King James Bible Study – “And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” – Mark 8:34
Date: Wednesday, April 01, 2020
Chapters: Judges 6-7
Message: God’s Little Army
Hello My Friend,
I have a confession to make, these past couple of weeks have been rough for me, my emotions have been going up and down like a corkscrew roller coaster. One minute, I am on fire for God, excited, and praising Him for all the good He is doing, especially with this pandemic. The next, I am irritable, anxious, and just plain numb inside, begging for God’s mercies while I am praising Him for not giving me what I really deserve. Then it occurred to me as I was reading the chapters for today, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” – John 15:16. When Jesus chooses us, we are going to face oppression, but it is through that oppression that He is able to do His best work in us. Why? Because we must lose our lives so that Christ can give us life. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” – Matthew 16:24-25.
What this means is that we cannot avoid life, we all have a cross that we must bear, and in order to do that we need Jesus Christ. When we give our live to Christ, meaning put our soul into His hands, that is when He gives us life and enables us to not only help us carry our cross, He will give us everlasting life after we endure it. Amen! One of my favorite testimonies in the Bible is that of Gideon, when God called on him, Israel was severely oppressed by the Midianites, it was so bad that they lived in caves to hide from them. “And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.” – Judges 6:12-13.
“why then is all this befallen us?” Gideon, like many others, wanted to know why this was happening, and where all the miracles were that he heard so much about when his fathers came out of Egypt. And God answered him.
“And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee? And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house. And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man. And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me. Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present, and set it before thee. And he said, I will tarry until thou come again. And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it. And the angel of God said unto him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so. Then the angel of the LORD put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the LORD departed out of his sight.” – Judges 6:14-21.
“have not I sent thee?” God is telling Gideon that he is going to be the miracle. How would you like for God to tell you that He’s going to work a miracle, and use you to do fulfill it? That is exactly what God does. He does not choose the well qualified, He chooses the washed up, dragged out, wretched, God forgive me of my sin, sinners. He wants to make sure that people know that what we are capable of has nothing to do with our own ability, but what He has done through us, (Luke 1:37). “then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me.” When God tells us that He is going to use us, we all want a sign from God that tells us that it is really Him talking to us. Remember, God qualifies the chosen. “and there rose up fire out of the rock,” Soup and a sandwich made for Jesus, and how does He eat it? With fire. I do not know why, but this is fascinating to me, and I have never seen it before. Do you realize just how much we do for Jesus? It is just like He said, “Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” – Matthew 25:36-40.
Whatever and whomever God brings in our lives, when we are there for them, we are there for Jesus, and He takes notice to that. You know how God proves us to see our faithfulness to Him? Well, He allows us to prove Him, then once He does He expects us to get to work. God had a task for Gideon, He was instructed to tear down the idol and groves of his fathers, and to build an altar.
“And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father’s young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father’s household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night. And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built. And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing. Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it. And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar.” – Judges 6:25-31.
“And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock,” God not only had him tear down the idol, He had him use the wood from the grove for the sacrifice. It is our duty to remove the idols from our families lives, even if that causes some persecution, and do not stop there, tell them about Jesus. While we cannot force them to choose Christ, we can compel them as much as we can while they have their breath in them, (Luke 14:21-23). You see, in this world we are facing oppression right now because it is getting more wicked by the day, but that does not mean He will not watch over, and protect His faithful, or use them in such cases to deliver them from oppression. And this is where His faithful come in, He will bring us down to the lowest level we can get so that all can know that only the Almighty, living God can do this. Now, God told Gideon to get an army together, twenty-two thousand men showed up, but God told him that it was too many.
“And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.” – Judges 7:2-7.
“lest Israel vaunt themselves against me,” You see, God does not want us boasting about what we have done to save ourselves, He wants the glory. And guess what? The fearful and afraid will not be saved, (Revelation 21:8). “Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue,” So, why did God choose the men based on how they drank water? These men scooped the water in their hand then drank it from their hand, they were able to observe their surroundings so that the enemy could not attack them without their backs turned. The other men were on their knees with their faces in the water, if the enemy came they would not be ready for the attack. God wants us always prepared to fight. Why? So that He can do His greatest work in us. It is not really us who fight our battles, God does it for us when we put our faith and trust in Him. The whole purpose for oppression is that we all acknowledge the Almighty God as our LORD, and Saviour, and that we repent of any sin we have in our lives so that we can always be ready for the enemy when he attacks, (II Peter 3:9). “were three hundred men:” Now, left with three hundred men, God’s little army was going to defeat a multitude of Midianites.
“And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers. And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do. When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon. So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands. And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon. And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled. And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every man’s sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath.” – Judges 7:16-22.
“and the LORD set every man’s sword against his fellow,” Do you see what happened? This gigantic army was so scared at the noise that they began to fight each other. Of course, God’s little army was able to go after the ones who fled, and defeat the Midianites. God’s little army is not very big in number, compared to the billions of people on the planet, we are, but a spec, and while we are being oppressed, God is preparing us for this battle. We must be brave, we must have our trumpets ready to sound the alarm, our lights in our hand, shining Christ in the world, and be ready to shout when the call comes for Christ to gather His people. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” – I Thessalonians 4:14-17.
Today’s Prayer: God, Thank You for sending Your Son to save all who believe in Him from death and hell. Time and time again You have proved Yourself mighty in my life, yet time and time again I have failed in giving You the glory for it. I am sorry that I do not thank You enough for all the miracles You have made in my life, even the ones where I was the miracle someone needed. Thank You for oppression, it shows me that Your hand is in everything. Sometimes, I feel like I will never get out of the oppression I face, but I know that I will because Your mercy endures. As You establish me, strengthen me, and settle me in the love of Christ, I know that all things will work together for good and You will truly get the glory. Lord, Lead me and guide me, as one of Your chosen soldiers, keep my eyes open and prepared for an attack at all times, let me be a living sacrifice, always willing to do what You ask, leading all You send my way to Your Son. I ask these things in Your name Jesus. Amen.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
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