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Judges 6. Gideon, part 7: The Lord is with you - proof is in the word and not a sign.

JUDGES-6-170302
length: 65:12 - taught on Mar, 2 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."

 

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.

 

1JO 1:5 And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

 

1JO 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;

 

1JO 1:7 but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

 

1JO 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

 

1JO 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

1JO 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

 

1JO 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;

 

John is clear that he didn't write the opening of his letter so that we ponder a life of sin, but that we would know our privilege of fellowship with Christ.

 

They were written so that we may know that fellowship with Christ is our privilege as His bride and that walking in the light, as John personally knows, is wonderful. This is his desire for all, as he shows at the beginning of the letter.

 

1JO 1:1 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life — 

 

1JO 1:2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us — 

 

1JO 1:3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, that you also may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.

 

1JO 1:4 And these things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.

 

1JO 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;

 

1JO 2:2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

 

1JO 2:3 And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.

 

1JO 2:4 The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;

 

1JO 2:5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:

 

1JO 2:6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

 

To Israel in the church age, the gospel is always near. So many of them have it right in their hearts, but they will not hear it.

 

Just as deliverance is near to Gideon and thus all Israel if they believe, so deliverance is to all in Israel throughout the church as the gospel is always near. Certainly, it is no different for the Gentiles, but what Israel has, which Paul calls to our attention in Romans 10, that the Gentile did not in his age, are the words of the Old Testament, which words contain the gospel. As time progressed in the church age and Christianity spread all over the world, the situation changed. Today, most Gentiles grow up knowing the story of Christ and the cross. However, though the differences between Jew and Gentile have grown far less defined, the gospel is still near every man.

 

ROM 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them [Israel] is for their salvation.

 

ROM 10:2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.

 

ROM 10:3 For not knowing about God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.

 

ROM 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

 

What Paul refers to here is that Christ fulfilled the Law through His death on the cross. His life didn't fulfill the Law. His death did. We are no longer under the holy Law because Christ fulfilled it and now we live unto Him in grace, truth, and the Spirit.

 

ROM 10:5 For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness.

 

LEV 18:5

'So you shall keep My statutes and My judgments, by which a man may live if he does them; I am the Lord.

 

ROM 10:6 But the righteousness based on faith speaks thus, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?' (that is, to bring Christ down),

 

ROM 10:7 or' Who will descend into the abyss?' (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead)."

 

Paul uses a quote from Deuteronomy to contrast the difference between Law and grace. Moses, the Law giver, is about to die, but he wasn't taking the Law away with him. They need not fear.

 

As you can see Paul uses the quote but he changes it. We will come back to Rom 10.

 

DEU 30:11 "For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach.

 

DEU 30:12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?'

 

DEU 30:13 "Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, 'Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?'

 

DEU 30:14 "But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.

 

Paul changes the "commandment" to "Christ" since it is Him that we follow and not the Law.

 

We will see how this applies to our situation with Gideon. He thinks the Lord has left Israel because great oppression is on them. Though they have not fellowshipped with the Lord doesn't mean that the Lord or His word has departed. This is made crystal clear by the unnamed prophet.

 

Israel had not obeyed, but the word to obey is still among them, in fact, some of them carry the words in their hearts but they have not listened to them.

 

There are likely many in Israel during the time of apostasy who state the Shema: "Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One." but only say the words while they later go on to worship Baal. The gospel is with them. It has not left.

 

When Moses died the Jews did not have to fear or be anxious. Moses was not taking the Law with him as if it belonged to him.

 

This is precisely the point that Paul takes from Deuteronomy and applies it to Jesus.

 

When the Lord died, rose again, and ascended to heaven, He did not take salvation and truth away with Him. We don't have to go to heaven or go to Hades to find it.

 

We remember the disciples in the upper room the night before Jesus' death being sad and afraid because He said that He was going somewhere that they could not follow. We understand their angst, but soon they would discover the reason and their sorrow would change into rejoicing.

 

JOH 14:28 "You heard that I said to you, 'I go away, and I will come to you.' If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I."

 

JOH 16:6 "But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.

 

JOH 16:7 But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you."

 

JOH 16:17 "Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned to joy.

 

A person may be a terrible, wicked, immoral, sanctimoniously moral, lawless unbeliever for all his years, but the gospel is always near him. It will be there when his confusion comes or when his death bed is made.

 

Also, when Moses spoke Deuteronomy, his farewell message just before his death, Israel was no longer in need of signs. No more signs needed to be given, though they would witness the Jordan split.

 

When Moses is about to die, no more signs are necessary to confirm the Law. Signs were given at Sinai and during the wilderness journey.

 

The very nature of grace which God has given to us removes us from any form of religion that needs any outward sign or manifestation as a confirmation of the Word of God.

 

After Moses' message recorded as the book Deuteronomy, there was nothing to do but submit to the unequivocal Word which they possessed in their mouths and in their hearts.

 

Yet we see Gideon implying that a sign is necessary in order to know that the Lord is with Israel. He believes that he needs a sign when all he needs is the word which is next to him, and to some extent, within him.

 

JDG 6:13

Then Gideon said to him, "O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, 'Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?' But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian."

 

Right up until the coming of Christ, most of the people in Israel continued to seek for signs, failing to see true power in the word.

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