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

 

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Parade No More! Esther 1:12

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But when the attendants delivered the king’s command,
Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became
furious and burned with anger. Esther 1.12

 

VashtiLet me say first, there is something that you can learn from every passage.   Even when a person is wrong (King Xerxies), it does not mean we can not learn lessons from them, and that everything he did was wrong.  Having said that, even when a person is a good person (in this case Queen Vashti), it does not mean that everything she did was right, or that we can not draw thoughts or question her actions.  There is only one person that can not be questioned; Yep, you guessed it!  

Let’s acknowledge that the Hitlers of the world are terrible people, but we can learn from them.  They did something right, and those things make them successful even in doing the wrong they did.  Our job is to look at the lives of others and even our own lives and to consider our ways, as I will do in this blog, which will look at Queen Vashti from the perspective of one who carefully considered her actions before deciding not to appear before the King.

As an example for others, she considered her position and used her platform to send a message to young women and old women, that they should no longer subject themselves to the abusive treatment of their men.  When summoned by the King, she decided there would be No More Parades!  No more walks of being paraded around for her beauty in front of the Kings friends!  Despite the possible loss of life, and loss of position and possessions, she made the statement that it would better to be a divorced,  a homeless citizen than to live a life of luxury with a husband that only sees you as a trophy wife.

I wonder, how many of us would display such courage?

HowOld books, inkstand and scroll many of us are so certain about justice and equality, that we are willing to risk our lives to get what is right for ourselves?  While most of us would have been satisfied to eat and sleep good, Queen Vashti decided that there was more to life than living in luxury.  If only more of us had the same convictions.  She chose not to compromise her dignity and self worth for the sake of being prosperous!

She decided that the parade of her beauty was beneath her, and demanded to be seen as more than her looks.  She wanted the respect of the King, and at all cost, was determined to stop her parades and the parades of others that would follow her.

This is important for us to examine.  As we see those coming forth in the entertainment and political industry today, we are reminded that there are more important things that prosperity and our careers.

First, one should never abuse power!  Second, one should not accept the abuse of power!  Third, one should not support or cover up the abuse of power.    Queen Vashti decided that she would stand against this abuse.  She faced it head on and decided that she would nip it in the bud.

sweepunderrug

She was aware that many women in the kingdom desired to be her, and also were using her as an example for life.  She grew frustrated with the lack of progress of women everywhere and sacrificed herself to lead the charge towards progress.  She decided that she would not allow herself to be used a pawn in the Kings game to trick women into allowing them to be abused by their husbands.  Her compliance with being abused would lead to many other subjecting themselves to the same discourse, and she chose to make a stand!  While most of us can not see past the silver spoon in the second course of our meal, to see the fork and knife in the third course, Queen Vashti decided to live beyond herself and but others before her!  She knew his aim was to keep women sub servant so they wouldn’t become powerful and influential or even lead their families.

How many of us are thinking of more than ourselves when we make decisions?

As we investigate all that is before us, I pray that we will not be too comfortable with our positions, and so in love with our prosperity, that we not consider others when we take action.  There are times in life when we get to live beyond ourselves and make a difference for others, and Queen Vashti took it.   I hope we can learn from her and do the same.

#PastorJDO3

I loved the discussion from my blog post on facebook, but do want to encourage us to be open when looking at life and at text.  Everyone, I repeat everyone in the Bible is flawed, save one!   We can look critically at text and take into context all its warts and pimples.  Queen Esther, who is the focal point of the story is chosen as Queen not because of her brains, but because of her beauty (much like her predecessor Queen Vashti), but this does not mean that we can not learn from her.  She also kept her lineage a secret, but we can still learn from her.  She also uses her beauty to get before the King.  I can go on and on, and I skipped over some things too!   There are also more than one way to make an impact!  Queen Vashti choose to be removed from being queen, while Queen Esther kept the position and used it to benefit her people.  Both women are heros, but took different approaches to make change and take a stand for right.