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Summary: Encouragement for the people of God to rely on His strength as He sends His people to serve in this fallen world.

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“The angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, ‘The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valour.’ And Gideon said to him, ‘Please, sir, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, “Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?” But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.’ And the Lord turned to him and said, ‘Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?’” [1]

God is a God of might and power. We are taught that His saints “shall speak of the glory of [God’s] kingdom and tell of [His] power” [PSALM 145:11]. Have you witnessed His power? The Psalmist asserts that “One generation shall commend [God’s] works to another, and shall declare [His] might acts” [PSALM 145:4]. Can you tell your children of the might of the Lord our God? When you speak of God, do you speak from experience, or is His might and power merely a rumour so far as you are concerned? Are you able to speak authoritatively of God’s power? Or is it the case that God’s power is a historical event never to be repeated in this day?

Gideon was a man who had heard of God’s power and majesty, but he had never witnessed that glorious might. It was an ordinary day, not unlike any other day during the harvest. The people of the nation were hiding in caves and secreted in strongholds throughout the Judean hills; they were trying to preserve what little grain they had managed to garner. The Midianites and the Amalekites were ranging throughout the land, stealing whatever they found and terrorising the populace.

At that time, the people of God began to cry out to God, confessing their sin and seeking His deliverance. God is so gracious. He heard their petitions and their confessions, and He sent a prophet. The people wanted deliverance, and God sent a prophet. The ministry of the prophet has never been appreciated—it isn’t appreciated in this day. This man of God, when he came, spoke pointedly to the sin of the people. “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I led you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of bondage. And I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land. And I said to you, “I am the Lord your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.” But you have not obeyed my voice” [JUDGES 6:8b-10].

That doesn’t seem like much, does it? The people were ravished by the enemies of God. They recognised their sin and acknowledged their wickedness. Yet, when God finally heard them, He sent a prophet to say, “I told you so.” We want relief; God wants holiness. We want deliverance; God wants purity. Don’t ever discount the ministry of the prophet. Though he will stand before the people of God, look them in the eye and say, “I warned you,” his stern message is the beginning of divine deliverance.


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