Sunday, July 16, 2017

God raises up Gideon

God raises up Gideon 1
Once again, God’s people turned their backs on Him to worship idols so God allowed the Midianites to treat them badly for seven years.
God raises up Gideon 2
Whenever the Israelites were ready for harvest, marauders from Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east would attack Israel and destroy their crops.
God raises up Gideon 3
They arrived on camels and they stayed until the land was stripped bare. The Midianites were so cruel the Israelites hid in mountains, caves, and strongholds. God’s people were reduced to starvation.

God raises up Gideon 5
Joash’s son Gideon was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress. The angel greeted him, ‘Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!’ Gideon replied, ‘If the Lord were with us why have we been handed over to the Midianites? The Lord’s angel said, ‘Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!’ Gideon retorted, ‘My clan is the weakest in the tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my family!’ The Lord replied, ‘I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.’ Disbelieving Gideon asked for a sign.
God raises up Gideon 6
Gideon asked the stranger to stay while he went to prepare food. When he brought fresh bread, broth and freshly cooked goat’s meat the stranger asked him to put the meat and bread on a rock then pour the broth over it.
God raises up Gideon 7
Then the angel of the Lord touched the meat and bread with the tip of the staff in his hand, and fire flamed up from the rock and consumed the meat and bread. Then the angel of the Lord disappeared.

God raises up Gideon 8
Gideon exclaimed, ‘I’m doomed! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!’ The Lord replied, ‘Do not be afraid. You will not die.’ That night the Lord gave Gideon instructions to carry out.
God raises up Gideon 9
With the help of 10 servants Gideon took one of his father’s bulls and pulled down his father’s idol of Baal. They cut down the pole his family used to worship the idol Asherah.
God raises up Gideon 10
Then he made an altar to God, placed the wood of the Asherah pole on it and sacrificed the bull to God.

God raises up Gideon 11
The next morning the people of the town were furious to find the idols had been destroyed. When they discovered Gideon had done this, a mob gathered outside Joash’s house demanding Gideon’s death. Joash confronted the mob, ‘Why are you defending Baal? If Baal truly is a god, let him defend himself and destroy the one who broke down his altar!’ From then on Gideon was called Jerub-baal, which means ‘Let Baal defend himself’.
God raises up Gideon 13
The Spirit of the Lord took possession of Gideon. He blew a ram’s horn as a call to arms, and the men of the clan of Abiezer came to him.
God raises up Gideon 15
Gideon still had doubts about taking on the might army in the valley. So he said to God, ‘Prove you are going to use me to rescue Israel in this way. I will put a wool fleece on the threshing floor tonight. If the fleece is wet with dew in the morning but the ground is dry, then I will know that you are going to help me.’

God raises up Gideon 16
The next morning the ground was dry but the fleece was wet with dew. But Gideon still had doubts. ‘Please don’t be angry with me,’ he begged the Lord, ‘Let me use the fleece for one more test. This time let the fleece remain dry while the ground around it is wet with dew.’
God raises up Gideon 17
The next morning there was heavy dew on the ground but the fleece was dry.
God raises up Gideon 18
Gideon knew the Lord had chosen him and his small army to deliver the Israelites from the 135,000 enemy soldiers camped in the valley of Jezreel.

God raises up Gideon
Gideon asks for a sign that God will help him fight the Midianites.
Judges 6:1-40

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