LOCKDOWN: GIDEON (Judges 6 – 7)
The Nation of Israel was far away from The Lord. Gideon had grown up aware that every year the Nomadic Midianites would raid and steal their crops and livestock. It was heart breaking year after year to literally see all their hard work being taken from them, and their gaining no benefit.
Israel was demoralised, disillusioned, discouraged. They became distraught and It was in their distress that they began to cry out to The Lord. Judges 6:6, “because Midian so impoverished Israel.”
NB: The Lord does not social distance Himself from us – though at times it may appear as though that is the case. David, wrote many of the Psalms. He lamented that there were times when he thought that the skies were like brass.
# THE LORD SENT THEM A PROPHET (6:8a)
# THE LORD SENT THEM A PROPHET WITH HIS MESSAGE (v8b – 10)
# THE LORD SENT THE ANGEL OF THE LORD TO SPEAK TO GIDEON (v11a)
Gideon was in Lockdown – “threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites.” There was not a lot of wheat to thresh. He was making the most of the harvest that he had left. He was terrified of losing the little that he had left.
– Can Shrink Our World
– Can Make Us Defensive
– Can Make Us Protectionist Towards What We Have
– Can Make Us Insular
– Can Re- affirm Our Insecurities
The key verse about Gideon, and I’m jumping ahead in the text here, so that we realise this Truth about him, (v15b) “MY CLAN IS THE WEAKEST IN MANASSEH, AND I AM THE LEAST IN MY FAMILY!”
Gideon lived In and was immensely affected by: INSECURITY!!
Lockdown can do that to us – make us Insecure!!
I’ll be very honest – Gideon has helped me face up to a personal characteristic that I have lived with throughout my life and ministry – Insecurity. It doesn’t manifest itself every day. I do what Joyce Meyer teaches, “I do it afraid!!”
Friendly fire can be ferocious in its veracity – IF WE LET IT BE!!
So, I can understand Gideon’s experience. At key moments in his life, of possible breakthrough in God, Gideon would have heard the whispers of an enemy who wanted to keep him from fulfilling God’s Plan. “You made the least Gideon!” This kind of experience can go deep into the thinking and into the soul, leading to, “freezing out.”……..”closing down.”….”Lockdown.”
We can become like a stone statue instead of a living sacrifice!!
Words that I remember hearing include:-
“Only Special People get used by God in that way!”
“You’ll Never Grow a Church!!”
“You come from Gloucester Elim!!” Inferring, “Can anything good come out of Gloucester Elim?!” I thank Father God for Wynne Lewis, who told me over lunch, just before his promotion to Glory, “Nigel, you come from Gloucester but you are no country bumpkin. You have a Wonderful Brain and Heart. A Wonderful Combination! Use it!!” Wynne, this side of Glory, will never know what that affirmation meant to me, and still does!!
“You Will Never Be/Do Enough!!” There’s a song in the film The Greatest Showman (a fantastic film and score) that made me weep gutturally, entitled, “Never Be Enough!!”. ….How much to share ?
There is a Positive Side To Insecurity. It is this, that, I lean more into Father God, In The Name of Jesus. Becoming very, very reliant on The Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul had a thorn in the flesh. He asked for it to be taken away three times. He was told, “No!” “My Grace Is Sufficient For You! For My Power Is Made Perfect In Weakness!” (2 Corinthians 12:9a) Paul acknowledged this when he stated, “when I am weak, then I am strong!” (2 For 12:10b)
Back to Gideon. Gideon means “Tree Feller” or “Warrior.”
Up until this moment Gideon had believed the lies and he did not live up to his name! However, LOCKDOWN TRANSFORMED GIDEON INTO GOD’S MAN – A JUDGE OVER ISRAEL:-
* GIDEON HEARD GOD’S DEFINITION OF HIS PERSONHOOD!! (v12b)
“The Lord Is With You Mighty Warrior!!”
* GIDEON RECEIVED GOD’S CONFIRMATION OF HIS CALLING!!
I have heard some people speak against laying out fleeces before The Lord But I know that sometimes The Lord needs to prove His Will to us. When we know that we know that we know we go for it, and His Will with everything that we are and have!! He accepts sometimes that we need confirmation.
* GIDEON ACCEPTED GOD’S “HOW TO,” TO FULFIL GOD’S WILL!!
Read: Chapter 7
Gideon’s Army was taken from 32,000 volunteers to 300. This was so that Israel would not be able to boast that they had defeated the Midianites in their own strength. Gideon divided the 300 men into 3 companies, he placed trumpets and empty jars in the hands of all of them, with torches inside.(v16)
They followed Gideon’s lead (v19b), “They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands.”
The result? The Midianites ran, crying out as they fled. Gideon sent messengers for Israel to destroy the Midianites, and they did.
What a Victory For The Lord, through Gideon!!
As I meditated on this story the verse written by the Apostle Paul came into my spirit, 2 Corinthians 4:7 “We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us!”
Like Gideon we need to break our clay jar to let the LIght out into the world that we are called to live in, and to fulfil The Will of The Lord.
GIDEON’S LESSON FROM LOCKDOWN : ‘LET GOD TRANSFORM YOUR DEEP INSECURITY INTO DEEP, DEEP CONFIDENCE IN THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD!!’