Peace & Blessings Beloved,
TGBTG for allowing us to see another day. I pray all is well with you and yours, and that your week has been fruitful & blessed thus far.
In the sixteenth post of our new Humble Servant Blog Series, Stories of the Bible, we're going to review The Deliverers, which can be found in the book of Judges, as chronicled in chapter 6.
After Joshua died the Israelites fell back into disobedience to God, disregarding His laws, and failing to drive out the remaining Canaanites from the Promised Land. The Israelites began to worship the Canaanite gods instead of YHWH, the one true God. The Israelites had no king so everyone did what they thought was right in their own eyes. Their disobedience began a pattern that repeated several times throughout history.
The Israelites would disobey the LORD for many years, and He would punish them by allowing their enemies to defeat them: stealing and destroying their property, killing scores of them, and generally oppressing them. This would be followed by Israel's repentance of their sin, and petition to God to save them. Each of those times the LORD rescued them, sending them a deliverer. This individual would fight against their enemies, defeating them, and usher the Israelites into peace. This deliverer would rule over them faithfully,
Over time God sent Israel many deliverers. When the Midianites were allowed to defeat Israel, they took all of their crops for seven years. The Israelites were scared of the Midianites, who found themselves hiding in caves, to avoid being detected. They eventually cried out to God to save them.
There was an Israelite man named Gideon, who one day he was threshing grain in a hidden place so the Midianites wouldn't steal it. One day the angel of the LORD came to Gideon and informed him that God is with you mighty warrior, go and save Israel from the Midianites. Gideon's father had an altar dedicated to an idol. God instructed Gideon to tear it down, and Gideon's reaction was one of fear for the response of those Israelites. As a result he waited until nighttime and he tore down the altar and smashed it to pieces. Afterwards, he built a new altar to God nearby and made a sacrifice to God on it. The next morning the people saw that someone had torn down and destroyed the altar, and they were very angry. In their anger they went to Gideon's house to kill him but Gideon's father questioned why Gideon was attempting to help his God. He admonished his son Gideon that his God can protect himself. Because he said this the people did not kill Gideon.
The Midianites came again to steal from the Israelites, in great numbers. In response Gideon called the Israelites together to fight them. He asked God for two signs to confirm He was telling God to save Israel. The first sign included Gideon laying down a sheepskin on the ground and asked God to let the morning dew fall only on the sheepskin and not the ground. The LORD did that. The next night he asked that the ground be wet but the sheepskin dry. God did that too. Because of these two signs Gideon believed that God really wanted him to save Israel from the Midianites.
Then Gideon called for soldiers to come to him and 32,000 men came but God told him this was too many. Consequently, Gideon sent home 22,000 all who were afraid to fight. God then told Gideon that he still had too many men, so Gideon sent all of them away, except for 300 soldiers. That same night the LORD told Gideon to go down to the Midianite camp and listen to them talk: when you hear what they say you will no longer be afraid to attack them. So, that night Gideon went down to the camp and heard a Midianite soldier telling his friend about something he had dreamed. The man's friend said that dream meant that Gideon's army will defeat them. Upon hearing this Gideon began to worship God. Then Gideon returned to his soldiers and gave each of them a horn, a clay pot, and a torch. They surrounded the camp where the Midianite soldiers were sleeping, with the torches in the pot. The Midianites could not see the light of the torches, and eventually Gideon's soldiers broke their pots at the same moment, revealing the fire of the torches. Their blew their horns and shouted a sword for YHWH and for Gideon. God confused the Midianites so that they started attacking and killing each other. Immediately, Gideon sent messengers to call many other Israelites to come from their homes and help chase the Midianites. They killed many of them and chased the rest of them out of the Israelite's land.
One hundred and twenty thousand Midianites died that day. This is how God saved Israel. The people wanted to make Gideon their king, which he did not allow them to. He did, however, ask them for some of the gold rings that each of them had taken from the Midianites. The people gave Gideon a large amount of gold, which he used to make a special garment, akin to that of a high priest's garb. Unfortunately for the those Israelites, they began to serve the garment as an idol. God, angered by this, punished Israel for their disobedience once again, allowing their enemies to defeat them. Upon this defeat they petitioned the LORD for His help, and God sent another deliverer to rescue them.
This very same thing happened many times. The Israelites would sin, God would punish them, they would repent, God would forgive and send someone to rescue them. Over many years God sent many deliverers who saved the Israelites from their enemies.
Finally, the people asked God for a king like all the other nations had, one who was tall and strong, and who could lead them into battle. The LORD did not like this request but He did give them a king.
I pray you receive this with the love intended, and apply it to wisdom.
May the joy of the Lord continue to be your strength.
Love you much.
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Blessed!
P.S- If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ, I implore you to take the time to do so right now. Use John 3:16 & Romans 10:9-10 as a foundation for making your confession of faith. And use Ephesians 2:1-10 to provide proper context for your salvation.