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Judges 6. Gideon, part 6: The Lord is with you - proof is in the word and not a sign.

JUDGES-6-170301
length: 61:08 - taught on Mar, 1 2017
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Title: Judges 6. Gideon, part 6: The Lord is with you - proof is in the word and not a sign.        

 

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JDG 6:11 Then the angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites.

 

JDG 6:12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, "The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior."

 

The Midianite, Amalekite, and Bedouin raiders roamed the countryside at this time, falling upon Jewish farms with great violence and without warning.

 

Arab raiders

Think of the anxiety and fear in the heart of a farmer whose wife and children and extended family are working what used to be a peaceful and pleasurable and prosperous farm, but are now constantly in danger. Though the raiders where not interested in the people per se, if they were cruel enough to kill and burn what livestock and goods they couldn't carry, they certainly would have killed many of the Jews. This has come upon them because they have not obeyed the voice of God, and for the few people in Israel who did obey God and follow Him, they find themselves under the same oppression and actually more so, since they would have called out to the rest of Israel to forsake their idols and to follow the Lord, pointing out the passages in the Law which we have also seen. The idol worshipping Israelites would have persecuted them along with the Midianites, however, their suffering is for blessing. The Lord would certainly sustain them and strengthen them and their joy is in that they have glorified God. We don't know who they were or how many of them were in some way miraculously delivered by God, but we know that they existed, because such a remnant always exists.  

 

Just like the time prior to Deborah, the Jews can no longer work freely and abundantly in the open. They have little and are hiding out, hiding what little stores they have, and Gideon is threshing in shallow ditch used for pressing grapes so that his small quantity of grain will not be noticed and seized.

 

Years later the Philistines would be doing the same:

 

1SA 23:1

Then they told David, saying, "Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah, and are plundering the threshing floors."

 

threshing floor and wine press

Gideon is threshing in a wine press in order to hide from Midian invaders. The area is small and so is the amount of grain.

 

JDG 6:11 Then the angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites.

 

JDG 6:12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, "The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior."

 

The manner of Gideon's call was to show all Israel that salvation was not to be found in man, but in Jehovah alone, just as the prophet stated.

 

Othniel received the Spirit of God. Ehud deceived the king of Moab. Barak fought by the word of Deborah given by God, but now the Angel of the Lord Himself appeared to Gideon to call him as a deliverer.

 

The first call of a judge by the actual Angel of the Lord shows Israel that God is still very near to them.

 

It is significant that the theophany of Christ comes personally into this small village in Manasseh. He has disciplined Israel severely, but He has not at all abandoned them. To this truth, He doesn't send an angel, but it is Himself that comes to earth, calmly and openly walks over to a familiar oak and sat under it. Is He anxious about the state of Israel, or bothered, or worried, or even angry?

 

The Lord sits under the oak completely at ease. God does not lose His cool when our world is upside down because of our apostasy.

 

As the Lord sits in the shade of the big oak, which He created, He tells this young Gideon, who is fearful and poor, "The Lord is with you." It is obvious to us that He is for them since He has come to Gideon in person, but this is not obvious to Gideon.

 

MAT 28:16 But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated.

 

MAT 28:17 And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful.

 

MAT 28:18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

 

MAT 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

 

MAT 28:20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

 

This is carried within us by faith. We do not see His presence, but we know Him and we know that He indwells us and is always with us.

 

1PE 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

 

1PE 1:4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,

 

1PE 1:5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

 

1PE 1:6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,

 

1PE 1:7 that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

 

Peter turns our attention to the value of gold and faith. If losing gold or any other material thing, including health, reveals to us concretely the power of our faith, we are way ahead in God's economy.

 

The proof of our faith, revealed in distressing trials, is far more precious than any materialism.

 

One of the things we find in such trials is whether God's economy or the world's economy is more important to us, and that's a good thing to know for sure.

 

1PE 1:8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,

 

1PE 1:9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation [deliverance] of your souls.

 

"The Lord is with you." Gideon fails to see that in great oppression due to their apostasy, the Lord was still very near.

 

Gideon's conclusion is that the Lord has not been with him, since seven years of the worst oppression seen since slavery in Egypt has been upon them, but what Gideon fails to see, which all those not fully educated in the person and ways of the Lord do not see, is that in this great oppression, God has been very near.

 

HEB 12:6

"For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines,

And He scourges every son whom He receives."

 

Yet in another aspect, the ways of fellowship with the Lord, Israel has not been with Him and so they fail to enjoy His grace gifts which are so near.

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