Cornerstone Baptist Church

Weeky Devotional

Gideon: Come Out From Hiding and "Faith" Your Fear!

Hebrews 11:32-33 32And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.

Gideon's story is found in the book of Judges, chapters 6-8.There was no king in Israel. God was their king, but they didn't heed Him. Every tribe governed as it wished. This defiance resulted in God's chosen people being wretchedly oppressed by their neighbors. Seven times God sent judges; military and spiritual leaders to vindicate them of their troubles. Seven cycles of sin brought repeated troubles and need for salvation.

Sin does that, doesn't it? As Matthew Henry so aptly puts it, "Let all who sin expect to suffer; let all who return to folly expect to return to misery."

So once again Israel "did evil in the sight of the Lord" (Judges 6:1) and God delivered Israel into the hands of the Midianites. The enemy invaded the land during harvest time, stealing crops and driving the Israelites to hide in mountains and caves.

Sin creates a divide between God and his people, and sometimes the consequences of that sin can literally leave you "running for the hills." It is during this time that we, as did the Israelites, come to grips with the reality of our sin and begin to cry out to God for mercy and salvation. And because of His unfailing love for His children, He always delivers . . . and the best part is, He gets the glory!

Enter Gideon. We find Gideon threshing wheat on a wine press floor. Wheat wasn't normally threshed on a wine press floor, but he was hiding in fear of losing his family's food to Midian and his army. However, in the midst of his fear, God was about to assign him a task that would take great faith. And he would have to face his fear. The Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, proclaiming, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior." Gideon must have looked behind himself for this "mighty warrior." Surely the angel couldn't have meant him! He asked why God hadn't delivered Israel from the hand of Midian. Why do you think? The Lord got down to business and told Gideon to go in the strength he had and deliver Israel from the power of Midian, for He was sending him.

God sees the strength in us and then makes us do what seems impossible while assuring us He will be with us! Gideon was to go to war against the Midianites. So he amassed an army of 32,000 men. The LORD said that was too many; Israel might brag, "I did it myself." So Gideon was instructed to release those who were fearful. Twenty-two thousand went to their tents. Another test was given to the remaining ten thousand and 9,700 failed. Gideon was left with a 300-man army to defeat the mighty Midianites! Now he had to rely on God, and that's just what God had in mind. God used a band of soldiers with trumpets, pitchers and torches to surround and surprise the Midianites and set them to fighting against themselves. The mighty army was subdued and was no longer a threat.

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