September 4, 2020

Sep 4, 2020

Living in these times makes me think of the phrase I’ve heard for years, “One day these will be the Good Old Days.” Anyone not in agreement that they would gladly step back in time to a year prior and be pretty satisfied with your life as it was, not saying things were perfect but, there are some things going on today that are really touching nerves

Judges 6:1-6, Then the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord gave them into the hands of Midian seven years. The power of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of Midian the sons of Israel made for themselves the dens which were in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds. For it was when Israel had sown, that the Midianites would come up with the Amalekites and the sons of the east and go against them. So they would camp against them and destroy the produce of the earth as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel as well as no sheep, ox, or donkey. For they would come up with their livestock and their tents, they would come in like locusts for number, both they and their camels were innumerable; and they came into the land to devastate it. So Israel was brought very low because of Midian, and the sons of Israel cried to the Lord.

Look at the background for the story of Gideon, I didn’t realize that anarchists and antifa had been around so long, just a bad joke of course. For years, we as Christians have grieved as our country has rejected the God of our fathers and headed down the blind alley we see as we look around today. Much like Gideon we long for deliverance but, honestly his situation was more dire than ours. Kind of a downer, to retrieve a colloquialism from the 70s, and so glad we aren’t left with only that both in the Bible or our situation. It continues with a visitation of Gideon by, “The angel of the Lord.”

Judges 6: 11- 18 Then the angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.” Then Gideon said to him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” The Lord looked at him and said, “Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?” He said to Him, “O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.” But the Lord said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man.” 17 So Gideon said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who speak with me. Please do not depart from here, until I come back to You, and bring out my offering and lay it before You.” And He said, “I will remain until you return.”

I am going to give a book report on the rest of the story rather than cut and paste it here but, I would encourage you to read in its entirety chapters 6 & 7 at a minimum. So Gideon runs down to Subway and gets that new goat meat sandwich on the unleavened bread with a side of the broth that they cooked the meat in and hustled back to the oak tree. Jesus, disguised as, “The angel of the Lord,” tells Gideon to place the sandwich on a nearby rock and then to pour the broth out over the sandwich. Then He reaches out the tip of a staff in His hand and two things happened at virtually the same time, fire came out of the rock which consumed the food and the angel, Jesus, disappeared. Gideon recognizes immediately what had just happened and had church all by himself.

The Bible says the Lord spoke to him that same night, no details how that took place but, Gideon did something that same night that was a clear sign he was willing to stand against the prevailing culture. The story continues with the account of the fleece, Gideon trying to assure himself that the Lord really wanted him to step out of his comfort zone and then the God given victory with 300 torches and trumpets.

Alright, it’s time to draw this to a close, I have to admit that I don’t feel like I have much to offer in this fight against the cultural slide we find ourselves in. You may feel the same way but, we have to remember this is the Lord’s battle. He is just looking for some Gideons, not talking about the people who placed Bibles in motel rooms and New Testaments in the hands of grade school kids in the “Good old days.” I’m talking about those who believe, “Little becomes much when placed in the Masters hand.

Raise your hearts & hands in solidarity to the King,

Ron Mathre