Tuesday, July 7, 2020

READ THE BIBLE WITH AMANDA GRACE-JULY 7-7-2020

READ THE BIBLE WITH AMANDA GRACE-THE ARMOR OF GOD PART 3! GIDEON!

I Kings Chapter 6
So chapter 6 opens with the statement that Israel had done evil in the sight of the Lord, and just as they had done in Egypt and were handed over, they are handed over this time to the Midianites for 7 years, oppressed for 7 years. You see Israel makes the same mistake they made in Egypt of Blending the worship of God with the worship of false gods. In this case they blended the worship of God with the worship of baal, spiritual harlotry, blasphemous to God.7 in Hebrew is Shvah [f.], sheevah [m.] Rest, wholeness, completeness, being ripe, order, stability, and holiness.

So we can look at this as the Lord attempting to bring back into order and stability Israel to the covenant because it is very clear they have strayed.


Judges 6:6
So Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites, and the Israelites cried out to the Lord [for help].

So the Lord allowed Israel to be stripped of all the provision He gave them to show them that baal could NOT provide for them in serving him what Almighty God could in choosing to serve the One True Living God.

Because without the covering, protection, and blessing of the Lord, in mixing godly practices with ungodly idols, it always lead Israel to TEBEL, CONFUSION!

Judges 6:8-11:
That the Lord sent a prophet to the Israelites, and he said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I brought you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of slavery.  And I rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land,  and I said to you, “I am the Lord your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live.” But you have not listened to and obeyed My voice.’”

Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, and his son Gideon was beating wheat in the wine press [instead of the threshing floor] to [hide it and] save it from the Midianites.

The Angel of the Lord, the MALACH YHWH, appears under the terebinth tree. Gideon is doing something very unusual.

He is beating wheat in the wine press, instead of at the threshing floor where wheat is normally processed during that time, in order to HIDE IT from the midianites.

So we see here Gideon is resourceful, he figures out ways to do things differently in order to DECEIVE the midianites, it looks as if he is at the winepress processing grapes, when in reality he is using it to process wheat that they desperately need because the midianites have left them completely impoverished.

So you would not normally use a wine press for wheat BUT under the right circumstances a wheat can be processed a whole new way, Gideon looked at things differently. Make no mistake this was an act of bravery, deceiving the midianites to provide wheat for his family.

And the Lord was about to do things differently in appointing Gideon a Judge

And look what the angel of the Lord says to Gideon, they have a VERY interesting exchange that is VERY telling:

Judges 6:12-18:
The Lord is with you, O brave man.”  But Gideon said to him, “Please my lord, if the Lord is with us, then why has all this happened to us? And where are all His wondrous works which our fathers told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian.” The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this strength of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?” But Gideon said to Him, “Please Lord, how am I to rescue Israel? Behold, my family is the least [significant] in Manasseh, and I am the youngest (smallest) in my father’s house.” The Lord answered him, “I will certainly be with you, and you will strike down the Midianites as [if they were only] one man.” Gideon replied to Him, “If I have found any favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who speaks with me. 18 Please do not depart from here until I come back to You, and bring my offering and place it before You.” And He said, “I will wait until you return.”

The angel of the Lord says “the lord is with YOU” Gideon responds, “if the Lord is with us then why has all this happened” that is not what the lord said, he says to Gideon “the Lord is with YOU” It is Gideon who has found favor in the site of God NOT all of Israel.

Which according to the culture of Israel would be a bit off considering that Gideons family is the LEAST in the tribe of Manasseh and Gideon is the youngest in his Father’s house.

You know who else was the YOUNGEST in his Father’s house who was raised up to be an incredible leader to save Israel: BOTH Joseph and David BOTH the least, the smallest. I believe Moses was the youngest in his house.

You see the Lord loves to take whom man would write off, whom man would not choose and raise them up to do great and mighty things that are a testament to the power of Almighty God!

This was no regular angelic messenger this was the ANGEL OF THE LORD. If you notice in the scriptures the angel of the Lord appears when something big is about to change

Matthew 20:16: 
So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

ANOTHER THOUGHT: Gideon DID NOT know how to recognize God because their worship and practice had been TEBEL confused with pagan worship. So when the angel of the Lord appears, Gideon does NOT recognize right away who he is!!

You see Gideon threshing wheat at the wine press was a metaphor for what ISRAEL WAS DOING. They were DECEIVING themselves into thinking they could thresh WHEAT< the word and laws of God through the press of pagan baal worship. They were serving the Lord the complete wrong way because they had been deceived. Wheat should never be put through a press utilized for making a fermented beverage that got people drunk. That is what baal worship did to Israel, it corrupted their spirits as if they were drunk on this spiritual harlotry. Wheat is meant to be threshed NOT pressed. Because as much as you press wheat WINE WILL NOT come out, and as much as they tried to press the laws of God into baal worship they did not get the happy merry result they were looking for, but instead lost everything.

So Gideon has to come back INTO ALIGNMENT WITH THE LORD AND His laws in order to become the Judge he has been ordained to be. Gideon had to rededicate himself FULLY to the Lord and his service in order for the Spirit of the Lord to come upon him and be raised up to be one of the greatest judges in Israel.

However, this means Gideon had to forsake all this intermixing of religious practice, he had to completely forsake baal worship and surrender to the will of Almighty God. Gideon was being consecrated, set apart, for this incredible service to the Lord.

So what does Gideon do first after he RECOGNIZES that this indeed is the angel of the Lord.

Judges 6:17-18:
Gideon replied to Him, “If I have found any favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who speaks with me.Please do not depart from here until I come back to You, and bring my offering and place it before You.” And He said, “I will wait until you return.”

Gideon makes an offering to the Lord and the Lord ALONE. He gives up an animal of his and sacrifices from his flock unto the Lord which begins to bring Gideon back into ALIGNMENT with the Will of God and the Covenant the lord made with the people of Israel.

Now there is something prophetically symbolic about what Gideon offers to the Lord, a young Goat. Not a sheep or a lamb, a GOAT.

You see the Goats could be symbolic for this baal practice that had intermixed with the people of Israel, the sheep, the flock of the Lord’s. In offering a goat symbolically right there the Lord was separating the sheep from the goats.

Matthew 25:31-33:
“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory and majesty and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.  All the nations will be gathered before Him [for judgment]; and He will separate them from one another, as a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats;  and He will put the sheep on His right [the place of honor], and the goats on His left [the place of rejection].

The goat was taken and sacrificed. The lord starting with Gideon, was taking the goats the baal worship the idolatry and separating it from his people, reconciling them back to Him and His Will.

The second thing Gideon does under the instruction of the Lord, now that he has been set apart, would set Israel apart. This is where the Lord as THE WORD would be the dividing line operating through Gideon.

Judges 6:25-27:
Now on that same night the Lord said to Gideon, “Take your father’s bull, the second bull seven years old, and tear down the altar of Baal that belongs to your father, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it; and build an altar to the Lord your God on top of this mountain stronghold [with stones laid down] in an orderly way. Then take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice using the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down.” Then Gideon took ten men of his servants and did just as the Lord had told him; but because he was too afraid of his father’s household (relatives) and the men of the city to do it during daylight, he did it at night.

So this is Gideon's first test of faith and obedience. Because doing it and acting upon what the lord tells you is much harder than just hearing it.

Gideon is told to take the 2nd bull who is 7 years old. Why 7? Because the midianites have been oppressing the Jews for 7 years and this offering would signify the ending of their rule of terror. 

NOTE: Now why a bull?

Exodus 29:36:
And you shall offer a bull every day as a sin offering for atonement. You shall cleanse the altar when you make atonement for it, and you shall anoint it to sanctify it.

You see before this 7 years of oppression could end, there had to be an atonement made for the sins of Israel rebelliously worshipping baal and Asherah and intermingling it with the worship of the Lord (doesn’t that sound familiar with what we see today..)


NOTE:2nd reason for the bull
In the mythology of Canaan, baal, the god of life and fertility, locked in mortal combat with Mot, the god of death and sterility. If Baal triumphed, a seven-year cycle of fertility would ensue; but, if he were vanquished by Mot, seven years of drought and famine would ensue.

However this would not be mot putting an end to this BUT Almighty God!
It was said that baal sired divine bull calf from a heifer. All this was part of his fertility role, which, when fulfilled, meant an abundance of crops and fertility for animals and mankind.

So Gideon in this offering now that he has been set apart will atone for the sins of Israel through this offering, and it is the Lord’s way and sending notice to baal and his worshippers that the jig is up! Your feeding off of Israel is over and you are entering famine!

He tears down the altar of baal and cuts down the Asherah besides it under the Lord’s instruction and builds an altar to the Lord in that place instead.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5:

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

What is a stronghold? Gideon is told to go to the stronghold?
A stronghold was a difficult to access place of defense, many were on cliffs or mountain tops. This is why the baal and Asherah altars were placed there so it would be made more difficult to tear them down.

So the Lord tells Gideon to go up to a place that is difficult to access tear down those pagan altars and build an altar to him and make this very prophetically symbolic sacrifice.

However, Gideon is in a PROCESS of learning to trust the Lord, remember they have not been fully serving the Lord for over 7 years. So Gideon takes 10 men and goes under the cover of night, which the Lord allows, because Gideon is afraid of his RELATIVES, not even the midianites his father’s household! And the Lord allows him to do so because the Lord is building TRUST and FAITH with Gideon. 2 vital things he will need and is needed with the armor of God.

Now he takes 10 men, ten is VERY significant here:
First the number 10 in Hebrew:The Hebrew word for the number ten is pronounced, `eser and looks like this:עשר

The first character is the `ayin, ע, and symbolically means to see, eye, discern, or divine providence.

The second character is the Shin, ש, and symbolically means the tree of life, burning bush, God’s spirit, etc.

The third character is the Resh, ר, and symbolically means a humble or penitent man like he is bending over in prayer.

So even the word for the number ten in Hebrew has a similar message, if we will be humble, we shall have the spirit to see or discern between right and wrong, truth and error, light and darkness so that we can partake of the fruit of the tree of life or arrive at the burning bush or the presence of God. Hence, if we are humble God’s Hand can direct our lives so that we can return and live with Him again.(reliefsocietywomen.com).

This is exactly what is occurring. Israel needs to be brought back into the presence and will of God, they need to humble themselves, as Gideon did with the angel of the Lord, and return to the Lord in order to be fruitful again.

So the next morning the men of the city see that these altars have been destroyed and and altar to the Lord has not only been erected in its place but there was a SACRIFICE a sacrifice to the Lord that was like planting the flag on that mountain of WHO Israel would now serve.

They discover it is Gideon who has done this and immediately want him executed, HOWEVER I believe Gideon’s father, his FATHER, at that moment was filled with the wisdom of the Lord and this is his response.

Judges 6:31-32:
“Will you plead for Baal? Will you save him? Whoever pleads for Baal shall be put to death while it is still morning. If Baal is a god, let him defend himself, because someone has torn down his altar.” Therefore on that day he named Gideon Jerubbaal, meaning, “Let Baal plead,” because he had torn down his altar.

If baal is as powerful as you all claim then he does not need you to defend him, let baal show up and defend himself…. Who does this sound like?

ELIJAH on Mt Carmel making the worshippers of baal gather and forcing baal to have to defend himself, which he COULD NOT against almighty God and His anointed.

Judges 6:33-35:
Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the east assembled together; and they crossed over [the Jordan] and camped in the Valley of Jezreel.So the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon [and empowered him]; and he blew a trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called together [as a militia] to follow him. He sent messengers throughout [the tribe of] Manasseh, and the fighting men were also called together to follow him; and he sent messengers to [the tribes of] Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali, and they came up to meet them.

So the ites are assembling against Israel.

Here is where we see the armor of God come upon Gideon, The Spirit of the Lord CLOTHED Gideon, it empowered him. He is a soldier of the living God now and he gathers ALL the fighting men.

Just a short time ago Gideon was hiding wheat in a wine press, the lowliest tribe, the lowliest of his family and now he has been raised up by the Lord to lead Israel into battle to break the shackles of oppression of the midianites.

Judges 6:36-40:-Sign of the Fleece
Then Gideon said to God, “If You are going to rescue Israel through me, as You have spoken, behold, I will put a fleece of [freshly sheared] wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece, and it is dry on all the ground [around it], then I will know that You will rescue Israel through me, as You have said.” And it was so. When he got up early the next morning and squeezed the dew out of the fleece, he wrung from it a bowl full of water. Then Gideon said to God, “Do not let your anger burn against me, so that I may speak once more. Please let me make a test once more with the fleece; now let only the fleece be dry, and let there be dew on all the ground.”  God did so that night; for it was dry only on the fleece, and there was dew on all the ground [around it].

I am going to say this… putting out a fleece is not necessarily a positive thing. In fact, it is a sign of a lack of faith if you really think about it.

Gideon in putting out the fleece was not asking God what he should do. The Lord by revelation had already given Gideon his set of marching orders.

What Gideon was trying to do from the Lord was get a guarantee that the Lord would grant him victory IF he did this.

Gideon was seeking confirmation from the lord on His terms, this rooted canaanite thinking he still had, and I will explain.

You see the Lord is moving Gideon away from Canaan and midianite rule BUT not he has to begin to take the Canaanite OUT OF GIDEON. Sound familiar? The Jews were taken out of Egypt BUT then God had to take Egypt out of the people!

I found this fascinating Insight on (Making and Maturing)!

Gideon was trying to get a guarantee that the God of Israel was greater than Baal. This the least known and yet most crucial piece of information regarding Judges 6:33-40. Baal was the Canaanite god of the storm (rain, lightning, etc.) and the dew. the two forms of moisture that were indispensable for fertile soil in Canaan In one tale told about baal, his weakness results in a drought of both rain and dew. In fact, baal’s daughter Talia (thalia) is thought to be responsible for dew. Guess what the Hebrew word for dew in Judges 6:33-40 is? Tal. There is no doubt that Gideon here is testing God to see if he really is greater than baal. Gideon isn’t quite convinced that Baal isn’t the real deal yet. You must understand he has been conditioned to believe these other false gods are just as powerful which was a lie from the pit of hell Israel naïvely believed. So the fleece tests are the result of Gideon’s Canaanite way of thinking, and his lack of faith in Yahweh, the God of Israel. You see Gideon wants to have faith in the lord, BUT HIS FLESH is tugging at him, there is a battle for Gideon in the realm of the spirit because the enemy knows Gideon is being raised up to crash his party he had been having with the midianites, Amalekites, and canaanites.

However Gideon is outing God to the Test.

Putting God to the test in His Word is sinful. In Deuteronomy 6:16 God says, “You shall not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah.” In Judges 6:39 Gideon says, “Let not your anger burn against me; let me speak just once more. Please let me test just once more with the fleece.” Gideon even uses the same verb for testing found in Deut. 6:16. If we count Gideon’s request for a sign from God’s messenger Judges 6:17-18, he’s tested God three times so far.

Exodus 17:6-7:
Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb; there you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may [have something to] drink.” And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. He named the place [where this miracle occurred] Massah (test) and Meribah (contention) because of the quarreling of the sons of Israel, and because they tested the [patience of the] Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us, or not?”

Gideon is very much trying the patience of the Lord BUT the Lord is allowing this, why?

There is an answer that fits in accordance with God’s Word. It is God’s covenant faithfulness, or his grace. The Lord in a way is coming down to meet Gideon and this Canaanite worldview. It isn’t meant to condone or encourage testing God or demanding signs from Him. Instead, God’s grace and patience shown to Gideon over and over highlights the greatness of his grace towards both Gideon and Israel as they find their way out of this idolatrous quagmire they have rationalized themselves into. The Lord in many ways holds Gideon’s hand throughout the entire process, building his faith more and more which each step, getting Gideon to trust Him and understand that truly there is NONE above Him. The Lord addresses his lack of faith, his faulty theology because years of idolatry as watered it down and brought Gideon and Israel to luke warm. The lord through this also helps Gideon Overcome his FEAR. This is why when the Spirit of the lord comes upon Gideon we begin to see him turn the corner. The Lord needs to build Gideon’s faith and get Him to fully trust Him for what He is about to require of Gideon, where he will be put in a position where it will be nothing Short of the Armor of God and the lord’s power and might that deliver’s Israel.

This we will get into with part 4-armour of God (Par 2 Gideon)! 

2 comments:

  1. What version of the bible should I use? I have a KJV and a RSV, Second Catholic Edition. Which one is best to use?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I found the reference to the meaning or the Hebrew word for 10 on the website you referenced (reliefsocietywomen.com) I copied it:
    THE WORD FOR THE NUMBER TEN IN HEBREW
    By Stephen | November 17, 2008 | 17 Comments
    The number ten in Hebrew is very significant. Every Hebrew letter has a numerical equilivant. The Hebrew character or letter that equals ten is a Yud and looks like this: י, it is the smallest Hebrew letter. The symbolical meaning of the Yud is God’s Hand, meaning how God’s Hand works or interacts in our lives. Because the Yud is the smallest character in the Hebrew alphabet, it symbolically says that God’s Hand is always there but never forces us. The more humble and spiritual we are, God’s Hand can have more influence in our lives to be directed according to His will.

    The Hebrew word for the number ten is pronounced, `eser and looks like this:

    עשר

    The first character is the `ayin, ע, and symbolically means to see, eye, discern, or divine providence.

    The second character is the Shin, ש, and symbolically means the tree of life, burning bush, God’s spirit, etc.

    The third character is the Resh, ר, and symbolically means a humble or penitent man like he is bending over in prayer.

    So even the word for the number ten in Hebrew has a similar message, if we will be humble, we shall have the spirit to see or discern between right and wrong, truth and error, light and darkness so that we can partake of the fruit of the tree of life or arrive at the burning bush or the presence of God. Hence, if we are humble God’s Hand can direct our lives so that we can return and live with Him again.

    ReplyDelete