel of the Lord which I believe is the pre-incarnate Christ talked to Gideon about going to war against the Midianites. He told him to go in his strength because God is sending him. When Gideon realizes he’d seen God face to face and hadn’t died, he was terrified. Judges 6:23 says, “Then the Lord said to him, ‘Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die.’”

Gideon was directed to tear down the altar of Baal and to present an offering to God with the wood of the image which he will cut to pieces. He was so afraid of the men in the area that he took ten servants of his father’s and destroyed the altar of Baal at night.

Gideon’s father was a Baal worshipper, but when the men arose to harm Gideon after he removed the idol, Gideon’s father said to let Baal contend for himself if he is a god. I’ll bet that encouraged Gideon. Maybe that’s why Gideon turned from God. Even though he saw God face to face and was able to destroy thousands of soldiers with only three hundred Israeli’s so God could get the glory, he still turned to idolatry. After the soldiers plundered their enemies Gideon asked for the gold earrings and he kept the pendants of gold from around the camel’s necks and made himself a golden idol.

Even though he got elevated in the eyes of the people, so that they asked him to rule over them, which he declined to do, and said that God is their ruler, he led the people astray by providing them an idol to bow down to.

It’s not easy to follow God some of the time, but not following God causes all sorts of problems. One of Gideon’s sons, a child of a concubine, decided he wanted to be the leader of the Israelis. Gideon had seventy other sons from his many wives and Abimelech went to his mother’s relatives and got help. He killed sixty-nine of his brothers. One hid himself to rise up against his half-brother as soon as he could. What a mess.

I don’t take my faith for granted. It says in 2 Timothy 2:15, (Webster): “Study to show thyself approved to God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

I continue reading the Word of God and praying for understanding even though it’s been many years since I first began. There is wisdom and direction and hope to name a few blessings in God’s Word that I keep finding. A Rhema word is a Scripture that practically jumps off the page at a believer which is God’s highlight and insight for the reader according to Pentecostal believers. I looked up Rhema online and found this link: http://www.biblestudy.org/beginner/definition-of-christian-terms/rhema.html

May God bless you.

 

 

 

God’s Wondrous Works

“That I may proclaim and publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.” Psalm 26:7 (KJV)

I hear more often from my daughters than my sons, maybe it’s a girl thing. They have more words to give than their brothers. Today I heard from one of my daughters about eight or ten answers to prayer she had over the last week. She is a newlywed in a new neighborhood with lots of kids around. They’ve discovered the hours when she’s home. She has a heart for kids. So, one of her prayer requests is that she could get some extra food without spending more at the grocery store so the kids can have a snack.

Sunday night our church had a worship service and a healing ministry if God wants to bless in that manner. I always invite her and her husband to come out for it if they can. They don’t live nearby, so I’m not sure if they’ll make the effort or not. They made it this last Sunday.

They got treated to dinner by his folks at a restaurant, so after our service when a group of people wanted to attend a local pizzeria, I told them if they weren’t hungry they could join us and just have a drink. She wanted to visit with everyone, so they agreed. When my pizza came without the right crust or the right toppings, I began to eat it, but I did say to one of the ladies that it got all goofed up. She told our waitress that we needed a corrected pizza.

Then I noticed they never delivered the fourth pizza. If we bought two at a time, we saved nine dollars on the price of the fourth pizza. The waitress realized she wrote the order down and never gave it to the cooks. So, she put the order in after we were full and told them to just box it up to go. I offered my daughter and son-in-law the leftover pizza and our friends didn’t want the fourth pizza, so she and he left with a full pizza and at least a half pizza, if not more for no cost to them. That was one of our daughter’s answers to prayer.

She had story after story of God giving them things they needed this week, some just in time.

My other daughter called with a few answers to prayer this week as well. My sons call with praise reports on a less regular basis because I hear from them less anyway. That’s the way it goes sometimes.

I called my son right in the middle of writing this blog because my computer asked if I wanted to slow keystrokes down because it was giving me too many letters at a time. So, I said yes. Then I had no keystroke ability at all. Since I allowed the change, I didn’t think turning off the computer and re-starting it would help. So, I called my son, who knows computers better than I do, and he had no idea how to fix it. He said to Google it, and it worked. Praise God! An easy fix when you can follow instructions. He also said, “Mom, don’t say yes to allow changes on your computer, ever.”

Of course, I said, “Okay.”

So, I’ll stop bragging on my son. 🙂

Then, I got thinking of a verse that brags on Jesus and all that He did while living in His human body. My husband helped me find it in the last book of John. John 21:25, (KJV) says, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”

My husband was quick to point out the word suppose in that verse. “This is an exaggeration,” he said.

I know that, but it’s one of my favorite verses. The miracles and teachings Jesus gave in the New Testament provide such food for thought and to imagine that there were so many more we’re not aware of from the Scriptures, it boggles my mind. What a good God we serve.

May God bless you!

 

 

What’s Being Taught?

Whenever we watch television sitcoms with married couples insulting one another I’ll look at my husband and say, “If people really talked that way to each other, their marriages would never make it.”

He agrees. If we see too many in a short time span, I find myself getting grumpy with him.

Those negative remarks permeate the atmosphere of our home. Then we stop watching them or I go to another part of the house to fold laundry or to do some reading or writing. A bit later and there’s an uplifting show on instead. 🙂

I remember years ago a friend sent me an e-mail about an unwelcome guest. It said that people wouldn’t invite rude and obnoxious and dangerous speaking individuals in the front door, but what about television?

Last night my husband turned on a movie about a down and out guy who decides to adopt a five year old boy. I came in from the kitchen and this PG-13 rated movie shows two other men kissing. I didn’t expect that and I didn’t care to see it. Just like I’m offended to see unmarried men and women in bed together in PG-13 movies or on tv dramas.

God made sex for married couples and the first family couple portrayed in the Bible for our example were male and female.

A lady in a small town asked me to write her story last year. I drove to her place to interview her and after 30 min. I got fidgety. There was nothing to write that might interest readers.

I prepared to leave and she grabbed my arm. “Please, I need you to write about my concern.”

She told me some personal heart wrenching tragedies but I didn’t think publishers wanted to touch those issues since editors mentioned that at conferences I’d been to: too much of that out there already. She said, “I don’t care about that! The thing that needs to be addressed is the changes in society.”

She wore a dress and was probably in her late seventies. “I volunteer at the local school in this small town. I want you to write about 2nd and 3rd grade boys holding hands on their way to school and telling people they’re gay. What in the world are they teaching the children in school? Where are the parents? Those boys are too young to have any idea at all if they’re gay or not.”

She wanted me to warn parents.

God loves all people and tells us to love others as we love ourselves. But He calls certain things sin that He won’t tolerate: sex outside of marriage, gossip, homosexuality, stealing, lying, drunkenness, idolatry, covetousness, greed, etc.

That’s why He sent Jesus, God the Son to take on all the sins of the world and Jesus told us to repent.

Believe in Jesus Christ, admit our sins and repent of them, and obey God. That’s what Jesus said when He walked on earth in the form of man. He said we’d be born again and able to be called sons and daughters of God. It’s in John 1 and John 3 and John 14.

“Please God, have mercy on our souls. Keep us from wrong viewing habits, listening habits and reading habits that You don’t like, for our own good and the good of others. We need Your help and I ask this in the powerful name of Jesus Christ, God Almighty. Amen.”