Read: Judges 5-7
Background: Chapter 5 is Deborah’s song, celebrating the victory God gave Israel over the Canaanites. Israel is following God, but in the beginning of chapter 6 we learned that they have turned away again.
5:3 Praising God for HIS victory, the battle was not won by the men of Israel
13-18- the tribes who fought are praised and those who stayed away are rebuked
24-27- Retelling the story of Jael (ch. 4)
31- The land had peace because they were obeying God
6:1 Israel falls away from God again. The Midianites are oppressing Israel
1-6- Midianites took everything from Israel. The Israelites had to hide for their safety
7-10- Israel knew they needed the power of God to break free from this bondage, so they cried out to God and he heard them
11-27 Gideon is God’s chosen servant to set Israel free
Think: God’s overwhelming patience is powerfully displayed in the story of Gideon. If you read the passage carefully you probably noticed that Gideon is kind of a timid guy. He is from the weakest clan and tribe of Israel and probably always felt like the low man on the totem pole. However, the angel of the Lord calls him a mighty warrior and God wants to use him!
Gideon questions God and keeps asking for more signs to know that this is the right thing to do. In all of his questioning God never gets angry. God is patient time after time. When Gideon is to afraid to tear down the altars to false gods in front of people, God still honors him for doing it in the night. God is always patient! We need to remember this too. There are times where I mess up, or doubt God and feel like he is angry with me, but really, he is being patient with me. God waits for us to turn back to him and trust him. At times, he even pushes us to trust him at a greater level.
God did this with Gideon as well. Although Gideon has lots and lots of men to fight the battle with him, God continued to cut down the army till there were only 300 left. He forced Gideon to trust that he could win the battle in God’s strength, not human power. Sometimes God puts us in situations to learn how to trust him more. It stretches us and can be scary, but it is out of his love for us that he wants us to learn how to trust him.
God knows our needs so perfectly. He knew that Gideon needed one more sign, one last dose of encouragement so he allowed him to hear the dream of the Midianite. He knows you too, better than you know yourself. We can trust that he will sufficiently care for us and take care of our needs. Let’s trust God like Gideon did. God is waiting patiently to use you!
Ask: It is okay to ask God for reassurance, are there things you want to ask God to give you more confidence for? Do you think God is trying to grow you in trusting him more?
Written by: KVH