Archive for July, 2016

THE GIDEON COMPANY(Pt. 9)

“A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!”(Judges 7:20 NASB)

It is said that when General George Washington led the Continental Army(Before freedom from the British Empire was secured) most of his strategy was to retreat. He knew that the British Army was much more powerfully trained and equipped than his Army. His Army was both outnumbered and outgunned. Part of his strategy was to maneuver away from the enemy until he had gained the most favorable conditions. He gained those conditions, namely Bad weather (Frigid snow) and the element of Surprise attack.  He wrote as code this engagement would mean “Victory or Death”.  He maneuvered his small army, cannons and artillery through a frozen river in the early morning hours(on Christmas Night!) and captured a British Army. His unwavering decision to engage the enemy paid off, turning the tide of the War against the British.  Now we know that  famous battle as the “Battle of Trenton”. And the rest of the story is part of the History of America’s Independence.
Likewise, Gideon’s decisive actions turned the tide for God’s people Israel.  They arose from ademoralized and captive position under the cruel boot of the Midianites,turning their day of battle into one of the greatest recorded victories in the Scriptures.  The psalmist records the defeat of the Midianite army as a source of encouragement for future battles!
“O God, do not remain quiet; Do not be silent and, O God, do not be still. For behold, Your enemies make an uproar, And those who hate You have exalted themselves. They make shrewd plans against Your people, And conspire together against Your treasured ones. They have said, “Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, That the name of Israel be remembered no more.” For they have conspired together with one mind; Against You they make a covenant: The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them; They have become a help to the children of Lot. Selah. Deal with them as with Midian, As with Sisera and Jabin at the torrent of Kishon, Who were destroyed at En-dor, Who became as dung for the ground. Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb And all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna, Who said, “Let us possess for ourselves The pastures of God.” O my God, make them like the whirling dust, Like chaff before the wind. Like fire that burns the forest And like a flame that sets the mountains on fire, So pursue them with Your tempest And terrify them with Your storm. Fill their faces with dishonor, That they may seek Your name, O LORD. Let them be ashamed and dismayed forever, And let them be humiliated and perish, That they may know that You alone, whose name is the LORD, Are the Most High over all the earth”(‭‭Psalms‬ ‭83:1-18‬ ‭NASB‬‬).
KEYS TO VICTORY
What were the keys Gideon used to defeat the Midianites?
(1) He was decisive. He rouses his 300 men to action. God let him hear the dream of the Midianite soldier to fortify that the enemy was ALREADY DEFEATED. Likewise, we as believers in Jesus the Messiah, are not waiting for a victory. We are to stand in His victory for us.
““When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him”(‭‭Colossians‬ ‭2:13-15‬ ‭NASB‬‬).
(2) Each man was equipped. Gideon gave each a trumpet and an empty pitcher with a torch inside. This certainly was not your conventional weaponry! But we, too, must remember that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal or fleshly. They are divinely given and powerful”(2 Co. 10:4).
(3) God-given Strategy.  Gideon used the element of surprise; coming down to the enemy camp at Midnight. Unexpected and hidden under the cover of darkness, they take the high ground with an unexpected attack.
“He said to them, “Look at me and do likewise. And behold, when I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do. When I and all who are with me blow the trumpet, then you also blow the trumpets all around the camp and say, ‘For the LORD and for Gideon.'” So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when they had just posted the watch; and they blew the trumpets and smashed the pitchers that were in their hands. When the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers, they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing, and cried, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!” Each stood in his place around the camp; and all the army ran, crying out as they fled. When they blew 300 trumpets, the LORD set the sword of one against another even throughout the whole army; and the army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the edge of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath”(Judges‬ ‭7:17-22‬ ‭NASB‬‬).

What strange tactics and weaponry! And yet…Their “lamps in broken pitchers” was God’s means of victory. The apostle Paul wrote of the secret to his many victories against the work of the enemy, “For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord…For God, who said,’Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves”(2 Co 4:5a, 6-7 NASB).
In essence, we must understand that God has placed inside every believer the power of the light and life of His Spirit to withstand the external pressures of life. As someone observed, we are all “clay pots”; brittle jars of clay holding the treasure of inestimable value. Even what would seem to cause us to crack(or break) will only assist in emitting the light of God within, thereby defeating the darkness all around us.
(4) A Declaration of Faith. “The sword of LORD and of Gideon!”
When we know Who it is Who gives us the victory and stand in our God-given Identity, we cannot be ultimately defeated.
As the sound of trumpet of the LORD is being heard once again, God is raising up a “Gideon Company” to bring victory out of defeat; hope out of despair and the shout of joy once again in the camp of the righteous. Be reminded, “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world”(1 John 4:4 NASB).
Let the Gideon Company Arise!

(C) Copyright 2016, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be copied and shared provided that it is not sold nor altered from original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

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