At a time when Israel was living in disobedience to the Lord, and behaved in the evil ways of the nations surrounding them, they were oppressed by marauding bands of Midianites.
Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help. In response to their cry, He sent a prophet who reminded them that the reason for this oppression was because they have been disobedient and not listened to the Lord.
Then the angel of the Lord came to Gideon as he was threshing wheat in a winepress, hiding from the Midianites. The angel said, ‘The Lord is with you, mighty warrior’ (Judges 6:12).
At this, Gideon asks, ‘If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all His wonders that our fathers told us about? Now the Lord has abandoned us and put us in the hands of Midian.’
Then the Lord says, ‘Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?’
I wonder if there are times when we become a bit like Gideon, when we find the going tough, making feeble attempts to survive and our faith falters to the point of doubt. In such circumstances what is God trying to say to us?
Could it be that God wants us to look back to those experiences of the past, where He brought us out of a severe bondage and oppression, and how He helped and delivered us? This could be the point where He says, ‘Go in the strength you have - My strength. I will be with you, and you will overcome this problem.’
When we know we have drifted from the Lord, and we’re aware of our own weakness and inability, and yet we recognise the power of The Lord’s presence, we’re on the road to victory, whatever the enemy might throw against us. God being with one individual results in a powerful majority.
Like Gideon, there may be things we need to put right before we go into battle. We may need to put aside some things we consider essential for success. But when the Lord has promised ‘I will be with you, and you will be successful’, we can rest assured that this will be the outcome. Again, it is all a matter of dealing with any sin, and responding to God’s call with an obedient heart.
Prayer: O Lord God, please forgive me for those times when I’m disobedient to You and help me to recognise that You’re still with me and ready to help. Forgive me for those times I doubt and question where You are in a situation. Please enable me to recognise that however helpless and hopeless I might feel, You’re always with me to help me be an overcomer, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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