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.

 

 

 

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Barak and Deborah

Yesterday I read the story of Barak in the first half of the book of Judges. Deborah told him God said to take other warriors and go claim the land.

When the judge and prophetess, Deborah agreed to go with Barak to battle Israel’s enemies, she told him Sisera, the armies’ general for King Jabin of Canaan would die by the hand of a woman. He wouldn’t get the glory.

Barak was okay with that and had even told Deborah he wouldn’t go if she didn’t go with him.

In Judges 5, the song of Deborah and Barak, son of Abinoam records the greatness of God and the recent history of their victory over the Canaanites and more. I’ve heard it said that the Old Testament is written as an example for us, so we can emulate the right choices and avoid the bad ones.

When I think about the goodness of God to those who obey Him and even to those who don’t, I wonder why I don’t thank Him more often. I need to remind myself not to take Him for granted.

May God bless you.

Christians Need to Fight

Sometimes I’ll tell my husband that I feel like I’m in a spiritual battle. Big sigh.

He’ll tell me, “We’re always in a battle.”

No big deal. That’s life.

Today I pondered the idea of fighting back. Not taking kick boxing classes, (are those for fighting or getting in shape)?

Anyhow, I thought of Christians all over the world being persecuted for their faith. Americans only face a little of that so far, although in the secular media I’ve noticed that the crazy guy with the ax often carries a Bible in the other hand. Right. I know a LOT of Christians and none of them are murderers.

So, to get back to the fighting bit. I think every Christian should pick up their Sword of the Spirit – the word of God, and yield it with all their might, humbly on their knees in prayer.

Can you imagine if every Christian in the world spent an extra five minutes a day repenting of sin and then praying for others, using God’s word to remind Him of His promises, and then listened quietly for another five minutes? I believe the battle in the heavenlies would rock our world like ISIS or that mean person in our lives never dreamed of.

Eph. 6:12  (KJV) states: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

God wants us involved in this life for His glory and for His love to be spread to others through us. How can we love others if we’re not in communication with the Great I Am?

We can only love and pray and serve and exist with the strength God gives us. When we try and do it on our own, we wimp out. We get tired, sick, discouraged, misdirected, maybe even feel manipulated.

Even Jesus took time with the Father every single day. If God the Son needs time with God the Father to be re-charged, how can we go it alone?

I’m just picturing more victory in this world when we all participate, because for some odd reason, God wants to include us in the heavenly realms’ battle, which impacts our sod.

Rather amazing.Praying Handson bible

Out of Town

Oftentimes sorrow gets alleviated some with a touch of joy. My husband and I drove to Maine. He’s a pastor. Our dear friend lost her thirty-six year old daughter to cancer on January 19, 2012. The family asked him to do the funeral service. So we drove to Maine from Upstate New York.

The tears flowed and the testimonies poured forth. She confessed Jesus as her Lord and Savior during her life time. She possessed inward and outward beauty. She left two pre-teen children behind and a loving family, and a husband of less than a year. We talked of her compassion, spunk, determination, integrity, creativity, and high standard of excellence. My husband talked of Jesus taking her sins upon Himself so when she stands before a holy, just Judge, her penalty will be paid by God the Son. Jesus gifted her with payment for her fine.

Victory in Jesus removed some of the pain of  her death. Then I got a chance to visit with a close friend from high school. I haven’t seen her and her husband for eleven years. What a treat! We talked and laughed until we were too weary to stay up any longer. God gave joy in the midst of sorrow. How great is our God!