Christian Devotions

Unexpected Courage

11 And there came an angel of the Lord, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.
12 And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.
13 And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? but now the Lord hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.
14 And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?
15 And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.
16 And the Lord said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.
17 And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me.
18 Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present, and set it before thee. And he said, I will tarry until thou come again.
19 And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it.
20 And the angel of God said unto him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so.
21 Then the angel of the Lord put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the Lord departed out of his sight.
22 And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the Lord, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord God! for because I have seen an angel of the Lord face to face.
23 And the Lord said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.
24 Then Gideon built an altar there unto the Lord, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

Judges 6:11-2  (KJV)

The Israelites were being oppressed again due to their recurring infidelity to the Lord. The Midianites had driven them off the land and into caves. When they again returned to the Lord with their cries for deliverance, God chose the weakest clan of Manasseh and the least those brothers, Gideon.

Gideon was threshing wheat in the winepress to keep the Midianites from knowing about the harvest when the angel of the Lord greeted him as a “mighty man of valor.” Gideon didn’t think of himself as courageous. He was threshing in secret.

But the Lord had decided to deliver Israel in a manner that could not be mistaken for anything but a miracle from the Lord. So when Gideon gathered his army, the Lord thinned it’s ranks, not once, but twice. Gideon’s final army consisted of only three hundred men.

The Lord routed the Midianites through Gideon and his men, not by their numbers and strength, but by their obedience to His commands. They went into battle in the middle of the night with trumpet in one hand and lamp in the other. They didn’t have a third hand with which to draw swords.

We should always be aware that the Lord is the victor in any of our battles. If we try to do things in our own strength, we can be defeated. It’s only the Lord who is never bested on the field of battle. Our courage comes from His strength when we obey Him. It is the only sure source of victory.

Father, God,

Keep us from the sin of arrogance in our own strength. Remind us of our dependence upon You and Your plans for our lives. Shine the light of Your truth in all our circumstances, so that we may see them from Your perspective.

In Jesus’ most precious name.
Amen.

My apologies.

I thought I had this scheduled for publication on

Friday, October 9.

So I went on about my other business, thinking it would publish automatically.

It didn’t.

Wish the electronics weren’t so much smarter than I,

or that they would understand what I mean.

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