Gracefully Truthful

Faith,Fear,Fellowship,Follow,Healing,Ordinary,Relationship

Read His Words Before Ours!

Judges 6
Romans 12:1-2
2 Peter 3:8-9

Who was gathered at the Table?
In Judges 6, an intriguing scene unfolds as an angel of the Lord (a phrase often used in Scripture to refer to God Himself!) meets Gideon, an Israelite man who is hiding from oppressive enemies. (Judges 6:1-6) As a consequence of the evil Israel committed, Scripture tells us the nation of Midian attacked repeatedly to “devastate” Israel (Judges 6:1-6, the Message); yet into this result of Israel’s evil choices, their Heavenly Father issues a patient invitation to restoration. 

As He joins Gideon, the pre-incarnate Christ first listens to Gideon both mourn and question the circumstances (Judges 6:12-13), then replies, “Go in the strength you have and deliver Israel from the grasp of Midian. I am sending you!” (verse 14)

This is one of my favorite phrases while reading this passage today! In essence, God invited Gideon to join Him in rescuing Israel, promising to add the might of His presence to Gideon’s small strength! 

Who was invited to the Table?
While Gideon prepares a food offering for the angel of the Lord, God has initiated this gathering and acts as ultimate host. Throughout their interactions, we see God respond with patience and reassurance as Gideon struggles to reconcile God’s message to his real-life-reality under Midianite oppression. (Judges 6:17-24)

Following miraculous, fiery consumption of the food offering, God invites Gideon, and through him, all of Israel, to return to a devoted relationship with Himself, as evidenced by tearing down places of worship for other gods. (Judges 6:25-26

As the story continues, God’s ability to see His child’s heart is on display. (1 Samuel 16:7) He remains patient and engaged as Gideon’s fledgling faith wars with fear and he obeys God’s instructions . . . but under the cover of darkness. (Judges 6:27)

Soon, the situation grows more dire as Israel’s enemies join together and prepare to attack. (Judges 6:33) Facing such a grave threat, Scripture tells us the Spirit of the LORD envelops Gideon and moves him to summon men to fight for Israel (Judges 6:34-35). Still, in spite of these unquestionably divine experiences, Gideon asks for more assurances of God’s promise to bring victory for Israel. (Judges 6:36-40) As a person who has struggled with fear, I am astounded by God’s continued presence and patient acquiescence to Gideon’s requests!

Of course, Gideon isn’t the only person in Scripture who questions the word of the Lord. (Luke 1:5-25, John 20:24-29) Beautifully, in each of God’s responses, we see His intimate knowledge of each person leading Him to interact in a profoundly personalized fashion. 

2 Peter 3:9 explains, “The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.” 

Recognizing the humble posture of Gideon’s heart (Judges 6:39), his Heavenly Father takes his hand and walks him, one clumsy step at a time, through fear to the “valiant warrior” God has destined him to be. (Judges 6:12)

What are we invited to remember and proclaim?
In Scripture, God invites His children to be secure in asking sincere questions (Luke 11:9-13) AND He invites us to trust His response, even when we don’t understand. (Proverbs 3:5-8) May we take both invitations seriously

Sisters, have you ever found yourself in a situation where, like Gideon, you’ve felt faith and fear co-existing within your heart? In those moments, may we echo the prayer of the father desperately seeking healing for his son in Mark 9:24, “I do believe; help my unbelief!

When our circumstances and culture tug us away from God and toward hopelessness or the idol of self-reliance, help us to fix our hearts on “the mercies of God [. . .] Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2

Journaling Prompts:

  1. List moments God has led you with gentle patience.
  2. List ways He has transformed you through the renewing of your mind.
  3. Let these testimonies move your heart to praise!

We thank You, God, for Your patience! Help us to rest securely in Your patient love for us, never being afraid to bring our sincere questions before our Father. As we grow in trust, help us to follow You, even when we don’t understand! 

May we resolve all the more to accept Your regular invitations to meet with You, 
knowing we will find You to be patient and kind, 
tender toward our weakness and wise in Your shepherding of our heart!
Amen!

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