My grandson asked me a question about a story in the Bible which prompted me to think on the story of Gideon as told in Judges 6 and 7.
He was puzzled about the event because he did not have sufficient background information to understand the reason for the conflict and subsequent deaths of so many people. As I continued to think on the story long after our discussion, I thought about how pertinent this story is to today’s dilemma with terrorism.
You see, the people of Israel had wandered away from God’s guidance, direction, and plan for their lives. Their continual disobedience brought a division between God and His chosen people. As they continued to defy His commandments, God allowed them to follow their choice to go their own way.
Sometimes, as stubborn children, we too have chosen our own way, and we have also reaped the consequences of our poor decisions. This was just the case with Israel. Their poor choices had brought them into conflict with the neighboring countries including those of the Midianites and the Amalekites. They also fell into conflict with the countries of the east.
Continued poor choices led the Israelites into a downward spiral of fear and dread of those who had become their enemies. Their previous boldness became cowardice as they hid in silence instead of facing the enemy and protecting their homeland. They sought protection in the dens of the mountains, in secluded caves, and man-made strong holds instead of seeking the God who had previously shown Himself strong on their behalf.
The nation’s economy took a setback as each of the enemy nations came and took possession of the land with the purpose of destroying it and all its increase. The food supply was cut off as the agricultural industry was destroyed. Unable to feed oxen and asses caused the transportation and engineering industries to be destroyed as these animals provided the power to move, transport, and carry equipment, food supplies, and other necessities.
Immigrants continued to pour into the nation bringing their idolatrous worship and disrespect toward the citizens. The nation was under siege. Finally, in desperation, the Israelites cried out to God. In response, God sent a prophet to remind them of what God had done for them in the past and how they had chosen to disobey and disrespect His desire for them.
But as they continued to cry out, God visited a man named Gideon who was secretly threshing wheat in an obscure place beside the winepress. This would have been in the vineyard where grapes would be harvested later in the year. Gideon hoped no one would suspect he would be there since the grapes would not be ready at that time of the year. Being desperate, he sought to winnow enough wheat to feed his family before anyone noticed his whereabouts.
The messenger from God struck up a conversation with Gideon. In that conversation he let Gideon know that God was with him. The messenger described Gideon as being a mighty man of valor. Gideon asked the typical question many are asking today. “[I]f the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? [A]nd where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of?” In other words, If God is with us, then why is all this happening to us?
The LORD’s response shocked Gideon. “Go, in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?” (Or maybe it was not such a shock. Did not the Scripture say, “H]ave not I sent thee?” I wonder if God had dealt with him before about this issue.)
However, God told Gideon He had sent him. That is of utmost importance. This was a call directly from God to Gideon. Go, and do something about it!
“Go, and do something about it!” That is what popped into my mind as I pondered the story after speaking to my grandson. We talk about the terrible events happening across the land. We ask ourselves and others, “Why doesn’t somebody do something about it?” We say. “This shouldn’t be happening.” We question, “How can people be so wicked to do such terrible things?” We even say a quick prayer, “Lord, do something about it!” But do we really ask God why with the intent of knowing why and with the intention of correcting whatever may be the problem? Are we truly asking God to do something, or are we just speaking the words? Just how concerned are we about what is happening?
If we are truly concerned, then we must “Go and do something about it!” We must go to God and seek repentance for ourselves and for our nation. We must seek His direction as to what should be done to correct our waywardness and disobedience. We must beseech Him to raise up leaders that can lead us in the right way. We must humble ourselves and ask for the deliverance that only He can give.
Yes, we must go to God, because He can do something about it. We must once again listen to the man of God as he brings God’s message. We must seek God’s intervention for the deliverance from our enemy’s evil tactics. We must battle for God’s will to be done no matter the excuses, fear, or lack of what we perceive as financial cost.
Gideon’s excuses were of no consequence to God. Our excuses are of no consequence to God. For God is God and when He is with us, we shall smite the enemy “as one man”.
So how did Gideon deliver Israel? He did it with trumpets and lights. Trumpets sounded out the message that God was present. Lights showed His presence through His chosen men. The enemy had no choice but to run.
So lift up your voice like a trumpet. Break out of your comfort zone and allow the light of God to shine through you to others so that they may see your good works and glorify God in heaven. Proclaim God’s words and be a vessel though which others may see God.
Remember Gideon’s words, “The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.” It was God’s words and Gideon being willing to stand that made the difference. This is how we “Go, and do something about it!”
“And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers.
And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do.
When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.”