Today’s reading is Judges 6-7
This is one of those days where I feel like we need to do some brain exercises to get our cells stretched out a bit so that they can more easily go beyond what we’ve been taught to think and really begin to see that our God is a Father of limitless bounds, who cannot be put into a box.
Having said that, I am going to focus my notes on Gideon’s interaction in our reading because there is a LOT to unpack.
We begin with Israel doing evil in the eyes of YHWH yet again. YHWH responds, in mercy yet again, by sending a prophet. However, He also gives them a history lesson.
8 YHWH sent a prophet to the people of Israel. And he said to them, “Thus says YHWH, the God of Israel: I led you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of slavery. 9 And I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land. 10 And I said to you, ‘I am YHWH your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.’ But you have not obeyed my voice.” Judges 6:8-10
A clear and pointed reminder of why they were in the predicament they were currently in.
Judges 6:11-24 An angel of YHWH appears to Gideon. However, the text, upon closer inspection, reveals much more. We’ll get to that.
Judges 6:12 the being refers to Gideon as a mighty man of valor. At this point, what has Gideon done to warrant such a description? Nothing that we see. Here he is beating out wheat in secret, using a winepress, which is not made for such a thing but can be used for small quantities in a pinch, to glean a little wheat without his enemies being able to take it. He even describes Himself as the least in his father’s house and his clan as the weakest in Manasseh (Judges 6:15)
Sidenote: That reminds me of what Messiah said in reference to the commandments of YHWH. It is not related really, but the term “least of these” always brings to mind this very important truth Messiah shared with us.
Whoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and teach others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of. Heaven; but whoever shall do and teach them. Matthew 5:19
So why is Gideon referred to here as a man of valor? It is how YHWH is about to use him that causes him to already be a man of valor in YHWH’s eyes. Think on how that can apply to you for a moment. YHWH sees us how He intends us to be. We need only direct our minds, hearts, and souls to follow Him in order to accomplish this.
What makes the difference in Gideon being who he was at the time and becoming who he is meant to be? Judges 6:16 … But I will be with you…
YHWH is going with Him. THAT makes the difference.
So who was really talking to Gideon here? We begin with the being referring to themselves as an angel of YHWH and then going on to be referred to multiple times as YHWH. Check this out in the interlinear form on Biblehub (See this post for a refresher on how to do that).
We are often taught that the Father can only take three forms. And yet He was a burning bush, a cloud by day, a fire by night. He appeared as a man to Abraham and here, we see Him as another version of Himself. Note that in Genesis 18:1 and in this passage, the name YHWH is used in the original texts. So what am I saying here?
I’m saying that when you serve the creator of the universe it is a lot to wrap our minds around and sometimes we need to condense it into bite size pieces in order to better grasp the majesty of it all. In doing so, we find that our minds have set limits that require us to organize things in boxes and, inevitably, we will attempt to put YHWH in one of those boxes as well.
YHWH will always burst the seams of any box you put Him in.
It is okay to define and explain aspects of Him in order to better understand, but anytime we try to put limits on Him we will find Him effortlessly surpassing those limits.
Don’t be surprised when the Father does what we think He cannot do, when He goes beyond what we think He is capable of, and when He, alone, proves true in all things.
Judges 6:25-27 I feel the Father could be directly addressing us just as easily as He is Gideon in this passage. Note that, before YHWH moves in their lives, they are required to tear down the altars to other gods. Not just dismantle, not cover up, not rearrange or put a cross on top to “Christianize” it (syncretism), but tear down. Rip apart. Destroy. Remove completely.
I have to admit that I do identify with Gideon doing this at night to avoid further outrage. Y’all, following the Father is often NOT going to be comfortable and oftentimes it WILL rock the boat. If you think otherwise, you’re not reading the Bible. Sometimes we need to give ourselves time to tear down those altars in private, with only the help of our Father and maybe our closest friends. Sometimes we need to spend more time away building up an altar that YHWH sanctions before we let anyone else in on what is going on in our lives. Because, if those people see us tearing down the altars they worship at, even though it is a direct order from YHWH for us to do so, they will do everything within their power to protect that altar and keep it standing in our lives.
And so sometimes we do it quietly. The Father calls us to Him and directs our tools as we tear down the idols in our lives and then He directs us in building a foundation that He will reside on. And in that quiet time, set apart just for the Father and ourselves together, Holiness takes root.
Judges 6:31 I love this statement. If Baal is offended, let him fight for himself. Bam. The uselessness of their god on full display with one sentence.
Judges 7:2-8 And lest the people think they were able by their own right we see the Father reducing their forces from 32000 to 300.
All glory to the KING!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!