Respect My Authority! Judges 8:16

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He took the elders of the town
and taught the men of Succoth
a lesson by punishing them with
the desert thorns and briers.
Judges 8:16

Sadly, as I continued the journey of this passage, I found in verse 16 that Gideon is truly a man of his word.  He promised the defeat the kings, and to return to the men and punish them for their lack of belief in him.   He captures the kings, and then makes a bee-line for Succoth!

Gideon took the elders he gathered and set them before them men of Succoth.  The men of Succoth were about to learn a valuable lesson, both from Gideon, and from the Elders of their community.Decision-Making

Leadership has a cost

Yes, leadership has a cost!  The Elders of Succoth would make a decision for the town, not to supply bread to Gideon’s troop, knowing full well they could suffer from their decision.  Though the passage does not give us their counsel notes or dictation of their discussion, one can be sure that they carefully weighed the weight of their decision, and were willing to stand by it and suffer for the greater good of their community.  They could not allow the threat of Gideon to influence their decision.  The leaders had to consider the impact on the people, and look past the possible pain they could endure for being wrong.  They believed Gideon could possibly win, but decided that past history and the size of the troop of the Kings had a higher possibility of winning.

Sometimes you have to bear thorns and briers!

chess1I am sure they heard the cascading message of the battle, and braced themselves for the encounter with Gideon.  While they hoped the moment would pass, they were ready to face it, and prepared to embrace it.  And true to form, a leader will always have to answer for his decisions.  Many of us have been chosen to bear the scars that come along with leadership.  Leaders make decision knowing that they receive the full showering of the victory, and the terrible lashing that come along with defeat.  Yet, we lead.

Potential Pain must not influence the Decision!

decisionLeaders must stay balanced, accepting the good with the bad, focused on the people, not on the potential pain.  And while they might learn and choose differently in the future, they remain at peace with their decision, because it took into account the information of yesterday, not the data of today.    The reality is, everyone is correct after the fact!    Leaders know this, and don’t waiver with criticism or failings.

Respect is often Earned

Gideons goal was to teach the men of Succoth to respect him by inflicting pain uponwhip those that they admired and respected.  And truly they did.  They watched as their leaders were punished for the decision they made with them in mind.  And while some of them feared Gideon, I am willing to bet some gained more respect for the ones that bore stripes from the thorns and briers.

Gideon on a rampage is determined to earn the respect he believes he deserves.  Maybe the desertion of the original soldiers has left him feeling the need to assert himself among the onlookers?  Maybe some past failings has led him to want to prove himself?  We don’t know!  But we do  know that the taunting words of the men of Succoth have vexed him so, that he was determined to come back and make them respect him.

cartmonYes, he made them put some respect on his name.  Where they might have spoken his name causally, he wanted to insure that it was spoken from this point on with reverence, fear and trembling.

Before we put Gideon on full trial, I guess this would be the right moment to disqualify ourselves as good character witnesses!  While Gideon is clearly wrong, it is safe to conclude that his shoes have been worn by us all at some point in life.  We have all allowed the words of someone to serve as the driving force and reason for our actions. 

And yes, again, this is wrong; but God allowed it.  Maybe God allowed it to further motivate Gideon? God allowed this to be a part of his story, and was so kind enough to document it so that we could also identify with his journey.  Sadly, there are some stories like this in my past.  And while they have not been marked into the paper, they have been etched into the tree!  God has died for the sins both you and I have committed.  His blood covers the penalty and helps us deal with the shame.  His love covers us, and allows us to start each day new, knowing that the only respect due is to God, and the only opinion and approval that matters comes from Him.

 

 

#PastorJDO3

 

 

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What Drove Him to Victory! Judges 8:15

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Then Gideon said to the men of Succoth,
Here are Zebah and Zalmunna, about
whom you taunted me saying,
‘Do you already have the hands of
Zebah and Zalmunna in your
possession?  Why should we give
bread to our exhausted men?”
Judges 8:15

This is the verse I dreaded getting too.  Gideon walking down hill, carrying his spoil, looks to torment the people who denied his troop and didn’t believe in him.   He drags them around like a trophy, determined to make believers from the doubters, and earn respect and fear from those who previously counted him as less than.

yourenotgoingtoHe has the men gathered, and has one of the greatest “Your not going to believe this…” moments in history!  They gather in front of  him to see one of their newest and greatest fears and are about to live out their latest regret; a revengeful Gideon.  Gideon full of frustration and anger, holds up his trophies in front of the his doubters.  His audience stood polarized, watching Zebah and Zalmunna stand helplessly before them.  While confronting them, no doubt, he had revenge and making the doubters respect him.

“Here are Zebah and Zalmunna, about whom you taunted me…”  Gideon again showing how the words and actions of the men of Succoth impacted him.  He recalls their words, as though they just spoke them, “Do you already have the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna in your possession?” He recalls them as though their words haunted him.  These words served as motivation  and helped drive him to capture the two kings.

I wondered to myself, 

How many of us allow the words of others to serve
as the driving force behind our accomplishments and conquest?

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Here Gideon is, a called man of God, chosen for greatness, steps ordered, armed and equipped, and the words that are driving him to victory don’t belong to the Lord.  His anger robbed God of the glory, and marred the victory by tainting it with the punishment and torture of to lands who were just meant to be a part of the testimony.

What drives you?

Are you bringing glory and honor to the Lord with your victories?

Will you open your mouth and praise the true and living God?

The power of God worked mightily through him.  Conquering his foe with by blowing a trumpet.  Marching up a mountain, exhausted, and stood toe to toe 300 soldiers to 15,000 soldiers.  Now Gideon stands before these men as though he personally won these battles.

confidenceAnd so do we!  We accept the call from God.  Chase down the goals, conquering feats, surviving battles, overcoming obstacles and somehow, we forget that it is He working through us that allows us to defeat armies of 50 to 1.  God protects us through times of lack; keeping us while we are starving, and still allowing us to excel, and yet the words that come from our mouth don’t honor Him.  I thought about Gideon, and gave praise because God protected Him,though he lost his focus as to why he was fighting and how he was going to win.

Let us not forget why we are bold in our pursuits!  Let us not forget how God protects us, and fights for us!  Let us not pretend that we are more than just a chosen vessel!  Let us honor God and not get consumed with the words of others that we encounter on the path.

 

#PastorJDO3

 

 

 

Caught up in Drama! Judges 8:14

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He caught a young man of
Succoth and questioned him,
and the young man wrote down
for him the names of the
seventy-seven elders of the town.
Judges 8:14

Gideon, fresh from the victory, starts his parade.  Imagine the scene!  Gideon and company have overcome the 15,000 troops with 300 men, and have captured the 2 kings alive.  They are returning to the two cities that denied them help because they doubted them and had no faith in their God.

loudvoiceI can imagine that Gideon was walking so proudly back to the group, ready to display his capture.  He was eager to make the doubters eat their words, and to uphold the promise that he gave them.  He would torture the leaders of Succoth and destroy the tower in Peniel.  I’m sure they saw him approaching victoriously, and knew that he would honor his word, and that suffering was about to be experienced at his hands.

As a servant of God, the journey of faith we take often leaves us to look foolish in the sight of man.  People are often questioning how and why, and their doubt in God, and our belief in God is considered by some to be a sign of weakness.  They speak of us as though our acknowledgement of a superior being is foolish, and our willingness to submit to a higher power, is irresponsible.  There are those who believe they are truly the captain of their soul.   But not the believer!  We know that God is alive, and is in control, and is looking to direct us towards His perfect will for our lives. 

It is amazing that while walking in the ordered steps of the Lord, we have moments where we receive praise and accolades.  Gideon, like all of us, has to endure challenging moments where our ability and our sanity is questioned.  

validateI thank God that as we follow Him, He gives us moments where we are validated.  Times where those who doubted, feel foolish for not believing in the God we serve, and in some cases are inspired to follow the God we serve or even gain faith in us and our abilities.

Sadly, this will not happen in this encounter, mainly because Gideon is about to use the same power and authority he walked in to capture the 2 kings, to destroy those who didn’t help him.  I believe this is a story similar to what we experience today.  While people watch God accomplish amazing feats through us, and witness miracles upon the earth, people are challenged by the encounters they have with those God uses to carry out His will on the earth.  As opposed to being focused on the power and authority of God, they are distracted by the anger and frustration of men and women who are distracted by the flesh.  Gideon like many of us was so caught up in the negative encounters, that he was determined to punish those who didn’t believe in him.  He took a moment that could have been the early equivalent to the show down of Elijah and the prophets of baal, and turned it into two armies fighting it out in the sight of man. 

Angry upset boy, little man

Not only where these men and those that witnessed the encounters challenged, but so was the focal point of this verse!   Gideon caught a young man, and directly questioned him.  Caught helps us to understand this young mans position.  He was like these leaders of his city.  He most likely wanted to steer clear of any drama and feud that existed and would exist between the people of Succoth and Gideon.  He wanted to go home to his family after a long days work and enjoy their presence.  But Gideon is so concerned with proving himself right that he involves this young man, capturing a 3rd person, and then uses his power of “influence” to get him to give up those who decided not to invest in him.  Notice “influence” is in quotes, as this young man knows his life is on the line if he refuses to participate.

Under pressure, the young man gave up 77 elders! 

writingThe young man protects His life and writes on the paper.  My heart goes out to this young man, as his efforts to steer clear place him as a cog in the effort to severely punish 77 people.  In this “snitches get stitches” culture, we should acknowledge that his safety with the community once Gideon leaves. 

Besides that, this young man might be like many of us.  Maybe he wasn’t afraid of any physical harm that would come his way, but dreaded living with the results of his actions?  Even if his listing of the names remained a secret, he would wake each day, and encounter as he walked through the town, either the 77 elders, or members of their family; forced to live with the role he played in their injuries.

discouragedNot were they just 77 people, but 77 Elders, which were leaders in the community.  I’m sure as he wrote, he knew his part in this effort, would remove much wisdom and some resources from the community.  This small community would be challenged, but the injury and loss caused to its leaders.  Remember, Gideon’s plan is to gather thorns and briers and to tear their flesh.  He want’s to make them suffer by shedding their blood.  Lord forbid that this young man could potentially watch his country deteriorate.

Not that I’m looking for confessions, but I have been in this place before.  That moment where you look at what has occurred and have to consider your role in said event.  Now, I haven’t cratered a city, or destroyed a culture, but I have regretted words spoken that has given tension to a relationship that was eventually destroyed.

What about you? 

Ever had a moment you wish you could take back?

Or maybe like Gideon, you evolved someone past their wishes into a situation they desired to steer clear of, and didn’t consider the potential affect it would have on their life?  I This young man would eventually witness 77 people have their flesh torn off because of his testimony, and I am sure he would eventually loose sleep over his decision.   In a rage, Gideon impacts this mans life by including him in the punishment of those he desired to get revenge with.  This isn’t right!  I wonder how many people can’t close their eyes because of a situation you placed them in?  How many scurry past the mirror, hastening to look at themselves after they consider their choices?

I aim to consider my actions first, and then the actions of those aiding me as I journey.  I believe God wants us to see people not as pawns, but as participants in life whose lives we are to value and respect even when we are eager and desperate to achieve.

 

#PastorJDO3

A Battle of kingdoms Judge 8:12

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Zebah and Zalmunna, 
the two kings of Midian, 
fled, but he pursued them 
and captured them,
routing their entire army.
Judges 8:12

 

Gideon, walking into victory, completes his journey up the path and confronts Zebah, Zalmunna and their army.  These two kings, as seen in verse 11, were caught off guard by Gideon and his troop.  It is unclear why they were surprised, but they let their guard down for a period of time that was long enough to allow Gideon to execute his plan.

unbalanced data ballsThough they had the numbers, the text tells us that they fled.  Here two kings are, previously victorious in battle, now retreating, and fleeing to save their lives.  Their encounter with Gideon and God has taught them that God can make your advantage a disadvantage.

Previously, God had confused the army, causing them to take the lives of each other through what we would label friendly fire.  Each one turned on each other at the sound of the trumpets.  They are fleeing from 300 troops because fighting them turned their advantage against them.  They suffered such a loss, that it was is though they were facing the 50 to 1 odds.

The text informs us first that they were kings.  Here these powerful men are fleeing someone who is accompanied with 300 troops and most importantly a call on his life.    You have two kingdoms, again coming face to face with the Kingdom of God, and they make the choice to flee.

This is so encouraging!   

When you are facing insurmountable odd, the balance of power if shifted towards the one representing the most powerful kingdom.  Which kingdom do you represent?  Maybe the reason we have lost some, and fallen short in other battles is that we are fighting for the wrong cause, wrong reason and wrong king!

Who’s your king?

kingdomsGideon was representing the King of Kings, and though he had to fight two kings, he knew that the true battle was the Lords.  He knew that God would go before him, and where he needed to fight, God would prepare his path, provide a plan, power his people, and prove him victorious.

Knowing this, its no surprise that Gideon’s response to them fleeing, was to pursue them.  Gideon knew this opportunity was a great one, because God had given him the plan and the opportunity.  Gideon, though leading a weary troop, drew power from his God, and pursued!  I love this pursue, because it still speaks of the hope and faith he had.  He pursued as though he had already obtained, but had to maintain faith while he laid claim to his goal!

Gideon teaches us also to pursue until…

The word says He “pursued them and captured them”!  He was not going to stop until they were captured.  How many of us are pursuing like this?  This means that their capture is the conclusion, even if the pursuit continues beyond this point.  Capture is the condition that will not be negotiated.  He will not quit until he has obtained his goal.

Pursue with Determination

The capture of what you desire depends on the passion and persistence of your pursuit.  He was able to have given into his hands, two kings, and with 300 troops, was able to destroy his entire army.

chesskingI envisioned a chess board with all the pawns, horsemen, bishops and castles, set aside with the queen with nothing protecting it.  I see the king laying on its side, surrendering to an eventual death, because it has nothing to cover or deflect from putting it into check.   We must remain confident that God will do what He said.  We must look at our circumstances as unfolding stories with many chapters.  The text says that Gideon was able to win “…routing their entire army”.

The word “routing” gives us an image of this battle.  This was not a close affair!  The 300 were able to overcome the 15,000 troops easily.   Those watching witnessed this entire army be defeated not by turning on each other, but by being taken over by those empowered by the Holy Spirit!  So we pursue though weary, knowing our strength is in God.  He will allow us to overpower the enemy.

 

#PastorJDO3

Walk into Victory! Judges 8:11

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Gideon went up by the route of
the nomads east of Nobah and
Jogbehah and fell upon the
unsuspecting army.
Judges 8:11

 

This verse highlights Gideon’s executing of a plan.  What is seen here is the steady advancement of the army of God to face Midionites.  He, unlike many of us, is not just pursuing his goal.  He unlike many of us, is not just idly walking into a battle expecting God to do it all.  Gideon, has put together a strategy that places his troop in the best position to win the battle. 

chesskingThe text says, he journeyed up the route of the nomads.  This strategy could have benefited Gideon in a few ways.

First, it was a road previously traveled, and thus was less likely to prove hazardous.

 

Gideon was familiar with the past enough to navigate the present.

He understood that nomads had used this path in their travels, and that it would provide his weary soldiers with an easier path to travel.

Have you looked into the past?

pursuing-perfection

Many of us are so concerned with being unique, instructed by our egos, and clouded by our legacy such to that we are determined to overcome by cutting our own path.   We ignore the path of the past, determined to make a mark that is unique, insuring that the credit of the victory can be attributed only to us.

But Gideon, looked for any advantage.  Navigating a previously used path would allow his troops to conserve energy, as well as avoid injury.  When in pursuit of victory, one must take the time to conserve resource and to mitigate damage.  Even though he presses forward, he is still in control of the day, managing each moment to position himself for success, and so must we.Blue metal compass

Many times we look at the odds, and surrender before the battle.  This is seen in our management, as we become loose and careless with our resources, because we have determined they are not enough.

 

Others mismanage depending on God’s miracle working power.

We know what God can do, and mistakenly put the Lord God to the test by wasting what we have, and assume that God will bring us through.  Gideon didn’t take this chance.  He knew God had given him the 300, and though He believed God would deliver the troop into his hand, he was prepared to fight, and used his strategy and management to insure he could honor God with the resources God had placed in his hands.

confidentIt could be that the Nomads were still distributed on the road.  We don’t know this, but what we are sure of is that Gideon and the 300 traveled the path in such a way that the caught the 15,000 of guard.

This is where you should be shouting!!!!  Had Gideon had the original number, His odd would have been greater, but he wouldn’t have been able to surprise his opponent!  Gideon started out with 30,000 troops, and had them whittled down unto 300 men to take to battle.  Because of his low number, chances are, they were able to sneak up the Nomad path and surprise their enemy.

God is going to let you surprise the enemy,
and shock the doubters!

This is where we would shake each other and say, God’s going to let you sneak up on the one who’s trying to sneak up on you!  While he came to steal, kill and destroy, God has positioned you to attack and be victorious!   God has so situated you, that you will accomplish great things with little, and be ruler over many because of your management of the few.

Yes, you have been faithful over a few, and now God is placing you as ruler over many.  God is making your enemy your footstool, even as you stand weary and tired.  God is giving you the strength to overcome because you believe and trust Him, despite what you see, and hear from others.  You know God is with you, so persevere and press on!!!heavenopenup

I’ll conclude with this observation and truth.  Winning the battle is not just about the plan, but its about timing.  Had the troop been aware/suspecting, the results could have been different.

Many of us have lost battles, not because our plan was wrong, or that we didn’t hear from God, but we moved forward before it was time. 

Yes we must pursue with faith, and attack knowing we are favored, but we must execute our strategy with such timing, that it honors God with more than faith, but with patience and stewardship.  We must listen to God, while waiting for him to open the door, and not attempt to force doors open ourselves.

#PastorJDO3

It’s all Perspective! Judges 8:10

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Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in
Kakor, and their armies with them, 
about 15,000 men, all who were left
of the entire army of the sons of the 
east; for the fallen were 120,000 
swordsmen.
Judges 8:10

 

It’s a matter of perspective…

…I thought as I read verse 10.  Zebah and Zalmunna are on the run, and take up residence in Kakor, along with 15,000 men.  Let us recall that Gideon is staffed with 300 men, all whom where set apart for this assignment.Perspective

Gideon is leading his 300 troops against 15,000 troops, and while many would be overwhelmed with the ratio of 50 to 1, Gideon is more concerned with feeding the troops, than loosing the battle.

Though Zebah and Zalmunna felt vulnerable, and were in retreat, because of their prior victories, it is possible that they still felt a little rest and planning could turn the tides of the battle.  Meanwhile, Gideon was in pursuit, moving from town to town in search of bread for his army.  The Midionites were fed and rested, with 50 soldiers per 1 soldier waiting to defend themselves against the Israelite attack.

Favorable Numbers don’t Equal Favor

 

Though they had favorable numbers, they were not favored.

 

victory-clipart-1.jpgFrom the outside, Succoth and Peniel looked at the numbers and determined that Gideon was at a disadvantage, and that Zebah and Zalmunna should win.  According to the odds, they should be favored.  With these numbers, one would be a fool to choose the group of 300, when facing an army of 15,000, but as a believer, we must continue to trust God’s Word which says, if God be for us…!  With God, all things are possible!!!  This means, the odds are always with you, because God’s favor is with you!

Gideon is not focused on the Troop, He’s focused on God!

Gideon knows that God is for him!  He is favored, and this makes a 50 to 1 ratio a non factor.

I wonder to myself what your non-factor in your life?  What are you consumed with?  What odds have you betting against yourself?  What odds have you doubting what God can do?  What has you retreating?

Gideon wasn’t retreating, he was pursuing!

51935473-pursuing-word-on-keyboard-buttonI’m sure as he was going forward, he was thinking what odds!  When you have God’s favor with you, you don’t have to flee, you can chase down the vision and dream that God has shown you.  Not only can you walk towards what He has shown, you can lay claim to the desires of your heart.  Yes, instead of chasing after possessions you can seek the Kingdom of God and righteousness, and you can have the victory hand delivered to you!

When you realize God is for you and with you, you will pursue the 15,000.   Too many of us remain in neutral, afraid to switch into drive, and more comfortable living in reverse!  When we choose to pursue, we opt not to walk in victory, and concede defeat.

Victory will be Yours, when You know it belongs to You!

You are victorious!!!!  You will win!!  You have already won!!!! 

Remember, it’s all Perspective!

Verse 10 informs us that their army was once 120,000 men!  

Yes; 120,000 swordsmen, which has been reduced to 15,000!

 120,000 – 105,000 = 15,000

calculatorIt’s all a matter of perspective!   As opposed to thinking, “we have 15,000 soldiers to fight”, he was most likely thinking, “only 15,000 soldiers remain.”  Gideon realized over half of the soldiers had already met the same fate that was in store for the remaining 15,000.  Thought know one else believed, and was playing the odds, Gideon had already put all his chips (faith and trust) on God, and was trusting him not just for another fleece sign, but stepped out on it and was ready to blow the trumpets again.

impartationWhat’s your perspective?  Oh, you are still looking at the remaining barriers as though they can stop you?  You are still looking at the next challenge as a preventative force?  The obstacles you will face or just details for the testimony.   Gideon had to lift up his head, and thank God for handling the 105,000, and praise God that only 15,000 remained.  Though the odds were 50 to 1, they could be 400 to 1.

Each time Gideon presses Forward, the Odds get Better!

We must know that each step brings us closer to victory!   So the question is, will you continue taking steps forward?  Will you pursue until you are victorious, or will you retreat each time you face tough odds.

 

 

#PastorJDO3

 

When I return!!!! Judges 8:9

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So he said to the men of Peniel,
“When I return in triumph,
I will tear down this tower.”
Judges 8:9

Honestly, I was so disappointed with Gideon for this encounter.  Why you ask?  It’s a road that I have traveled, and one I am sure some of you have gone down.  That road of “I’m going to show you!”  “I’m going to prove you wrong!” Haven’t we all been there?

discouragedAs a leader he had an ever larger matter at hand.  If you have ever had the responsibility that comes with those following you, you know the frustration and stress that come along with not being able to meet the needs of those entrusted to you.

Now this isn’t for everyone!  As said, there are many that don’t have concern or have lost concern for those that follow, save their ability to help them accomplish their goals, however, there are some that genuinely care about those that follow them.

Gideon was one of those men, who valued those who God had hand selected to help him carry out hit earthly assignment.    Though discouraged from the people of Succoth, he walks up to Peniel, and speaks to their men, only to get the same response as he received in Succoth.  Their response was not that of a lack of resources, it was one of doubt and self perseverance.

if

Though Jacob wrestled at Peniel until he was blessed, Gideon chose to press on, but with a promise to return.  He says, “When I return in triumph…”  I love that he says, “when” not “if”.  This is a promise.  It is as though he has seen tomorrow, and knows that the victory is inevitable. 

 

 

Are you speaking “if” or “when” over your life?

Most of us spend our time speaking “if” into the atmosphere.  We lean upon God’s Word as though its an unproven patent.  We stand on it as though its the first version, and we are waiting for them to work the kinks out before we invest.  But not this guy!  The only “if” in our life should be “if” we choose to believe God’s Word.  “If” we believe God to be true!  At worst, “if” it’s God’s will!

when

Outside of this, we should speak in “when”.  When is great because if shows faith, but doesn’t dictate the timeline date.  For though we know God’s Word to be true, we do not know when God is going to allow things to manifest in our lives.  I am sure many of us have had the pleasure of waiting on “when”, and had to find rest in it coming.  It’s not important to know the date, but its important to know the one holding the promise.

Gideon informed Succoth and Peniel that “when” was coming!  When we are going through, we like Gideon must remain confident that God is going to come through.  When facing rejection, it opens the doors for, disappointment, and leads to a hallway that many express called depression.  Gideon remains encouraged by choosing to focus on the spiritual promise of God, which to him is a fact and not a possibility or knowledge.  

Do you see God’s Word as Fact or Possibility?

Guaranteed-imageFor many of us, the Word of God is more possibility than fact.  We believe it has potential, and are inspired by the revelations extracted from it, but proceed as though it is powerless.  We must receive and carry the revelation as though it is an impartation or proclamation over our lives, and then to walk forward in faith as though it is so.  We can let the disappointments of today prevent us from experiencing the victories of tomorrow.

Sadly, though confident that he will experience victory, He is still set on rubbing the noses of the people of Peniel in it.  He says, “I will destroy this tower.”  Gideon is so upset about their unwillingness to feed his troops, that his planned not only to return and bring suffering and harm to Succoth, but to further tear down the tower of Peniel.

Towers were very important to protection.  They helped the cities identify when they were going to be attacked.  The tower helped them identify their opponent and to get an eye on the resources they had to attack them with.  Gideon is telling them, because they have chosen not to help nourish his troops, He would cripple their ability to defend themselves (which is basicaly what their refusal to feed the troops is doing to them).

chastizeIsn’t this like us?  And eye for an eye!  Many of us want others to suffer as we suffer.  Many of us don’t mind crippling others and will position ourselves to watch their demise.  This is not of God!   God is the one that carries out vengeance.  He does this because He is the only one who is balanced enough with mercy, grace, truth and justice to deliver to each of us not what is deserved, but what will punish, teach and correct us.

Honestly, returning in victory should be enough!  God has set him up to be exalted among mankind because they will witness his victory over those who doubted and questioned his ability.  He would, in deed, have the last word, and be proven great in the sight of all those who criticized him.  He would be lifted up in the eyes of man, knowing that he had access to power, and that this power was at the finger tips of the one they held in low esteem.

But it wasn’t enough!  Why is it so important to see the tower of others fall?  Why is it that many people would invest the time or exert the energy needed to destroy the work of others?

Are you competing with others, or conquering for God?  

towerfallingMy concern is that many of us miss the beauty of the journey, and don’t get to celebrate the mighty work of God, because while and after we carry it it out, we are thinking about destroying the Tower and collecting the briers and thorns to punish all that doubted us.  Sadly, there are some that get more joy out of returning to destroy than building and accomplishing things for and in God.  This is, and should be considered sinful to us all!  Some get to the 7th day, but can’t rest because they are excited about making the doubters eat their words, and being a destructive force in their lives.

 

 

#PastorJDO3