Thursday, May 7, 2009

Day 127 Gideon's boot camp experience

The Story of Gideon depicts the type of warfare we are engaged in. Gideon's Training Ground is one of questions, a need to clarify what he was taught to believe about YHWH and His exploits. Gideon needs to check that he is hearing the angel of the Lord correctly, and has a personal insight into the character of God as shown by "The Lord is Peace" verse 24.

Here is the progression of the bootcamp experience.
Judges 6 11 The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior."

13 "Pardon me, my lord," Gideon replied, "but if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, 'Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?' But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian."

God speaks first and proclaims some aspect of encouragement

The recipient, in this case Gideon, has questions about God's presence and purpose in the situation. Gideon initially misses the "mighty warrior" greeting. He may have thought the angel/prophet was "taking the mick" as we say in Ireland. Downtrodden Israelites having a impotent mighty warrior at hand, who is the "least"(not youngest) person and in the "weakest" (not smallest) of the clans. Sounds incredulous to any but God!

Gideons assessment was in the realm of power and leadership and the lack thereof. He had a warrior's outlook on the situation and this probably marked him out from the others.

Gideon was open to the suggestion that he was indeed a "mighty warrior" 16 The LORD answered, "I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together." I doubt if Gideon missed the "I will be with you" "and you will"...... God goes with us but we also have a job to do, its rarely that God works indepentantly of us. We are the ones learning, not Him!

Gideon needed to know he wasn't being deceived and so prepared a sacrifice for the angel of the Lord which was accepted. I thought about Cain and Abel , not all sacrifices are acceptable! So its important to make "acceptable" sacrifices so that they will be received.

This then put front and center the issue of who was God in the land. Baal had the popular vote, and YHWH would need to topple the false god if He was to save the Israelites from their distress. YHWH goes for the heart of the people, what they worship - often that is where the battle is won or...lost. Gideon makes his stand, demolishes his fathers altar to Baal, and erects an altar to YHWH. The response of Gideon's father shows that he was open to correction and accepted this very physical statement of truth. Gideon may have drawn courage from his fathers stand against those who wanted his life.

These essential acts of knowing God personally and putting a truth statement in the center of our relationships is the foundation to waging war in God's Kingdom. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but are mighty to the pulling down of strongholds.

The issue of "Worship" is the first weapon.

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