Summary: Follwers are not Neutral
Followers Are Not Neutral
Lesson 04 of the Follow Me Series
1 Tim 3:14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:
1 Tim 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Sometimes we believe there is no harm in taking a neutral stand. While such may be true in some cases, such is not so when it comes to the work and will of the Lord. It is a wise person that knows when to stand and when to remain neutral.
During the times of the judges in the history of the nation of Israel, there were two cities that thought they could remain neutral and their neutrality would not cost them. In reality what these two cities tried to do was play both ends against the middle so that they could win regardless of the outcome of the conflict.
Gideon made it known to these two cities that a neutral stand costs. Soldiers passed their gates; some were the chasers and some the chasees. Regardless, these two cities decided that it would be best if they missed this particular foray.
These two cities were not nameless. One was the city of Succoth and the other was Penuel. Holman’s Bible Dictionary describes these as:
1. Succoth (sewk’ kohth) 1. A place name meaning, “booths.” A city east of the Jordan in the tribal territory of Gad. Jacob dwelt there upon his return to Canaan (Gen. 33:17). It was an important town during the time of Gideon.
2. Penuel Pih new’ ehl) Name meaning, “face of God.” 1. Descendant of Judah and founder (father) of Gedor (1 Chron. 4:4). This is the site on River Jabbok northeast of Succoth where Jacob wrestled with the stranger (Gen. 32:24-32; compare Hos. 12:4). The city was destroyed by Gideon
These two cities, though they tried t remain neutral, found out that what they actually did was align themselves with two kings named ZEBAH and Zalmunna. These were kings of Midian during the days of Gideon. Gideon pursued after these kings and captured them. Because they killed Gideon’s brothers, Gideon did likewise to them, Judg. 8:4-21, Ps. 83:11, Isa. 9:4, 10:26.
This account shows the act of blood revenge that often prevailed in that day and marks a turning point in Israel’s struggles against Midian.
Zebah, pronounced Zee’ bu, is a personal name meaning “slaughter” or “sacrifice.”
Zalmunna (Zal muhn’ nuh) Personal name meaning, “Protection is withdrawn” or “Zelem (god) rules.”
There is no neutral stand, Luke 11:23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines neutral as: 1. Not engaged on either side; not taking an active part with either of contending parties. The definition of the word is much easier to understand than the position the person takes. The same is true for a country that tries to remain neutral in a conflict.
During the last global conflict, Switzerland was a neutral country in that none or her soldiers took up arms against the Allies or the Axis. Regardless of the stance the country’s politicians adopted, the nation was impacted by the war.
A. The Battle, Judges 8.
Gideon started his military campaign with about 32,000 soldiers, Judges 7:3. After the first cut, 10,000 remained. After the second cut, 300 men followed a young reluctant military leader into a battle one night, Judges 7:7, 19.
If there was every an army going into battle where faith was their armour, it is the army commanded by Gideon. Their foes were so many and their encampment so thick that the bible describes their goings and comings as grasshoppers, Judg 7:12 And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.
Is it recorded in the history of warfare were 301 men defeated an army the size of this one? If there was ever a time to sue for peace, these small army of 301 dedicated soldieries missed their opportunity. Instead, they won a great battle, for the Lord fought for them.
That night when the battle cry sounded, the Lord caused the enemy to fall into a melee and in their confusion, they killed each other. Those that did not die in the fight, took flight. Gideon’s small army did not do much fighting that night. Thus, after the battle was over, 300 men are still with Gideon, Judges 8:4.
B. Gideon Pursued The Midianites, v. 4-32.