Now Playing: How do we respond to severe troubles ?
Topic: Spiritual State
Midian's Attacks and Our Proper Response
This morning, I was reading in Judges 6, and I was reminded of thoughts I believe the Lord gave me about this chapter some years ago in an "open" ministry meeting in a conference.
As we find a number of times in the book of Judges, Israel's sin resulted in the Lord delivering them into the hand of this or that enemy. In this case, it is Midian, that speaks of strife. It is the government of God on them for their sin. I was thinking how applicable that is to those of us gathered together to the Lord's name alone.
In the 50 years I have been among those thus gathered, I do not remember a time when there was more strife among the beloved saints.
What is the result when strife overcomes us? Sadly, we read that "Israel was greatly impoverished because of Midian". No sustenance was left. What they sowed was destroyed. What a discouraging time!
Some made for themselves dens and caves to "get away from it all". Can we really blame them? Going off and isolating oneself from all the strife has an appeal to the sensative soul. And yet, it was not God's remedy.
Feeling their impoverishment, they cried to the Lord. Have we done that in earnest, beloved brothers and sisters? Conferences which have often provided nourishment for us and our young people are cancelled, but have we come together instead to humble ourselves in His presence and to hear the prophetic word from God Himself?
When they cry to the Lord, He faithfully sends a prophet to them, but have you noticed this prophet has no word of encouragement for them? He simply, as God's mouthpiece or spokesperson, delineates their sin for them, and ends his message with the solemn pronouncement, "ye have not hearkened to my voice."
But then, our attention is directed to a most interesting scene. The Angel of the Lord (a pre-incarnate appearance of the Son of God) comes and sits, unseen and unnoticed, observing Gideon threshing wheat (in type, getting for himself and perhaps for others something of Christ) in the winepress (the place of self-judgment), to secure it from the Midianites.
Gideon is not running to a cave or den or stronghold, but he is concerned that what he has gleaned be secured from the Midianites
At this point, the Angel of the Lord appears to him and assures him that the Lord is with him and calls him a "mighty man of valour." Gideon takes his place with the people of God and asks, "Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us?" He recognises the hand of the Lord in what has come upon Israel, and that becomes his strength and the basis on which the Lord uses him to deliver Israel from the hand of the Midianites. "Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?"
But Gideon then confesses his natural inability and the poverty of his family (verse 15). The Lord's answer is so assuring: "Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man." That is the ULTIMATE assurance, that He will be with Gideon.
Brave Gideon had three humdred men--
The Midianites had a host--
But Gideon had the LORD with him,
And so he had the most
(from Selections by R.K.G.)