Song of the Week
Song: Way Maker
Some context: The Israelites were oppressed by the Midianites because they did wrong against the Lord.
One day, an angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and told him that Gideon is to save the Israelites from their oppression. It was the beginning of Gideon’s anxiety…..
In Judges 7, Gideon’s army has marched all the way to the camp of the Midianites and was ready to attack. No, not just ready, they were excited! They were on fire! They even got up early (Judges 7:1).
I’m sure they were readying their weapons, some of them were getting ready the shields while others were tending to their mighty steeds in amour. I bet one of the commanders was giving a pep talk. All this while, Gideon must have been getting ready on his own.
Then, the Lord suddenly said “Hey man, this ain’t working out. There’re too many people.”
“Too many Midianites? But you said you’d provide. I thought-“
“No, too many of you. You’re going to have to let some of these people go if you wanna win.”
Well if Gideon wasn’t confident before, he sure isn’t any more confident than he is now.
It makes no sense. Bu-
22,000 of the least confident men were sent home. (Judges 7:3)
By this time, Gideon must have been scared. But he looks around and tells himself he still has an army.
“Oh so help me, God! I don’t have that big of an army, only 10,000 left, but that’s still plenty!”
After the whole who’s-staying-and-who’s-going hoo-ha, the army began to recalibrate.
As Gideon tried to talk himself up again in his own space, God said to him, “This isn’t working, man. There’re still too many people.”
After an impromptu litmus water test, only 300 hundred people remained.
And the LORD told Gideon, “With the three hundred men who lapped I will rescue you, and will hand over the Midianites to you. Let all the other people go, each man to his home.”
– Judges 7:7
If I were Gideon, I would have been terrified. As a numbers’ person, that’s a whole 97% reduction in the army strength. That’s about the same as my 97% low fat cottage cheese.
That night, Gideon and his servant, Purah, must have been terrified because the scripture says that the Lord told them to go down to the Midian camp and listen for what the Midianites will say, then he will have courage.
Gideon did exactly that. He heard a Midianite talk about a dream he had a dream about Gideon and his army’s victory. Then, Gideon bowed down in worship.
Why does life have to be so hard?
Sometimes, in my time alone with God, I ask Him, “ Why does my life have to be so hard? Why am I the only person who has to go through [insert problem]?” Sometimes, it seems so unfair that I’m the one who is forced to go through something when nobody else has to.
It’s common to hear people blame The Devil for their undesirable circumstances.
“Pray for me, I’m experiencing spiritual warfare.“
But if you were Gideon, you couldn’t blame Satan for cutting down his forces because Judges 7 told us that God spoke to him.
Ironically, sometimes, it’s God who puts us in an uncomfortable place. God has His divine reasons for everything.
We do not and cannot understand his divine reasons, but all we need is to understand that He has one. Sometimes, it could be to prepare you for something in the future. Other times, it could be to prepare you for somebody else’s future.
From Judges 7, God intentionally cut down Gideon’s forces to prove His powers. But unlike Gideon, we don’t usually have the same privileges: God spoke to Gideon, but not to us.
If God said to me in my face,” Alright, Tobias, all you need to do is (A), then I’ll tell you the rest later.” I would obey in a heartbeat. Usually, when we doubt, we don’t doubt whether God is faithful. The root of most doubts we have in our walk with God is “Did I hear God right? Or was it myself?”
Call to action: How do I know if it was God or if it was myself?
Here are three of the millions of ways we can determine if it was God or ourselves. Remember, there is no hard-and-fast rule when it comes to your walk with God. God is an ever-living, ever-changing but forever the same God. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, yet He is everything you ever needed, need, or will need.
Something Pastor Steven Furtick said once that resonated with me was,” If you are trying to control an outcome, then you need to realize that it is not your battle.”
Pastor Joel Osteen said once,” If that dream doesn’t scare you a little, then it’s not from God.”
There are sometimes where you just have no idea if a decision is from God or not. In these situations, I am reminded of this verse:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
– Romans 8:28
This verse reminds me that in whatever I do if I choose to do it intentionally, with the best interest of God’s Kingdom in heart, neither death or life can make me stumble. Everything a righteous person does will be upheld by God because He knows us and He’s looking out for us.
Even in Judges 7, there’s a possibility that Gideon didn’t hear an audible voice of God either. Maybe all he felt was an impression in his heart.
Either way, listening to God is an intentional process of choosing to zone in to the silent spaces in our lives. It’s like how Elijah heard God’s gentle, soft whisper came after the earthquake and the fire.
“After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.”
– 1 Kings 19:12
So, I urge you this week to take some time alone to meditate on the crossroads you’re facing in your life right now. The Bible is every’s believer’s tool of discernment.
God bless you and have a meaningful week deciphering your internal hieroglyphs.