Summary: Lessons I learned on my vacation
Gettysburg Vacation, 2019
July 21, 2019
It is good to be back home. I had one of the best vacations ever. I won’t say best because that one the whole family spent on the beach that one year still has first place – but this was great! Spending a week with my cousin, Dave and my brother, Fred – studying the civil war was pretty awesome. Dave took his RV and did all the planning so I got to just kick back and enjoy the ride. As a side benefit I got to see both my sisters, too.
I learned so much about Gettysburg and the Civil War. I walked through the Valley of Death and the Devil’s Den and Little Round Top. I learned about the generals on both sides – Lee and Longstreet on the south and Meade, Chamberlain, Grant and Sherman on the North. I stood where Lincoln gave the Gettysburg address and visited the graves of the fallen. I even got to visit the grave of my great grandfather, Ulysses Grant Adams, the son of my Civil War Veteran great, great grandfather Danial Adams, who fought with the Light Artillery in some famous battles. Talk to me sometime and I would be glad to share all about it.
In our Scripture there was some tremendous battles going on, too. The American Civil War lasted five years. Gideon and his fellow countryman had already been fighting for seven years. I imagine that everyone was pretty tired of it.
The war between the North and the South was fought for various reasons. Probably few southerners would say they were fighting for slavery. They had a much nobler cause. They were fighting for freedom in the states. They viewed the North as trying to take their freedom for self-determination from them. That is why the men fought so hard. They viewed the North as the aggressors.
The North fought for the noble cause of freedom for ALL men. What a noble cause that was. Both sides had deeply religious men of faith who felt they were doing the right thing. And 620,000 men died because of it.
The Israelites did not have such a noble cause. They just wanted to do their own thing apart from God. Verse one says, “The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord”.
What do you think happens when you reject God? That’s called sin. That is evil. The Bible says, “for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites.” Here’s a lesson for you. When you reject God – you separate yourself from His goodness. God’s Word says, “The wages of sin is death”. In other words, “The result of sinning is separation from God.”
We make so many excuses for our sins – but it won’t work. God Word says,
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts”
Today there are many people in society who not only indulge in sin – but want you to approve of it, too. Murdering babies through abortion is sin – whether the law says it is or not. Homosexuality is sin – whether society says it or not. Those that indulge in sin willingly are evil – and they will suffer the consequence of it. They can try to spin it any way they want – but God is clear in His Word what is right and what is wrong. As for me, and my house – we will serve the Lord. I will bet my eternal destiny on Jesus and the pages of the Bible.
So these people did evil, suffered the consequence of it, and then turned to the Lord. Verse 6 says, “Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the LORD for help.”
Why is that we have to try ever other way before we turn to the Lord? We try our own strength; our own wisdom; our own resources and then when that doesn’t work we try to enlist someone bigger and stronger than us to help. But that won’t work either. Finally, after all human resources are expended – we cry out to God. Some never do. Romans one says they harden their hearts – but hopefully we will cry out to God.
And what does God do? He hears from heaven. Listen.
“When the Israelites cried out to the Lord because of Midian, he sent them a prophet” Judges 6:7-8
“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14