Summary: Judges, Pt. 2
YOU HAVE MORE POWER THAN YOU THINK (JUDGES 6:11-35)
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine, they crawled into their tent and went to sleep. In the middle of the night, Holmes awoke and nudged his friend. “Watson, look up and tell me what you see.” Watson replied, “I see millions and millions of stars.”
“What does that tell you, Watson?” asked Holmes. Watson pondered a moment and then replied, “Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is within the Leo constellation. Chronologically I observe it’s nighttime 3 a.m. on June 14th. Meteorologically, the air appears dry, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day. Why did you ask? What does it tell you?”
Holmes says, “Watson, you idiot! Someone has stolen our tent!”
After Deborah had died (Judg 5:31), the Israelites were again oblivious and blind to the obvious. They reversed to the old cycle or pattern of evil and idolatry (Judg 3:7, 3:12, 4:1, 10:6, 13:1), so the consequences were accelerated. The enemies were not the Canaanites now, but the Midianites that were known for their cruel brand of oppressiveness (Judg 6:2), so ruthless that Israel had to take to and hide in the mountain clefts, caves and strongholds for the first time. The Midianites invaded, robbed and plundered whatever the Israelites had grown, so much so that no crop, livestock or spirit was left in Israel (Judg 6:3). Again they cried unto the Lord and whenever that happens, victory was assured (Judg 3:9, 3:15, 10:10). The Israelites exited the house of bondage in Egypt (Judg 6:9) but they were never free until they learn to listen and obey the lord. God used an insignificant person to overthrow the stranglehold of the Midianites but also break the spell of sin within the family, deliver a community from apostasy and turn the nation from false idols to true worship.
What kind of people does God use to accomplish His purpose? How does He demonstrate His power through them?
God Uses People Who Are Lowly
11 The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” 13 “But sir,” Gideon replied, “if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, ’Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian.” 14 The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” 15 “But Lord,” Gideon asked, “how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” 16 The LORD answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together.” (Judg 6:11-16)
A man tells of a lesson of the “heart” he learns from his little 10 year old daughter, Sarah, who was born with a muscle missing in her foot and wears a brace all the time. She came home one beautiful spring day to tell her father she had competed in “field day,” that’s where they have lots of races and other competitive events.
Because her daughter had to have leg support, the man’s mind raced as he tried to think of encouragement for her, things he could say to her about not letting this get her down but before he could get a word out, she said “Daddy, I won two of the races!” The man couldn’t believe it! And then Sarah said, “I had an advantage.” Ah, he knew it. He thought she must have been given a head start...some kind of physical advantage. But again, before he could say anything, she said, “Daddy, I didn’t get a head start... My advantage was I had to try harder!”
God sent a little-known, seldom-seen, and fairly-busy man to awake Israel. Gideon had reasons to groan hearing the messenger’s flattering salutation: “Who, me?” “Are you kidding?” “You must be mistaken.” Gideon was the youngest in the family and his clan was the weakest in Manasseh; so Gideon had as much say or presence in the family as his clan had in tribal matters. He was nobody. Further, he had work to do and things on his mind, specifically how to avoid being seen or noticed and making noise or causing trouble. All his life he was instructed, conditioned and determined to stay low, out of sight and away from the Midianites.