And the angel of the LORD said to him,
Today’s chapter begins with the people of Israel again doing what was evil in the sight of the LORD, so the LORD gave them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years. Forty years! A long time. A sad, sad day. Right in all that darkness a light breaks onto the scene! The angel of the Lord appears. This is Jesus before He was born. His name is “wonderful.” (Isaiah 9:6)
I’m thankful that the Lord Jesus breaks into our darkness with some revelation of Himself. I’m rejoicing today that His name, His character, is wonderful! God is a God of wonders! I needed to be reminded of that this morning! Maybe you do too!
His name is Wonderful, His name is Wonderful,
The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, "The LORD is with you, O valiant warrior." Then Gideon said to him, "O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, 'Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?' But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian." Judges 6:12-13
Gideon is such an unlikely candidate to be used by God. Valiant warrior? Who me? He is weak and fearful… but wait… God uses Him valiantly. By faith he conquered. From weakness he was made strong.
And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Hebrews 11:32-34
God loves to use weak things. This makes me happy! This means God can use you and me. This is such a help to me today. I can go in the strength of the Lord!
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,
They are weak
But He is strong!
I usually write down one thought in the morning, but today I am thinking about two outstanding encouragements in Judges 5, and I have to write both down.
"Awake, awake, Deborah; Awake, awake, sing a song!” Judges 5:12
This struck me today! In order to sing praise to God, one must wake up!!! So many believers live in the coma of the world… complaining, negative, always seeing the worst in situations. No! Wake up and sing. At camp, as a child, our counselor would wake us up in the morning singing, “Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory…Children of the Lord.”
"Arise, shine; for your light has come,
Rise and Shine and give God the glory!!!!
My second thought is great encouragement it you are a soldier.
Not so much if you are a slacker.
"Why did you sit among the sheepfolds, To hear the piping for the flocks?
Deborah’s song records the people who fought in the battle and those who stood by, not wanting to risk their lives for the Lord. It records their names. The tribe of Zebulun served in the battle despising their lives even to death. They gave up their lives for the Lord! Rueben had great searching of hearts… what’s that mean? They thought and thought and prayed about the battle, but did not enter? So many people stayed home. Or sat at the seashore. That cracked me up. Especially since next week we are going to the sea. The sea is far more appealing than the battle. And so it is today: The Lord knows who is actively in the war, sharing the gospel, confronting the world and the enemy and who is staying home, sitting back and simply watching.
This reminded me of the end of 2 Timothy 4 where Paul names people and whether they hindered or helped the gospel outreach. I sure want to be in the help column. I want to be the soldier not the slacker.
Here is the thought. If you are working for the Lord, God knows and records it. There is a time of reward coming! He’s coming quickly, and His reward is with Him! But there is also a time of loss ahead for armchair Christians. Which group are you in? Which would you like to be in?
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
Rise and Shine and Get to Work! That will give God the glory!
More than anything I would like to encourage you in your walk with God!