THE GIDEON COMPANY (Pt. 1)

“When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.”(Proverbs 29:2 NIV).

The Book of Judges is a very curious Book of the Bible. It can best be summarized as the story of reoccurring Cycles of Defeat, Bondage and Rescue by God’s chosen deliverer. One of the lengthiest recorded periods is found in Judges Chapters 6-8. It is recorded after Israel, God’s people, had enjoyed forty years of peace and prosperity under God (Judges 5:31).  The number forty in the Bible often speaks of a generation. So we see that a whole generation, while they faithfully obeyed the LORD (His Word and His Ways) experienced peace and freedom in the Land. God would reiterate this to His people through the prophet Isaiah, “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the Land”(Isaiah 1:19). But apparently, they forgot and strayed to their own devices.

AMALGAMATION OF THE WICKED

The Book of Judges, Chapter 6, opens with this tragic statement, “Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD. So the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years, and the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel”(Judges 6:1-2a).  This affected them to such an extent that they went underground; “hiding in dens and caves and mountain strongholds”. They had been ensnared by the evil of Idolatry. Thus their enemies were given “legal ground” to persecute and oppress them, which was not what the LORD had ordained for his people (Read Judges 6:2-6).  The reality should be, “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion”(Proverbs 28:1 NIV).  What a reversal of events.

The Midianites, the Amalakites, and the sons of the East were an amalgamation of the wicked. They hated God and His people.  But,please understand, the Israelites were not (ultimately) defeated by their surrounding enemies. They themselves were the true cause of their defeat. They began to worship “the gods of the Amorites”(Judges 6:10).  

Wherever you have idolatry, it results in a culture of immorality and the murder of the innocent. The commentary is made clear concerning the effect of Israel’s idolatry. “So Israel was brought very low”(Judges 6:6a NAS).  They had “sown to the wind and now were reaping the whirlwinds”.

ISRAEL’S CRY

But all was not lost. God would use what was meant for evil by the enemy and turn it for good.  Israel’s humiliation at the hand of their enemies caused them to humble themselves before the LORD God.  “Israel cried to the LORD”(Judges 6:6b NAS). This got God’s attention.

GOD’S REPLY

God’s answers their cry to heaven. “The LORD sent a prophet”(Judges 6:8). The prophet was more than a “Proclaimer of Truth”. He was also a “Pointer of the Way”, back to God.  All the true prophets were what A.W. Tozer called “God’s moral emergency men”. They appeared (often) out of the hidden place to be revealed in the public place. They were somewhat like the “Town Crier” of old who shouted the time of the day, only the prophet announced what TIME it was, spiritually speaking.  If God’s people would humble themselves and listen to God’s announcement, it would avert ultimate disaster.

REVELATION OF CHRIST

In every crisis, CHRIST waits to be REVEALED.   The apostle John wrote of God’s way of introducing our Deliverer,“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.” (John 1:6-9 NKJV)

Beloved, this is that type of hour in History.  As the prophet Isaiah entreats, “Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.”(Isaiah 55:6-7 NKJV).

© Copyright 2016, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be copied and shared free of charge, provided that it is not sold nor altered in any way from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

 

 

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