Lesson 2 -- fourth quarter 2000
September 10, 2000
© Copyright 2000, Christian Light Publications
Did Gideon have to do it?
Gideon had his hands full. He not only had wheat to raise and otherwise tend to, he had to do so in hiding from the oppressors of his people. Surely that kept him busy full time. Surely he didn't need anymore to do.
I can imagine that Gideon could have easily figured that he didn't need any more enemies. The Midianites were enemies aplenty; no need to go looking for more. And he especially didn't need to alienate and make enemies of his own people.
The Lord thought otherwise, or so it would seem from today's lesson. First off, God let Gideon know that he was the one to "save Israel from the hand of the Midianites" (Judges 6:14). So, yes, there was indeed something else for Gideon to do in addition to wheat farming. Then, in what might have seemed like just one more complication, God gave Gideon an assignment to be done before tackling the Midianite problem. God told Gideon to take down a heathen altar and cut down the grove where it sat. That upset his own people!
Now let's get back to the question before us: Did Gideon have to do it?
Yes. As a man of God ("The Lord is with thee"), Gideon in a sense had no choice. Oh, sure; he could have refused to obey a very direct, very personal command from the Lord: "Go in this thy might...have not I sent thee?" (Judges 6:14). But I don't think Gideon really considered that as a legitimate option. If he could have proven to him that this was actually from God, he knew he would do it. He had to because he had no other valid option left to him.
No. I think this brings out another important angle from which to view this question. You see, if Gideon wanted to do it, then he didn't have to do it as something he had no desire to do. Gideon's heart was set to follow God; that is what he wanted. It strikes me that Gideon's commitment to the Lord was such that doing His will was not the burden that have implies.
What about us? How is our heart toward God? May He find us as committed and as available as Gideon. May He free us from finding His ways and commands burdensome. May He teach us to delight to do His will!
God's people today still have oppressors.
Evil and compromise, contentions and discouragements, materialism and disloyalty -- these and an innumerable host of other oppressions assail, hem in and defeat scores of Christians. You need look no further than yourself, your youth group and your congregation to see these and other oppressors at work.
God's people today still need deliverers.
I believe God continues to call and use deliverers in the same general fashion in which He called and used Gideon. I believe He uses those who are every-day faithful, not those who only hope to be special-event faithful. I believe God takes those who are of mighty valor and empowers them as instruments of deliverance.
Young person, be faithful! Every day and in every way, choose God and His kingdom. Do not turn away from any directive of the Lord. Always, always be submissive and obedient to His ways. This will most assuredly lead to your own deliverance from any oppressors. And it will make you available to God in His efforts to bring deliverance to other Christians. So be faithful!
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