"For the Lord and for Gideon." What a battle cry. What a title for a movie!!!
Three hundred Israelites against the opposition that was like "locusts in abundance, and their camels were without number, as the sand that is on the seashore in abundance." The odds were stacked against the Israelites, and yet they went into battle, trusting that God would give them victory.
What gave the Israelites that confidence? It can't have come from themselves because the sight of such large opposition wouldn't give me confidence. That kind of confidence can only come from God through the work of his Spirit in the hearts of his people.
I am often struck when reading the Bible how many times God says: "If you - fill in the blank -," "then I will - fill in the blank -."
We see this in today's passage from Judges. Gideon's obedience to God resulted in God giving the Israelites victory. In this case, God was saying, "If you trust me and what I am saying, then I will give you victory." It was God who gave victory then, and it is God who gives victory today.
However, at the end of the Judges passage, the Israelites have turned from God to worship false gods, losing God's favour.
If you..., then I will..."
Proverbs 11:19a continues this theme when it says, "Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live, but he who pursues evil will die…"
Do you think that there is a pattern here?
God's call on the Israelites' lives was for them to be obedient to Him and to live in righteousness. When they obeyed that call, it went well. When they didn't, it did not go well. The same call is made on our lives. So let us humble ourselves , seek His face with a repentant heart, ask Him to reveal where we are not obedient and confess our sin. Then "...He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)
"If you…, then I will…"
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