Today I am posting in a different way. As I sat down to have my time with the Lord this morning, reading in my chronological Bible, I came across some lessons to take from the text. I thought I might share with you what it looks like as I read the Word and try to learn from it. I love, love, love examples, so I wondered if you would like to see this as an example?
I am on April 3 in my chronological Bible, behind a couple of days because as I post on this blog about what I am learning, it slows me down a bit. I started the day’s reading and as I came to the beginning of Gideon’s story, I began to slow my reading down because it seemed each sentence was heavy with instruction and insight. It is at that point I grab my journal and begin writing down the lessons in bullet point form.
I don’t always journal each time I read, only when the lessons are multiple and I want to capture them before they slip from my memory. I especially pay attention if the lessons are applicable to my present circumstances. I have come to recognize when God is giving me what I need, so I am quick to pay attention and record it for use again later. Sometimes I just write a lesson or two directly into my Bible.
These are my takeaways from Judges 6:1-16.
v. 5-Israel cried for help, as they found themselves in judgment by God and being oppressed by raiding countries.
v. 11– The Angel of the LORD came and found Gideon to use him to meet the need. God came to Gideon, sought him out to affirm, reveal and empower him. Gideon was hiding at the time, struggling with what little he had to meet his own need. Not exactly in a good position to give out of his abundant strength and circumstances to help the nation of Israel. He had little to offer, no answers for himself or others. He was in need just as much as everyone else.
v.12– Angel of the LORD testified regarding 2 things. 1.) Lord was with him in spite of appearances and 2.) Gideon was addressed as God purposed him to be, not as he was at that moment in his actions or how he felt, in and of himself. God saw him as He intended Gideon to be, in His power and purpose. The “equipping” of Gideon was full and ready, as if it was a non-issue all along, completed before it was even needed. What Gideon saw as insufficient or impossible was in fact already accomplished. It was like it was only a matter of time before the saving of Israel was visible to the people but in reality, it had already been ordained and therefore…..it was! Meaning, it was a done deal from the get-go. Gideon, and what he brought to the table, was insignificant because it was God alone who mattered, and if God was with him and sending him, nothing else needed to factor in to the equation. Also, God was with him all along, whether Gideon could see evidence of it or not. He had not forsaken Gideon, nor had He forgotten him. God being “with us” should not be judged solely on appearances, but by His promise in His Word to us.
v.13– “But” uttered by Gideon was evidence of his walking by sight and his own reasoning, not by faith. By the looks of things at times, God and faith don’t make sense to us. Our LORD is not confined to “reality”. In fact, He oftentimes contradicts reality and reasoning and it is in those times He is most glorified, because God is the only explanation for what transpires on our behalf. In this verse, Gideon questions the LORD several times but as we see in the next verse, God does not answer any of these questions.
v.14– God does not offer any explanations or justifications to Gideon in regard to his questions, only a command for him to go save Israel. He does give the assurance that it was the LORD giving the authority for him being sent.
v.15– Gideon, processing this commission, viewed it through his current ability and strength, recognizing his inability to fulfill his calling but neglecting to consider it was all up to God from the beginning to the end. This calling did not depend on Gideon’s ability but rather his willingness. God would provide the ability.
v.16– The LORD counters Gideon’s argument, reminding him what it would take, what would make all the difference; God would be with him.
I don’t know about you, but this passage in the Bible met me in my need today. I needed to be reminded that God is with me and He commissions me through His power and purpose, not what I bring to the table. I needed to be reminded that I serve a God who defies reality and reasonable explanations. He is more than able! And therefore, I will be more than willing!