domingo, 21 de abril de 2013

Gideon and the 300 valor (Judges 6:11-16)

Then the angel of the LORD came and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah that belonged to Joash Abiezrite: and his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress, to save him from the angel of the LORD midianitas.Então appeared to him, and said, The LORD is with you, valoroso.Mas Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD is with us, why then is all this befallen us? And where are all his wonders that our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? But now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Lord midianitas.Então looked at him, and said, Go in this thy might, and save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee? And he said: O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my house pai.E the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.
Judges 6:11-16

The story of Gideon is a life lesson which shows us that the anointing of God can do in the lives of his chosen, the empowerment that comes from above, the motivation that only God can give, choosing those who consider themselves weak and unable to given task.

In this Biblical text we see how difficult the situation of the Israelites, a people who were dominated and oppressed by their enemies, and the Word of God says that for seven years the people were suffering at the hands of the Midianites, who along with the Amalekites and the people the east and stole decimated crops and animals of God's people.

And we also learned that the reason was sin because the Word says:

But the children of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.
Judges 6:1

After Joshua's death 300 years the people of Israel had no king and everyone did what he thought was right, in times of difficulties raised judges God to lead the people and leads them towards the right path, and the people living in this inconstancy an hour serving the Lord, and formerly served other gods. And it was because of this sin that God allowed the Midianites oppress the people of israel.

And it is something very serious that we have to learn, God can not act where there is sin, let's see what the Word says:

Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it can not save, nor his ear heavy, that it can not hear.
But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that He will not hear.
Isaiah 59:1-2

And we see that the situation was so critical that people started hiding:

 And the hand of Midian prevailed over Israel, did the children of Israel made them, because of the Midianites the dens which are in the mountains, the caves and the strongholds.
Judges 6:2

How many servants of God today are also in this situation, the opponent has risen and instead of reacting are hiding in holes and caves, fear has led many lives for despair, but I want to tell you something, God can change its history, He can make you a winner, and we see the Word of God that the situation of the people began to change, when they cried unto the Lord.

They cried unto the LORD because of Midian for seven years came at harvest time, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass, the situation was becoming increasingly difficult.

In this difficult situation in your life? Cry out to the Lord, seek his direction, look for a miracle, stop trying to change his strength, seek the Lord's strength.

And the Word says that God sent a prophet and explained why they were in that situation:

The LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel out of Egypt I brought you up and took you out of the house of bondage;
And I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all that oppressed you, and drave them out from before you, and gave you their land.
And you said: I am the LORD your God, fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice.
Judges 6:8-10

God is so good that He corrects those he loves, we often need to go through difficult situations in order to see God on our side, even when these conditions are caused by our sins, for our rebellion, by our unbelief, we see that God does not give its, and gives an opportunity for repentance.

Now comes the moment of choice of Gideon, unlike many Israelis, Gideon was not hiding in caves, he was working, says the word that he is threshing wheat in the winepress, and where he was working was not the most appropriate place, wheat was threshed on the threshing floor, in an open place, with wind, with the sunlight, the mill was a tank used to crush grapes to make wine or grape must.

But Gideon knew that he was working in the open, the Midianites would come and steal all the effort of his hands, and thresh wheat in the winepress required a great effort, it was a closed, dark, but that place was that it took the support of his family. And seeing this effort Gideon, we can see one of the quality that God saw this man, God honors the efforts of those who work, those who strive and do not give up, believe God brothers honored the work of his hands.

Gideon after a busy day of work receives a special visit, this visit that would change his life forever, the angel of the Lord comes and says:

The LORD is with you, mighty warrior. Judges 6:12

But we see throughout the text, which in the beginning Gideon did not quite understand what the angel said, because he was a revolt so great, in fact he was so outraged that responds

But Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD is with us, why then is all this befallen us? And where are all his wonders that our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? But now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.
Judges 6:13

How many are in this situation today, can not understand, and through the struggles of the difficulties can not see the act of God, how many are now saying that God has abandoned them, that God was not their prayers, but I have news for you, God do not you have abandoned nor forgotten you, see what the Word says:

But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.
Can a woman forget her son who both creates, have no compassion on the son of her womb? But even that may forget, yet will I not forget thee.
Behold, on the palms of my hands I have graven thee: thy walls are continually before me.
Isaiah 49:14-16

Believe brothers God has not forgotten you, but for your situation changes you need to take an attitude of faith, a position, be strong I will help thee saith the Lord.

Then the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?
Judges 6:14

Note the detail in the text above that says the Lord looked at him the same way I believe God still looking for their chosen seeking men and women who do not accept their current situation of defeat and wanting to do something to change, noting that Gideon could be with others fleeing the mountains, hiding in caves, but he did not accept the situation and was working, even in a precarious situation, but it was the way he found to bring sustenance to his family, and not allow the enemy will steal.

Today God still seeks men and women who do not surrender to the situation, which does not run, do not give up, and willing to do something to improve, to win.

Gideon did not know yet, but he was the most qualified person to bring a change for his people, even though he considered the weaker or smaller, he had a call, and this call came from God himself, that reminds me of one well-known phrase that says "God does not choose the qualified, but qualifies the chosen.

Say the word that Gideon asks for a sign, and go to your house to prepare a bid:

And Gideon went in and prepared a young goat and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour: the flesh after he put in a basket and the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it.
Judges 6:19

Gideon finally began to understand that the call was serious, that God had chosen for a great work, you and the Lord gave him a sign:

And the angel of the LORD put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened bread: and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened bread: and the angel of the LORD departed out of his eyes .
Judges 6:21

The way God works is tremendous and only God has the right way to act with each its servant, after that meeting Gideon built an altar there to the LORD, and called it The LORD is Peace
Judges 6:24, that is how God works, the peace of God surpasses all human understanding, know that this peace is available these days, no matter the struggle you are going through, God wants to give you peace, and sure you through His power can overcome any obstacle by faith.

And we see throughout history that the work first started inside your home, because God's command was that Gideon destroyed the altar of Baal and the grove that belonged to his family, today is no different, all the chosen of God must begin this work within your home, many may think that inside your home there are altars of Baal, thank God for that, but often there are other altars, such as fights, jealousy, envy, addictions etc ... We need to invest more time for our family, because we see how much our enemy has destroyed homes, many families are now being destroyed by divorce, the vices etc ...

The Christian husband has to win his wife not believing the testimony, the woman believer has to win her husband not believing the testimony, the young man who is a believer have to win family not believing the testimony. And if the whole family this at the feet of the Lord, but still being shaken by the enemy must destroy the altars that the enemy has placed within your home, believe me, you can in the name of Jesus expelling evil from within your home, but remember the testimony is a fundamental part of this process, the family loves Jesus, Jesus wants to restore families, the family is part of God's plan, take good care of your family. We see in the Word that Gideon had to cut into the wood that was around the altar, we need to cut the evil in the bud, through the power of God can win.

After we read the Word:

And the LORD thy God builds an altar on top of this fortress, in a convenient place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood they cut down the grove
Judges 6:26

God's command was clear, Gideon should build an altar in the highest place and convenient, brother you need to build an altar to the Lord in your house, the Lord must be worshiped inside your home, the Word has to be part of their daily lives, believe that the Lord is worshiped in his house the enemy can not build altars and will be expelled in the name of Jesus.

Going a bit in history we see that the enemy rises again to destroy the people of God, see what the Word says:

Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east were gathered together, and went over, and pitched in the valley of Jezreel.
Judges 6:33

But this time would be different now had a man of God with his life on the altar and filled the anointing:

Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet, and Abiezer was gathered after him.
Judges 6:34

As God's Word is tremendous, as the anointing of God transforms the lives of those chosen, this power is available to us today, Gideon was now no longer afraid, and he would not let the enemy come to steal and destroy his people, to blow the horn he stood like a general, and the principal, a general chosen by God, and with it joined an army, and with the strength of this army was just running into battle right? wrong!

Gideon asked for signs to the Lord:

And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said,
Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor if there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said.
And so it is, because the other day, rose up early, and thrust the fleece together, and wrung the dew of the fleece, a bowl of water.
And Gideon said unto God, Do not be kindled against me, and thy wrath is speak but this time, I pray thee, only this time make the test with the fleece, let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and throughout ground let there be dew.
And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and over all the earth there was dew.
Judges 6:36-40

Gideon wanted to make sure it was the right moment to attack the enemy, and the Lord confirmed the petitions or signs that Gideon was asking for, which has only a detail, it was now time for the Lord to give direction, Gideon looked at his army and got worried and was not below:

EXERCISE OF 32,000 Gideon (Judges 7:3)
EXERCISE OF 135,000 Midianites (Judges 8:10)
4:1 ratio, each Israelite would have killed four enemy soldiers, difficult but not impossible.

Let's look at God's response:

And the LORD said unto Gideon, Very is the people that is with thee, for me to give the Midianites into their hands, so that Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.
Judges 7:2

Imagine the situation of Gideon, which was already difficult, even more so, but in everything Gideon's faith was being strengthened, and we learned this word that God does not always act the way we want, he has his ways, and His way is the best, though it may be difficult to understand, we have to believe and trust in this battle God knew the hearts of the people, God's purpose was that His name be glorified.

Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, come back and retire early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand and ten thousand remained
Judges 7:3

Imagine Gideon looking at craven and cowardly leaving, will he had butterflies in my stomach, is that fear began to take hold, and looked and saw 100 leaving and the number grew to 1,000, then 10,000 and 22,000 in total were gone and 10,000 were but Gideon Spirit-filled believed, the name of the Lord would be Glorified!!

Let's do the math again:

ARMY OF GIDEON 10,000 (Judges 7:3)
EXERCISE OF 135,000 Midianites (Judges 8:10)
Ratio 13,5:1 Each Israelite had to kill between 13 and 14 enemy soldiers, very difficult, indeed almost impossible, but with a good strategy war perhaps the enemy was defeated

But look at the Lord's answer:

And the LORD said unto Gideon Much people, bring them down unto the water, and I will try them, and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, that you will, but to every one, that I say: This will not you, this will not.
Judges 7:4

Now it is to live by faith and believe that God will do the impossible, the possibility exits human enters the act of God, now it is time to turn everything over to the Lord and be totally dependent on Him.

And the LORD said unto Gideon Much people, bring them down unto the water, and I will try them, and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, that you will, but to every one, that I say: This will not you, this will not.
So he brought down the people unto the water. Then the LORD said to Gideon, Everyone who laps the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall put this aside, as well as everyone who is down on his knees to drink.
And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.
And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.
Judges 7:4-7

The selection is made by God, only 300 left over, let's see how was the final bill.

ARMY OF GIDEON 300 (Judges 7:7)
EXERCISE OF 135,000 Midianites (Judges 8:10)
Ratio 450:1 Every Israelite had to kill 450 enemy soldiers, human eyes impossible, only a miracle to give victory to the people of God.

This 300 were chosen by God to live one of the greatest miracles recorded in the whole Bible, an army of 300 men would face a 135,000 army soldier, what strikes me is the courage of these men, because they see no point in whispering or speaking in give up, God chose certain people, 300 brave, valiant 300, 300 men totally dependent on God ready to experience the greatest miracle in their lives.

Now it was just going to Gerra, but we see the Word that Gideon was not entirely safe, and God for his infinite mercy gives you another sign:

And it came to pass that night the LORD said unto him, Arise, and go down to the camp, for I have given into thine hand.
And if thou fear to go down, go thou and thy servant Purá the camp;
Judges 7:9-10
Arriving So Gideon, behold, a man was telling a dream to his companion, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, behold, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote him, and fell, and overturned top to bottom, and was fallen.
Judges 7:13
And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and its explanation, and worshiped, and returned into the camp of Israel, and said, Arise, for the LORD has given the host of Midian into our hands.
Judges 7:15

Now after worship the Lord Gideon is convinced of victory, how good it is off to war we will worship the Lord, which can silence the voice of a worshiper? Gideon full of faith, organizes the army, and that strikes me as most attention on this Biblical text was weapons of War of the brave 300:

And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and gave them every one in your hands, trumpets, and empty pitchers, with torches lit them.
And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the end of the camp, do as I do, so shall ye do.
I playing the trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also around the whole camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.
Judges 7:16-18

The army of Midian had swords, shields, spears and innumerable camels, noting that his army consisted of 135,000 soldiers.

Now see how God's word is amazing, each of the 300 soldiers of Gideon had:

1 Horn
1 Cântaro empty
1 torch lit

Brother has things that God does in the eyes of the world are foolishness, but to those who believe it is the power of God, a lot of times we do not understand God's word, but if we have faith because we believe that trust is the best, the Word of God says "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28."
It's time for battle, and God's strategy was to surround the enemy camp, and 300 were hidden around the enemy army, but you may have thought, and torches? is that enemies would not have seen? Had it not been for one thing, the empty pitcher, yes, that even the empty pitcher served to conceal the torches, so he could approach without being seen, God is wonderful, the strategies of God are amazing, now all their posts only awaiting the signal of Gideon, we follow the word:

Arrived So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him at the end of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch, when they had but exchanged the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands .
So the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held in their left hands the torches, and in their right hands the trumpets to blow, and cried: Sword of the Lord and of Gideon.
And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the army began to run and cried, and fled
Judges 7:19-21

God is great, and at this point in history they did not have to fight, they stood and the enemy fled, and Gideon prevailed with only 300 soldiers and the name of the Lord was glorified.

Gideon win the battle had to blow the horn, which for us today is the authority, the generals blew the horn for starting a battle, you brother has the authority in the name of Jesus to win the battles that have been raised against his life, but it is necessary to be filled with the Holy Spirit and position yourself as a servant of God with authority and faith.

Gideon win the battle needed an empty pitcher, and then this same pitcher had to be broken. Today symbolically speaking must be emptied of all pride, arrogance, pride, sin, and often need to go down to the potter's house to be broken, crushed, where the potter takes away all impurity, bubbles that want to damage the stag, and soon after the potter stag handle this new and takes up the furnace and after some time to prepare the stag this brand new to be a stag of honor in the presence of God.

Gideon win the battle took a lighted torch, this torch today is the flame of the Holy Spirit, because it is the most important treasure we have in the earthen vessels, says "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us. 2 Cor 4:7. many today are being defeated because the flame is gone, just the fervor over the clamor, just prayer. Yet we know that a heart warmed by Holy Spirit is prepared to face any demonic army that wants to get up on his life.

A very interesting detail is that in this saying that after the enemy army began to flee Gideon, many who had given up earlier, returned and helped defeat the enemy army:

Then the men of Israel, Naphtali, Asher and all Manasseh, and pursued after the Midianites.
Judges 7:23

I believe that God through his position, through their faith angry raise a large army brave, transformed by the power of God, for there are many who have shared this faith, and gave up halfway, but I believe that God has not forgotten them and through its many life will return to the Lord.

Believe my brother in the Lord's Word, God has not forgotten you, He gave you, the more you feel weak and unprepared, trust in God, obey him, THE MIRACLE WILL HAPPEN!!

Jesus loves you