May 20, 2015
Judges 6-Part 4
Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east were gathered together, and went over, and pitched in the valley of Jezerel. Judges 6:33
LET IT GLOW
Being a morning person, I am usually up around 5:30 starting my day. Now that it is light at my house by 6am, I mosey out to feed and water my cats. Anyway, I enjoy the peacefulness of the cool early mornings. Then I hear the rumbling of the coal train delivering coal to the power plant only a few miles away. Then I hear the sounds of the semis as they begin their route to carry their loads to the rest of the world. Then I hear cars rolling down the highway less than a mile away taking folks to work. Yep, the world is awake now. I can hear it coming alive. My serene little world is changed in just a few moments. And the rat race begins for some. So I wonder if Gideon could hear the rumbling of the marching of the Midianite army of 135,000 men, some riding on camels. Grab your cup of coffee and join me on the front porch, bring you Bible too, and we will listen for it...
In the meantime, the Midianites, who were oppressing God's people the Israelites, along with the Amalektes, and the Arabs moved an army into the area with renewed aggression and pitched their tents in the Valley of Jezereel, extending from Mount Carmel to the Jordan Valley. So?
Jump over to Judges 8:10 where we find out that they started out with 135,000 men. Isn't that enough to make your knees knock? Think I'd find a rabbit hole, fox hole, or dig one to hid in. The camels are coming!
Well, the Valley of Jezerel was an agricultural center for the area. Whoever controlled the valley's rich and fertile land controlled the people who lived in and around it. Because of the valley's vast resources, many major trade routes converged at the pass which led into it. this made it the site of many great battles. Later, Gideon's men attacked the enemy armies from the hills, and the only escape route was through the pass toward the Jordan River. (Life Application Study Bible)
Camels? Listen, I hear the camels coming.
Priscilla Shirer, in her Bible study book called Gideon says:
This battle was the first time camels were used in warfare, and this gave the Midianites a staggering advantage over the Israelites. Camels could "sprint up to forty miles per hour, maintain twenty-five miles per hour for an hour, and cover one hundred miles in a day."
Sounds like things are going from bad to worse. Not only were the Israelites' herds and crops taken, but now they were on the brink of war.
Are we prepared for God to use us in spiritual battles against evil and/or people?
LET IT GROW
Meanwhile, we don't know how much time elapsed since Gideon and his 10 men flattened the idol of Baal. Suppose it doesn't matter or God would have told us, huh! Read verse 34 back in chapter 6. What was Gideon doing?
- The Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon and he sounded the trumpet.
- The men of Abiezer, gathered at Gideon's hometown. He became Gideon's general.
- Gideon sent messengers throughout the lands of Manesseh, Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali for help from his brethren.
- While these 32,000 men were assembling to form Gideon's army, he had a personal hesitation.
How suddenly God can change the hearts of idolaters and persecutors. It is not too difficult for God to change our attitudes and others' attitudes so all are submissive to Him for Kingdom work.
We are going to leave this underdog, doubting and weak in faith. How does Gideon handle his doubt?
Tomorrow we will see a man who gets the fleece out and asks God to do the laundry. Well, sort of.
Do we seek help when times of trouble come? Do we pray and then ask our friends for help and advices or vice versa? When fellow believers are in need, do we hesitate to help?
LET IT GO
Listen to the Holy Spirit, then obey His instructions.
Help others when they call.
Trust God in the situation.
Get ready to go when God calls.