The Gideon Marathon

Judges 6-8

 More verses are devoted to Gideon in Judges than any other judge. Gideon knew about God and what God had done in the past but his father had set up idols to Baal and Asherah. When God called Gideon to deliver Israel the first thing he was to do was to destroy those idols and put his trust in God. As we progress through the chapters we see God use Gideon to deliver Israel from the hand of their oppressors all the while building Gideon’s faith.

 As Gideon has victory after victory his faith seems to turn to confidence. He still seems to follow God and refuses to be made king but he asks for and receives gold from the spoils of victory. With that gold he makes an ephod which became an idol for the people to follow. God brought Gideon out of the depths of despair and fear to great victory and heights but Gideon puts into motion the things that will bring his family to ruin and the nation into another cycle of oppression.

 2 Chronicles 15:2 was written years later to Asa, king of Judah, who, by trusting God, had just defeated the Ethiopian invaders who out- numbered  Asa’s army 3 to 1. God sent a prophet to Asa saying, “Listen to me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: the Lord is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.” NASB

 As Asa grows older he will forsake the Lord and trust in an alliance with the king of Aram to fight against the invading army of Israel. He will trust in the money he takes from the temple treasury to finance the treaty rather than God. It seems the greatest threat to our walk with the Lord is not in the times of trial and difficulty but in the times of resting on past successes.

 There are many lessons to be learned from the life of Gideon. There are at least 100 verses devoted to him in the book of Judges, but I think if we were to learn a lesson from just one verse that would apply to Gideon as well as us, it would be the verse above.

 Many people come to the Lord in a life crisis. God is faithful to deliver but God wants an ongoing relationship, not a “one and done” relationship. We need to be careful to keep the old beliefs of our past out of our new life with Christ. We need to also be careful to keep our relationship strong in the Lord on a daily basis. We need to be aware that there will always be temptation to follow the ways the people of the world are doing things or attempting to solve their problems, but we have a direct connection to the creator of the universe who loves us and is able to lead us through every problem if we will seek Him. If we seek Him first and continually we will be less tempted to wander from our relationship with God.

 Many start well but do not finish well. We are not in a sprint. We run a marathon.  Here are some verses to consider.

Hebrews 12:1; Galatians 5:7; Isaiah 40:31: James 1:12: Psalm 119:32, 18:29; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; 1 Timothy 4:7&8: Matthew 6:19-34

 May the Lord bless the course laid out for you to run.

Pastor Dave