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March 7, 2015

SECURITY = Freedom from doubt, anxiety, or fear. Something that gives or assures safety. The condition of not being threatened, especially physically, psychologically, emotionally, or financially.

In the book of Judges, we see Israel experiencing poverty, invasion, captivity, and civil war due to their disobedience in following the laws of God. The underlining factor for their failure is found in Judges 17:6 which describe the actions of Israel, “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Fortunately for them, God in His mercy would repeatedly raise up a judge that would help deliver the people out of the hands of their captors. It is the story of one of these judges that I will utilize in discussing the security test.

Judges 6 opens with Israel being oppressed by the Midianites, the Amalekites, and the children of the east for seven years. In their usual fashion, they cried unto God, and God hears them and chooses Gideon from the tribe of Manasseh for the task of deliverer and judge.

An angel appears to Gideon with a message from God, which he questions because of his insecurities and Israel’s misfortunes. The angel reassures him with these statements, “The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee? Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.” (Judges 6:12,14,16)

With these words of encouragement, assurance, and sign from the angel Gideon built an altar unto the Lord and called it Jehovah Shalom. That same evening God gave Gideon his first directive. He was to tear down the altar of Baal which belong to his father, cut down the grove that was by it, build an altar unto the Lord and offer a sacrifice as specified by God upon it.  With ten of his servants, Gideon did as the Lord had directed; however, the men of his city was not pleased with his actions and threatened to kill him. Gideon’s father defended him, and the men of his city relented.

Consequently, there were several events that solidified Gideon’s feeling of security. First, when it was time for the next battle, Gideon fleeced God two times, and God did what he requested. Next, God allowed him to sneak into the enemy’s camp and hear a soldier talking about their defeat at his hands. This empowered him to lead his small army of men; for when he had summons the men to fight thirty-two thousand men of war gathered, but God reduced that number down to three hundred by processes of elimination, so they would not feel they were victorious due to their ability.

Judges 7:16–22 best described the battle. It reads, “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 all the camp, and say, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon. So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands. And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon. And they stood every man in his place round about the camp; and all the host ran, and cried, and fled. And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the Lord set every man’s sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host.”

As seen many times in the scripture, Israel did not have to fight because God caused their enemy in confusion to turn on each other. This all happened because of Gideon’s sense of security in God and His word. Throughout this ordeal God let Gideon know He was with him and he would be triumphant. Despite the size of the enemy’s army and the smallness of Israel’s army, Gideon chooses to believe and not doubt. His security allowed him to give his army a successful warfare strategy which ensued with victory and forty years of peace.

Hopefully, from this blog, you have been encouraged; feel confident in God in the midst of whatever you are presently experiencing, and ready to pass the security test. If fear, doubt or anxiety assails you, remember Gideon.

From → Test Series

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  11. Thank you for a very timely message during the challenge of beginning a new semester with hefty reading assignments, a new teacher, and a diverse learning environment. Like Gideon, my focus must remain on the one and only God who remains faithful. He has a plan to succeed if we are willing to listen, trust, and obey. The weapons may form but they will not prosper. We trust God for a victorious encounter.

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