It was a rough night last night, as temperatures dropped and a cold breeze blew through this teepee and under my cot! I froze from the bottom side all last night, but I will have that corrected tonight, and now we dig into more of Gideon and what I believe to be the message of the hour for us today! I want to take a close look at how God says Gideon’s 300 were chosen. This will be good, folks!
We find our details in Judges chapter 7. The first point that jumps out at me is verse 2, where God explains: “And the Lord said to Gideon, The people who are with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against me, saying, My own hand has saved me.”
There it is, our sin of PRIDE. “If my people will HUMBLE themselves…” According to 2nd Chronicles 7:14, that’s where it starts with God. This reminds me of the church of Laodicea in Revelation 3. They said in their hearts: “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing, but God called them wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. He said he would spit them out of his mouth! I do not want to be a part of such a church, and this is the modern church of our day, seeking the things of this world. I’ve often said, If Jesus showed up at our modern churches and spoke from the pulpit, they would quickly grab him afterwards and say, “Jesus, we love you, but we need to send you to a Dave Ramsey seminar post haste!”
Jesus still says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” The mother of John the Baptist still prophesied: “He filled the poor with good things, and sent away the rich empty.” (Luke 1:53) It’s not about becoming poverty! But it is about a heart of compassion who greatly shares his goods and is humble before the Lord! How can we sit in our wealth while others are starving! It’s not about poverty, but it’s about not being RICH! Because like Jesus, you keep giving it away! Jesus was not poor even though he lived very simple, but he kept himself from being rich by constantly giving it away! I believe Jesus would have chosen being poor over being rich! Think about it.
Pride comes in many forms, and God’s Word still says pride goes before a FALL. I believe a great FALL is coming to the house of God. The gates are going to break! The flood will come through because we failed to maintain the STANDARD! We are lifted up in pride and too busy to spend time with God! Too busy to be on our faces, on our knees before Him, and unwilling to have less so someone else can have more! He sent the rich away empty! Is that what we want? Or do we want to be filled with the power of God? Gideon’s 300 was used of God to defeat an army of 135,000! And deliver a multitude of people.
So what did God do? The first “out” God offered was to the “fearful”. Verse 3> Whoever is fearful and afraid, let him turn and depart at once from Mount Gilead. 22,000 men left, and only 10,000 remained. Over a two-thirds cut! Just from fear alone! Are the pews of the average church today filled with fearful people?
But you say, I’m not afraid because I need nothing. Yes… but you are very afraid…that is why you have all your savings, insurance, the best health care you can afford, security system on your house, retirement savings, a new car that shouldn’t break down, you’re a rich man, etc. etc. and afraid to live close to being poor.
Pride and fear both come in many forms. Our Pastors today must have secure incomes. They do not live on love offerings and faith as the early church did. I see fear in so many…for they are anxious…they say they have peace, but they don’t, they run they run they run. What are they running from? What are they trying to run to?
The modern church has become like the world, and the world is full of pride and fear, even as violence is growing. Pride and fear is a breeding ground for violence.
But 10,000 was still too many! 10,000 against 135,000 and the people had so much pride they still would have said: “Look what WE have done!” And I find the next TEST the most interesting of all!
The next group God eliminated were all those who failed to be “sober”, failed to be “vigilant”, but with the Midianites nearby, they still let their guard down when they drank this world’s water! They dropped to their knees, bowing to the world, laid their weapons on the ground, put their heads down to the water to drink their fill! But there were 300 who dropped to one knee, scooped this world’s water with their cupped hand, and lapped it sparingly like a dog, while maintaining all seriousness and vigilance, like a true warrior! They understood the magnitude of the enemy around them, and drank the world’s water with great care.
9,700 of 10,000 failed that test, and were sent away. God shows us three groups. Of which are we? Then ask yourself, which one do I want to be? Because if we humble ourself and seek God’s face, he can transform our stink’n think’n into godly. God says we have a form of godliness, but we deny the power thereof. We cannot change the course our country is currently on without POWER from on high. Not more PROGRAMS! We need the POWER that Jesus had! And the early church had! We will not avoid the great falling…without the POWER from on high personally in us. Who is God telling to go home, and to whom is God saying, “Follow me.”
I sincerely believe God has given his final warning to his people. We are in a window of time, the eye of an hurricane. Will you hear God’s warnings in all soberness, and prepare yourself like a true child of God? The child is a warrior.
The keys to following God and being a part of the 300 are in the next Gideon lesson. The battle strategy God gave those 300 are very telling. Coming soon.