Friday, March 14, 2014

Judges 4-6

We meet a few more heroes today in Judges 4-6.  God is using individuals to save His people, both physically and spiritually.  

We meet Deborah, a woman who leads Israel in breaking free from Jabin, king of Canaan.  She makes it a point of focus to renew the Israelites' faith in God as well, and they enjoy 40 years of peace.  

March on, my soul; be strong!

“So may all your enemies perish, Lord!

    But may all who love you be like the sun

    when it rises in its strength.”

And following this long period of peace, the Israelites stray from God's path, again.  Midian impoverishes God's people, oppressing them for seven years, and they cry out to God.  God uses Gideon to save His people this time around.

Gideon reminds me of Moses with His "burning bush moment."  An angel of the Lord shows up under an oak tree where Gideon has been forced to thresh wheat in a winepress in order to keep it from the Midianites.

12 When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.
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?”

Gideon has a hard time believing that God is calling him to action.  He questions who God is and God's presence because of his own terrible circumstances.

Gideon demonstrates our universal tendency to see all the pain and suffering around us and ask, "why?"   

God answers Gideon, and God answers us.

God doesn't want us to suffer, but He does want us to turn to Him and trust Him so He can use us.  Suffering is sometimes the only thing that will bring us to our knees. 

Our faith makes us exponentially strong.  In Christ, our Savior, by our faith, we become "mighty warriors" to face whatever life brings.

A prayer for today-

Dear God,

Thank You for knowing me, for seeing my weaknesses, and for making me strong through Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.  

Here all my questions, Lord.  I give them to You, and pray You will use them to strengthen my faith and determination to follow You.  

I know Your ways are perfect.  My faith and trust are in You.  I pray for You to be with me as I deal with ____________________ in my life.  I am handing the situation to You, and I pray for Your will to be done.  

You are my rock and my redeemer.

In the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit I pray,

Grace and peace,

*This post is part of A Mind-Maker-Upper's Everyday Reading Project.  Click here to read more.

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