Do you have anything in your life that you want victory over? Be it sin, temptation, bitterness, anger, selfishness, addiction, inability to forgive? Well then, this story is for you. It’s the story of Gideon and how God raised up a fearful, doubting, unlikely hero to free the nation of Israel from its current enemies — the result of their disobedience.
For the next few weeks we are going to be looking into the life of Gideon, a Judge in the Old Testament. For roughly 300 years after Moses freed the children of Israel from bondage in Egypt and Joshua brought them into the promised land, the new nation went through cycles of sin and disobedience, oppression by a neighboring power, and then God would send a judge to conquer the enemy, reestablish His rule, and give them relative peace for about 40 years, after which the people would go right back to their worship of Baal, and God would give them over to their enemies again until they cried out to Him and He sent another judge. That is pretty much the story of the Book of Judges. There were at least 14 of them, of which the most famous are Deborah, Samson and Gideon.
It’s important to note that the enemies of Israel were not just bad things happening to good people. They were the direct result of their disobedience. The Midianites, those nomadic hordes of people who were pretty much holding Israel hostage when Gideon showed up, would not be there had the Israelites worshiped God and God alone, and not turned to the idols of the nations they were supposed to be conquering. In other words, they brought the Midianites on themselves.
So we’re not just talking about victory over those things that happen to be tough for you and me, we are talking about victory over sin, disobedience and the resulting mess in our lives that our bad choices have let in. Isn’t that good to know that there is hope against these things? I think sometimes we have a tendency to think these are the results of our sinfulness that we just have to live with. Not so. God wants us to have victory over these things. He wants us to be empowered by His Spirit, not pulled down by our flesh.
In the time of Gideon, their enemies were the Midianites. What are your enemies today? Who are your Midianites? What have you brought on yourself? Who are the enemies that lie in wait for you that wouldn’t be there if you had always done the right thing? I’ve identified some things I want to get rid of in the next few weeks. I suggest you do the same. Let’s see some victory in our lives over the next three weeks. I’m expecting to learn how to do this. I invite you to join me.