Yesterday in my lesson I spoke of Gideon- today I will continue with him. Gideon you all know the people of God were in bondage because they refused to follow God. They had relied on their own understanding, not destoryed the enemy and fallen into the ways of idol worship. These were just a few of their transgressions. And as humans are prone to do when the fire got too hot, they called on God. Yes, we all do it. When all is going well we put God on the back burner and feel like we are in control, then trials – tribulation and other maladies happen and all of a sudden God becomes important to us again. Go figure. But back to Gideon- Gideon was a nobody he was just an ordinary man trying to survive in a time of bondage trying to serve his God amid the rabid enviorment he lived in. Threshing wheat in a winepress so as not to bring attention to himself or the wheat so it would not be confiscated. God used this humble man to defeat their captors. And yet Gideon questioned God. He wanted to believe that God would keep his promise and yet he questioned his ablity. Judges 6: 13-40 13
“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”
14 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
15 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”
16 The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”
17 Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. 18 Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.”
And the Lord said, “I will wait until you return.”
19 Gideon went inside, prepared a young goat, and from an ephah[a] of flour he made bread without yeast. Putting the meat in a basket and its broth in a pot, he brought them out and offered them to him under the oak.
20 The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread, place them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And Gideon did so. 21 Then the angel of the Lord touched the meat and the unleavened bread with the tip of the staff that was in his hand. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the Lord disappeared. 22 When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!”
23 But the Lord said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.”
24 So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
25 That same night the Lord said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old.[b] Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole[c] beside it. 26 Then build a proper kind of[d] altar to the Lord your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second[e] bull as a burnt offering.”
27 So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the townspeople, he did it at night rather than in the daytime.
28 In the morning when the people of the town got up, there was Baal’s altar, demolished, with the Asherah pole beside it cut down and the second bull sacrificed on the newly built altar!
29 They asked each other, “Who did this?”
When they carefully investigated, they were told, “Gideon son of Joash did it.”
30 The people of the town demanded of Joash, “Bring out your son. He must die, because he has broken down Baal’s altar and cut down the Asherah pole beside it.”
31 But Joash replied to the hostile crowd around him, “Are you going to plead Baal’s cause? Are you trying to save him? Whoever fights for him shall be put to death by morning! If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar.” 32 So because Gideon broke down Baal’s altar, they gave him the name Jerub-Baal[f] that day, saying, “Let Baal contend with him.”
33 Now all the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples joined forces and crossed over the Jordan and camped in the Valley of Jezreel. 34 Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Gideon, and he blew a trumpet, summoning the Abiezrites to follow him. 35 He sent messengers throughout Manasseh, calling them to arms, and also into Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali, so that they too went up to meet them.
36 Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— 37 look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.
39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.” 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.”
My question on this day is how many times do we test God? How many times do we feel it is necessary for God to show us who he is and what he will do? How many times do we have to make God prove his mighty power? We as humans are so foolish. We refuse to see the strength of God in front of our face, we constantly make God prove who he is and yet we take the world at its word. We believe everything we read and are told by politicans and the media and others who claim to be experts.We do not demand they prove who they are or what they are about. And yet, we constantly test our creator, we constantly question his authority. We constantly put him on trial. This is a sad comentary of who we are as a creation of God. God does not need to prove himself. He IS the GREAT I AM. He is the final decision maker, he is the only one who determines the outcome of our lives. We as a nation and a world have turned away from him. We has a nation and a world have decided we are smarter than God. We as a nation and a world have taken sin on as right and accepted it – adopted it and it has become our idol of choice. In turn God has allowed us to turn on each other, to destroy ourselves to wallow in our own feces. God did not leave us we have walked away from him. We have allowed others to tickle our ears with soft words, and even softer actions. We have allowed others to dictate how we react in our enviroment. We are the product of our own actions from several generations back. We will create the product of our decendants by our actions now. We have allowed others to take away our faith, our God and our understanding that he is in charge. We have become an untoward generation. It is time – no past time to bring God back to the helm. To put him back in charge of this sinking ship – it is time to allow him and his power to steer it in the right direction before he says “enough” and allows it to simple sink into the sea of nothingness. Before he says “enough” of your sinful ways and allows all of us to enter into a bondage we will never return from. #gideon,#bondage,#godispowerful,#enterity