Title: Judges 7. Gideon, part 24: Why we ultimately do. Don’t lose opportunities due to carelessness.
JDG 7:5 So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, "You shall separate everyone who laps the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, as well as everyone who kneels to drink."
JDG 7:6 Now the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was 300 men; but all the rest of the people kneeled to drink water.
Those who lifted the water to their mouths with their hands represented the good soldiers who, upon reaching a brook before the battle, did not allow themselves time to fall down and satisfy their thirst in the most convenient manner. These good soldiers simply knelt, took up some water with their hands as they remained upright in their military armor in order to be alert to any enemy and be ready to proceed against them without any delay.
By being alert they were not only protecting themselves but also the men near them.
In the same way, each member of the body of Christ has been given a spiritual gift for the common good. In carnality we are no good to anyone as we cannot serve them or assist them or help them bear the burden of trial or failure.
No member of the body can say to another member:
And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary
Some Christians don't want to admit this as they imagine themselves to be a rock and an island. How can any one member of the human body function independently of the other parts? However, like any truth this can be perverted and it has been in which churches become nothing more than social clubs. It has always been true, from the beginning of the church, that a particular sect of Christians pervert a doctrine and another sect retaliates by either by removing the doctrine altogether or by choosing such a polar opposite stance that they also pervert the doctrine.
Like it or not, our alertness in the spiritual life, in prayer, in study, in service, in fighting temptation, etc. is a help to other Christians.
However, is the goal of love within the Christian the help of another? Is the ultimate end purpose of love and service and alertness and virtue, etc. so that others will be helped?
What if I don’t help them? Are they doomed to failure and an overbearing, exceedingly difficult life? Wouldn’t God help them? Isn’t it Him who ultimately helps them anyway?
We would conclude that, no, the help of others is not the ultimate goal of the Christian, and if that were true then it wouldn’t matter why he helped them. We see in this example of God’s dealing with Israel that the why is far more important than the defeat of the Midianites. God could just crush them or push them out or turn them into fleas to live out the rest of their lives on their camels.
So why do we love and serve and help and give and sacrifice? Why does God do it? He does it because it is His essence to do so. He is good and always a doer of good, which according to Him is grace, mercy, sacrifice, patience, kindness, faithfulness, goodness; all in all love. God is love.
So what is the ultimate goal of God’s love, which has been poured out within our hearts, flowing through us? That we be as who we are - In Christ!
Ultimately all believers will be taken care of by God because He cares for them. Ultimately all unbelievers will be judged. But this fact doesn’t make us fatalists just as it doesn’t make God a fatalist. Why does Christ die for the sins of the whole world knowing fully that many will not believe in Him and face His judgment needlessly? Because just as He must do this, He must utter from the Cross, “Father forgive them, they know not what they are doing.”
An amazing revolution of transformation has happened to man. He has been elected in Christ and in His image. Each one of us must be who we are and stop entertaining who we are not.
I think the main reason why so many Christians refuse to do this, walking in a manner worthy of their calling, and that they don’t even want to know what that calling is, is that they don’t really believe that they are such creatures. It remains in their hearts as a fairy tale, a far away and unknowable dream. What they don’t know is that the dream of man since his beginning has in Christ become a reality.
What does he mean when Peter entreats us to be diligent to make certain about our calling and election? I am challenged to believe why eyes cannot see, ears cannot hear, and what has never entered into the heart of man by his own calculation.
2PE 1:1 Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:
2PE 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;
2PE 1:3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
2PE 1:4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
His promise of who we are enables us to grab hold of a lifelong fellowship with the nature of the divine and to leave behind the world’s lust.
So, since this is true:
2PE 1:5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence [virtue], and in your moral excellence, knowledge;
2PE 1:6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness;
2PE 1:7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love [agape].
2PE 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing [such a life is living and dynamic], they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.