Read Judges 6:1-10
E. Midianite Oppression and Gideon’s Deliverance. 1. Gideon’s Call. The people of God had did evil in the sight of the Lord again. The Lord allowed the enemy to oppress the people of God severely.
In this chapter of Judges we see when the people called on the Lord because of the oppression, the Lord reminded them, through the prophet, of their sins.
- Evilness. Notice in vss. 1-6 that when the people of God did what was evil in God’s eyes, God gave them into the hands of the Midiante’s for seven years of sever oppression.
First, whatever the Lord sees as evil, we should see it as evil as well. We should focus on God’s definitions more than what seems right to us and what other people have to say.
Second, evil leads to punishment, and punishment can be rather severe. As God punished through the Midianites in our text, God can send mean people into our lives to help us see that our ways are not working for us.
Let’s work on avoiding what God sees as evil, so we don’t have to experience severe punishment.
- Seven years. Notice in vs. 6 that it appears that it took the people seven years of pain to call on the Lord with a repentant spirit. In fact, we don’t know if they wanted to repent, as much as they simply wanted the pain to go away.
We should learn from their mistakes. It should not take us years of pain to call on the Lord with a mind to live by His will.
But yet there are too many areas in too many of our lives that we live in disobedience (e.g., unhealthy eating, lack of exercise, poor financial stewardship, poor relational decisions, etc.).
Some people will only change, when the pain is great enough. Let’s work on turning to God now, instead of waiting for more pain.
- A word through the prophet. Notice in vss. 7-10 that God sent a prophet to remind the people that it was their sins that led to their pain. And they sinned, in spite of how good the Lord had been to them (e.g., Egypt).
First, God often sends people with a word from Him. Thus, if you ignore, challenge, or reject human agents, you often do the same to the Lord and prolong your pain.
Second, God wants us to see the connection between our sin and our pain. Too many people just want the pain to stop but don’t want to stop sinning.
Third, when we want to think of the Lord as being mean, we should remind ourselves how good the Lord has already been. As God delivered the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery, God has delivered African American believers from American slavery.
Let’s hear and obey God’s word that is often delivered through human beings. That word is often related to making sure that we are saved and striving to love God with all that we have and love others, as we love ourselves.
Read Judges 6:11-13
(Continuation) The angel of the Lord watched Gideon thresh wheat in a winepress. The angel referred to Gideon as a mighty warrior. Gideon asked about how the Lord could be with them and there be so much oppression.
He talks about the Lord abandoning them into the hands of Midian.
- Wheat in a winepress. Notice in vs. 11 that Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress. Essentially he was trying to process the wheat that he had gathered in a secret place, so the enemy would not come and take it.
This is an example of what sin can lead to. Sin can have us hiding and behaving in desperate ways. Let’s work on our sin problems, so we can come out of hiding.
Notice the winepress was not condemned, which may be a cursory allowance of wine consumption in moderation.
- Mighty warrior. Notice in vs. 12 that the angel of the Lord said to fearful Gideon, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
First, we should thank God that God is able and willing to look past our current sins and circumstances and see us for who He is calling us to be.
The reason we should keep trusting the Lord and be careful about how we treat people is because God can turn terrible situations into situations of triumph.
Second, whoever the Lord is with is able to be mighty. If we are by ourselves, we are weak and limited. But with the Lord, anything is possible.
Third, warriors are called to fight. God is not a pacifist. We should be willing to let the Lord use us in the battles that He is calling us to fight. Let’s work on trusting the Lord to use us as mighty warriors in His plans.
- Where is the Lord? Notice in vs. 13 that Gideon wants to know how is it that the Lord is with him and yet the Midianites are so oppressive. There seems to be many people outside and inside the church who raise a similar question.
The question may also be phrased, “If God is so good and powerful then why are things so bad in my life”? Well the answer can be one of several reasons.
First, as in the text, our sins can be the cause of our pain. Second, God can be using the pain to help us grow. Third, God can have a mysterious use of the pain. In which case, we just have to trust Him. Let’s learn to trust God, no matter what we see.
Conclusion: Let’s work on being obedient, instead of disobedient. God has much for those who obey His will.Please click here to let us know, if this has been quality and helpful information for you (i.e., make sure you let us know the name of the article). Feel free to share your questions and comments about the article as well.