Studies

Gideon’s Signs of the Fleece and Dew

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For Our Admonition Part 16

“Gathering at Jezreel and the Signs of the Fleece”

Key Verses:  Jdg 6:25 – 6:40

The story of Gideon among other lessons is teaching us that God’s people do not become warriors for the Lord in a ten-second sinners prayer.  A mighty man of valor “in the making”, Gideon, remains needy for signs and confirmation from the Lord.  Such is the state of immaturity where our faith is weak and needs to be propped up.  We ended our last study with Gideon being sent on his first conquest to cut down Baal’s altar and grove with instructions to then built an altar to the Lord in its place.

Jdg 6:25  And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father’s young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: 

Jdg 6:26  And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. 

Jdg 6:27  Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father’s household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night.

 Coming into the faith requires us to lay down our life and follow the Lord.  This is the symbolism of offering the young bullock of seven years as we now begin to confront the lies and false doctrines that lead us to worship the dragon and Baal (Rev 13:4).   Our following of the carnal thoughts and doctrines (who are the innumerable Midianites) is being replaced as we battle and begin to judge the land in obedience.  The cutting down of the woody grove is what hewers and fellers of trees, the meaning of Gideon is doing when we obey the Lord’s commandments.   When the new man (aka the “ax man”) goes into action, judgment is arriving at the house of God, which house we are as His elect (1Co 3:16).

Mat 3:10  And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Jer 5:14  Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood (the Midianites within and without ourselves), and it shall devour them.

Young in the faith, Gideon takes along ten men which is “his own flesh” in Spirit in performing the Lord’s commands.  The symbolism of the number ten represents the perfection of flesh which is never good enough to enter the Kingdom of God (1Co 15:50) and which shows that the true law of faith has not yet been given.  Gideon fears his father household meaning he fears men and is a respecter of people contrary to faith in God.

Pro 29:25  The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

Deu 1:17  Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God’s and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it

When we fear men, we do our godly deeds in the dark for fear of reprisal.  But the day comes when Gideon and we are able to step up in faith and fear only the Lord.  With faith comes increased comfort in the reproaches, persecution, and hatred from those outside the covenant of faith of Jesus Christ.  Gideon’s first act in judging the land immediately manifests the enmity and hatred (in type) against the Lord and His Chosen Christ.

Jdg 6:28  And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built. 

Jdg 6:29  And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing. 

Jdg 6:30  Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it. 

Jdg 6:31  And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar. 

Jdg 6:32  Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar. 

Jdg 6:33  Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east were gathered together, and went over, and pitched in the valley of Jezreel. 

Before we can successfully take on the Midianites, we need alignment and to be of one mind with Christ.  The lies and worship of Baal are first to go.   Our inward enemies, the Midianites and Amalekites and the children of the east (i.e. all our fleshly and carnal thoughts); are aroused when the new man stands up and begins tearing down the altars of Baal.  The nations of this world within us get angry at God’s ax men that are beginning to deliver Israel.

Rev 11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged …

These enemies then gather in a place called Jezreel for the coming war against the Lord and His Christ.  It is in this fruitful valley that God will begin to sow the seeds of righteousness and the carnal nations within us are being put to death.

H3157, yizre‛ê’l, yiz-reh-ale’

From H2232 and H410; God will sow; Jizreel, the name of two places in Palestine and of two Israelites: – Jezreel.

Jezreel is where God sows new life through the death of the old man.  Jezreel is infamous for bloodshed and death in the Bible.  Those stories and events foretell of the blessing to the new man as the old man is killed off via judgment.  The rejected first King Saul (1Sa 31:8), the evil Jezebel (2Ki 9:36) and all the descendant’s  of the evil King Ahab’s (2Ki 10:7), among others all died in the area of Jezreel.  We come together as ONE with the mind of Christ in the day of Jezreel.  This is that day, the day (process) of judgment as the old man decreases (dies) and the new man increases.

Hos 1:11  Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel. 

The valley of Jezreel is also known as the valley of Megiddon or Megiddo.  The Greek word for Armageddon comes from Megiddo H4023. What this means is that spiritually speaking, the decisive end battle against our flesh takes place in the same valley where Gideon is smiting the Midianites and freeing Israel for a season.

Rev 16:16  And he gathered them (the Midianites)  together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

Rev 16:17  And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.

The Spirit of the Lord is already moving on Gideon and Israel is called together for war.  The men of God from Abiezer (meaning the fiery sons of God) who are the Israel and armies of God are gathered with Gideon.

Jdg 6:34  But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him. 

Jdg 6:35  And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; who also was gathered after him: and he sent messengers unto Asher, and unto Zebulun, and unto Naphtali; and they came up to meet them. 

The Spirit of the Lord moves Gideon to blow the trumpet and gather Israel in preparing for war.  Blowing trumpets is speaking warning of pending war and judgment of God.  The sound of the trumpets are words of fire to the heathen within and without ourselves that put God’s enemies to flight (Rev 4:1).

Num 10:8  And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance forever throughout your generations.

Num 10:9  And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy (Midianites) that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.

Joe 2:1  Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants (Midianites) of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;

We will see later in the actual battle with the Midianites the importance that every man and warrior in battle carry and blow their trumpets (Jdg 7:16-18).

Despite all of this, Gideon reveals his weak in the faith and fearing of men status by asking the Lord for signs and confirmation of what has already been declared. Gideon is becoming that “mighty man of valor” declared when he was chosen and met the Angel but he is only begining to get there (Rom 4:17). Gideon makes the so-called “Bible hall of faith” that Paul wrote in Hebrews 11!  It is through great faith that the kingdoms of this earth, within and without will be subdued.

Heb 11:32  And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets:

Heb 11:33  who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,

Heb 11:34  quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

Gideon, like all carnal men that walked before him and after him (doubting Thomas’s), will be seeking after signs in our unbelief.  Yet the Lord knows this and as the Potter set it up this way.

Joh 4:48  Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. 

Gideon waited for the gathering of his own people to ask the Lord for the signs of the fleece.  The Lord gives the immature signs to counter unbelief of being chosen of God to do the seemingly impossible.  The Lord helped Moses out with the same challenge in unbelief taking place while dwelling with many Midianites.

Exo 4:4  And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand:

Exo 4:5  That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.

The Lord even gave Moses a second sign of the hand with leprosy being healed.  But as was later seen in Exodus, these signs convert nobody in a lasting way.  It takes the death of the firstborn (the first Adam) to convert the carnal mind and eliminate our doubts.  The real sign and our conversion process comes about little by little, by the process of maturity that is symbolized in the number three.

Mat 12:40  For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth

Seeking and inquiring about God’s will is a good thing and we should be going to the source that is the Word which is the lamp unto our feet (Psa 119:105).  It is even commanded that we seek wisdom from the Lord which includes confirmation from the Lord and His multitude of counselors.

1Ch 14:10  And David enquired of God, saying, Shall I go up against the Philistines? and wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto him, Go up; for I will deliver them into thine hand.

Pro 11:14  Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

We see the same admonishment from the Lord to ask and the promise that it shall be given (Jas 1:5).

Mat 7:8  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

With Israel’s forces now gathered together, Gideon asks the Lord to confirm his calling.

Jdg 6:36  And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said, 

Jdg 6:37  Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. 

Jdg 6:38  And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water. 

Jdg 6:39  And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. 

Jdg 6:40  And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground. 

Asking God for signs to prove something He has already told us, is missing the mark of the higher calling and as such it is sin.  But even our sins (Isa 63:17) and our immaturity (Ecc 3:1) is all the Lord’s work in us (Isa 64:8).  We are given these experiences of Gideon and all the Patriarchs to teach us how we should walk and to learn about the process (1Co 10:11) of our salvation.

Rom 15:4  For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

2Co 5:7  For we walk by faith, not by sight (By fleeces)

Gideon, like all of God’s people, is full of hypocrisy and inequity when first called of God.  But here is the best news that reminds us that salvation and our victory is not up to us but it is up to the Lord.

Rom 5:8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 

Let’s now look at the symbols of the signs of the fleece and then we can know what Gideon was really asking for because all of these words are signified.  The truth is hidden in symbols and parables.  The Scriptures mean what they mean not what they literally say.

Hos 12:10  I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.

Mar 4:11  And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 

Fleece:  Fleece is the cutting (shearing) of wool from a sheep (or a goat) that represent our own works.  We are the sheep of His pasture and our own works are what keeps us warm and covering our sin (nakedness) until it is all exposed in our baptism with fire (Rev 3:18).  In the positive (Heb 4:11), fleece is our covering, when we are young and immature which protects us from the elements of the earth.  In the negative, this wool represents the self-righteousness of the law and carnal thinking that we are saving ourselves.  This covering will make us (the priests of God) to sweat versus resting in Christ and wearing His clothes.

Eze 44:17  And it shall come to pass, that when they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall come upon them, whiles they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within.

Eze 44:18  They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with anything that causeth sweat. 

As we progress from being young to mature, we cease being double minded and conflicted and mixing and matching our spiritual clothing.

Deu 22:11  Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.

Gideon asking God to make the fleece wet with dew is asking for confirmation that the works of our hands in doing His service will be blessed.  A good request albeit an immature mindset.  Applying the spiriutal significance of dew makes this clearer.

The Dew:  In the positive dew signifies the blessings of God that water the earth and bring Israel abundance and fertility (Gen 27:28; Deu 33:13,  Zec 8:12).  Dew is the Word that waters the earth in our youth (immaturity) when our heavens are still shaded in darkness before we are given the former and latter rains.

Gen 2:5  And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.

Gen 2:6  But there went up a mist (dew) from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.

Dew in the negative reflects immaturity as dew cannot remain in the heat of the day, meaning the heavy trials that come with our baptism by fire.

Hos 13:3  Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud, and as the early dew that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney

Dew in the physical world is water gathering from condensation mostly at night.   Condensation occurs when the surface radiates its heat and the water droplets accumulate faster than they are evaporated in the cooler air.  Applying the lesson of Romans 1:20, spiritual dew is a blessing, as water is needed to bring life.  The accumulation of water signifies us growing and standing in faith, in our trials and is the favor of God given a very precious few.

Deu 32:2  My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:

Pro 19:12  The king’s wrath is as the roaring of a lion; but his favour is as dew upon the grass.

The absence of Dew or Dry:  The absence of God’s dew or rain on a surface reflects a cursed condition.  A land without dew or rain is a dry land which is a place of famine and where nothing will grow or increase in the Lord (Amo 8:11, Hag 1:10, Deu 28:24).  Confronting the enemies of God begins by the withholding of the moisture (dew and rain) that is needed to sustain life.

1Ki 17:1  And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

When it’s hot and when the sun is on the land no dew will be found.  The symbolism of a dry earth is a land (the old man, the rejected King Saul) that is under judgment where the heat and fiery sun of God’s Word is beating down.  The curse of the old man is the blessing for the new man and the other side of the two-edged sword.

Rev 16:9  And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

2Sa 1:21  “O mountains of Gilboa, Let there be no dew nor rain upon you, Nor fields of offerings. For the shield of the mighty is cast away there! The shield of Saul, not anointed with oil.

The Ground/Earth:  The land or earth referenced here is the threshing floor (Jdg 6:11) which is where we create spiritual food out of the crops the Lord is giving us.  That food nourishing the new man, is the dying body of the old man (Num 14:9) as we begin to judge the land.  Christ increases, and the old man is decreased and consumed.

Joh 6:54  Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

A land without dew is a land under judgment bearing God’s wrath which is exactly what is needed to cleanse of the innumerable Midianites.  Lest there be any confusion, it is a good thing for judgment to be on the land within us, that is the process that is saving us (Exo 6:6, Isa 26:9, Rev 15:8, etc).

Isa 1:27  Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.

Asking for our works (the fleece) to be blessed is asking our earth (Jer 22:9) to be cursed and the dew withheld.  That is the way of salvation and how the Midianites are being cleared from the promised land.  The second sign flips this as in the end God’s moisture that is His Word must cover the earth for green things to grow and ultimately the more mature fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22).

We are all Gideon that first need assurance that the Lord has truly chosen us to work in His Kingdom. Such is the objective of the first sign of the fleece. Will God bless our works in His service and bring what is needed to deliver us (Israel) of the Midianites?   The Lord answers these petitions in bringing us blessings to confirm His Word in us as we begin to get small victories (Zec 4:10) on the road to overcoming the Midianites.

Luk 10:17  And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils (lying spirits) are subject unto us through thy name.

Secondly, those chosen of the Lord need assurance the fruit of our work for Him is being blessed.  Asking the ground to be wet with dew and the fleece (our own works) to be dry is the better and more mature request.  It is the inward works and fruit that is most important and where the Lord looks for righteousness.   Asking for the reverse sign of the dew (blessing), is Gideon asking for a blessing for the promised land that is Israel.  This is a good prayer as our obedience, ruling over sin, brings forth the blessings to the land.

Deu 28:8  The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

The Lord is always working good through evil (Gen 50:20).  Seeking assurances that the Lord is blessing the land with the dew, shows us the purpose of spiritual warfare (judgment) that “is, was and will be” necessary to sanctify the land within and without in the appointed times. Gideon does not know any of this yet, but his story is written to minister to us (1Pe 1:9-12).

Mat 10:34  Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

Mat 24:6  And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

Amazingly enough, Gideon is still not done needing signs from the Lord to bolster his faith.   When it comes time to actually fight by faith, Gideon becomes fearful again and a man is sent by the Lord to reveal a dream (a sign) that turned his fear (Jdg 7:9-15).  We are blessed for believing without seeing because our trust in the Lord with all of ourselves is rewarded.  It is commanded that we NOT prove or try the Lord. However,  there is one exception where the Lord wants us to try Him and to prove Him.  He wants to pour more blessings out upon us as He rewards those who seek Him in faith.

Mal 3:10  Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Luk 6:38  Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Now being given the two signs of the fleece, Gideon, is strengthened and blows the trumpet and prepares Israel for battle (Judges 7).  Next, the Lord will have more lessons for us in the life of Gideon including the parable of reducing the assembled 32,000 strong army down to just 300 men.   That story and parable has great spiritual significance and has been the subject of many detailed studies and FAQ on the various Body of Christ websites.  We will bring that to our remembrance and look further into Gideon which is teaching us about our experience in living by every word.

Sincere questions and comments are always welcome. You can also email me directly at peterjwilson56@gmail.com

Studies

The Raising Up of Gideon

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For Our Admonition Part 15

“The Raising Up of Gideon”

Key Verses:  Jdg 6:11 – 6:27

We continue with the events of Judge Gideon who is being raised up to deliver Israel of the Midianites nations that have invaded and impoverished the land.  As we saw in our last study this bondage to and our deliverance from these nations are all parables of our personal and inward battle with our own flesh (Mat 10:36).  We are living by every Word (Mat 4:4).

1Co 3:21  Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;

Gideon delivers a mighty deliverance in Israel but before this can take place, Gideon is being prepared to lead the war. We will see more detail on the preparing of Gideon than the other judges of Israel which is instructive to how we are found by the Lord and called up to be judges in our own time within the Kingdom of God (Luk 17:21, 1Co 10:11).  After first sending a prophet to prepare the way, a mightier one (Jdg 6:8, Mat 3:11), an angel of the Lord is sent to Gideon.

Jdg 6:11  And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. 

Jdg 6:12  And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour

 This angel of the Lord is Jesus Christ who has come to call Gideon (me and you) into His service in delivering Israel through judgment.  This preparation takes time as we have to be converted or regenerated first.  All these events in Judges being a shadow of the true regeneration to come.

Mat 19:28  And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Gideon was already searching for the truth of God’s word to feed the hunger and zeal the Lord puts into us all before He actually appears.  That is what threshing of wheat speaks of as we labor to find the truth and feed our impoverished spirit.   The fact this is done in a winepress reflects the oppression Gideon is feeling as judgment has already come to his house (1Pe 4:17).

Gideon is not yet a mighty man of valor, having not yet done anything of merit to date.  Yet a pillar of truth that will get us through challenging times is to see it how the Lord sees things.

Rom 4:17  (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. 

 Meaning of Gideon

Gideon, a Manassite, is found in the city of Ophrah.  Ophrah means dusty fawn or a young deer/roe.  Being in Ophrah [comes from H6082] is a symbol of our spiritual youth and immaturity when we first meet Christ and the angel comes to us.  In this state of “dusty” maturity, we are yet carnal and will be sitting under our own tree.  All men are likened to trees in Scriptures and all that come to Christ are being found sitting under their own tree (mindset) serving God in the flesh before we are being converted and given the mind of Christ (1Co 2:16) and submit to the multitude of counselors in the living Christ.

Mic 4:4  But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.

Mic 4:5  For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.

Christ is the true vine, but we are not being able to sit under Him and abide in Him until our day of visitation, which is the day the angels find us sitting under our own tree.

Gideon means warrior and is derived from the word used to define a feller or a hewer as in trees.  Cutting down large trees is exactly what judging Israel does as the old man’s mindset and our idols of our hearts (the wood) is all burned up by the axe and the fire (Pro 26:20).  Fellers uses axes and that is what the judges of Jesus Christ are in the day of the Lord within us and in the life of our brethren.  It is with Gideon and all the judges of Israel that the Midianites are being destroyed, and peace and rest restored to the Promised Land.

Mat 3:10  And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Jer 51:20  Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;

Iron sharpening iron (Pro 27:17) is an axe head sharpening an axe head and that is how we all are being remade and matured in the ways of God.

Gideon is also the son of Joash the Abiezrite.  These many levels of information are all relevant and add to our understanding.  Joash [H3101] traces back to Jehoash which means a fiery son of GodAn Abiezrite [H33] is a descendant of Abiezer [H44] which comes from root words that mean helper or father of help.  Righteous judges in Israel back then and today (in the Body of Christ) are warriors, fiery sons of God and helpers/servants of one another.

2Co 1:24  Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.

Jer 5:14  Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

Meeting the angel of the Lord is a type of Christ being born within us who will deliver Israel of the Midianites.

Isa 9:4  For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.

Isa 9:5  For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.

Isa 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

All chosen by the Lord are given a new name in Christ (Isa 62:2, Rev 2:17, Rev 3:12).  That is the pattern of Scripture including: Saul to Paul, Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israel, Simon to Peter (Cephas), and later as Gideon grows in faith he is known as Jerubbaal after his first conquest. Gideon’s father, Joash, gives him a new name after his first conquest in throwing down the altar of Baal.

Jdg 6:32  Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar.

Let Baal contend is what this means and the significance for us is once anointed and sent by the Lord we will henceforth be contending against Baal and the wicked and carnal world within and without.

We see the immaturity of Gideon immediately manifest in the questions and later the signs Gideon asks which are the same questions and requests we have in our day of Midian.

Jdg 6:13  And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites. 

Jdg 6:14  And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee? 

Jdg 6:15  And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.

What is impossible with man is possible with the Lord.  First off we can see that Gideon does not yet see the Lord’s hand in all things and in particular the evil oppression that was in Israel.  To the young and immature being delivered into the hands of our enemies after being delivered from the bondage of the world (Egypt) and seeing many great signs and wonders does not make sense.

Hab 1:3  Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.

Hab 1:4  Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.

To destroy flesh and our dependency on it, Habakkuk (Hab 2:4) and we are learning to live by faith and that is the purpose of Israel being vexed by our own flesh.

Gal 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 

Our flesh and carnal lusts are all part of the Lord’s sword/rod (Psa 17:13, Isa 10:5) used against us, our old man and sinful nature to humble us and correct us into obedience by our own innate wickedness (Jer 2:19, Eze 36:27).

2Sa 12:10  Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.

2Sa 12:11  Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.

We can do nothing apart from Christ and being in bondage to our flesh and the Midianites and Moabites within, leads us to call upon the Lord. Hence the Lord is working all things for good, even the evil within us.

Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

The second thing we notice in Gideon’s reaction to the Angel is that he like everyone chosen of the Lord never feels worthy.  It is because we are NOT WORTHY of ourselves.  We are only worthy by the power and Spirit of Christ that has been freely given to us.

1Co 1:27  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

1Co 1:28  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

The list of witnesses to not feeling worthy is very long with the Patriarchs, many of the prophets and even the first King of Israel.

Exo 4:10  And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

1Sa 9:21  And Saul answered and said, Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou so to me?

God’s chosen are indeed Jesus Christ but not by themselves.  We are only Jesus Christ if we are connected to the Body of Christ, the living church, who has as their Head the Lord.  It is through this ONE MAN and ONE MIND that the Midianites are being smitten.

Jdg 6:16  And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man

This one man is Jesus Christ. Being knitted (woven) together in love by our trials, the Pro 31 “virtuous woman” that is The Christ is also the one man under the headship of the Lord.  That is how the true Israel confronts evil and fights the fight of faith and delivers the land.

Jdg 20:11  So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, knit together as one man. 

1Co 12:12  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

Eph 5:30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Eph 5:31  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 

Eph 5:32  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

It is a house divided that shall not stand (Satan and the carnal mind).  The mind of Christ is united in ONENESS with the Lord and God, the Father (Eph 2:18).

Having been given the battle objective of smiting the Midianites as one man, Gideon ask for his first sign to bolster his faith and do something to feel worthy of this calling.

Jdg 6:17  And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me. 

Jdg 6:18  Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present, and set it before thee. And he said, I will tarry until thou come again. 

Jdg 6:19  And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it. 

Jdg 6:20  And the angel of God said unto him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so. 

Jdg 6:21  Then the angel of the LORD put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the LORD departed out of his sight. 

An immature “yet carnal” mindset (an adulterous and evil generation), one that has not yet been through the baptism by fire, is always asking for a sign to help them believe.

Mat 12:39  But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:

Mat 12:40  For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

The number three signifies the process of our spiritual maturity which comes by fiery trials (1Pe 4:13) and many tribulations (Act 14:22).  The only sign given by the Lord is the sign that judgment is now on those of the Household of faith (1Pe 4:17), who are the Temple of the living God (1Co 3:16).  The sign of Jonah is being encompassed by our flesh (the Midianites) in similar language to the more familiar Psalm 107.

Jon 2:3  For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.

Jon 2:4  Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.

Jon 2:5  The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.

Jon 2:6  I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.

Jon 2:7  When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.

The Lord takes time to prepare us for service and drag us to Him little by little.  The Angel agrees to tarry and wait for Gideon to prepare himself by bringing his own offering.  Gideon returns bringing a kid of a goat symbolizing his dedication to the Lord.  Kids are to be sacrificed as a sin offering in many parts of the Law including monthly offerings and the feast of Tabernacles.

Num 29:11  One kid of the goats for a sin offering; beside the sin offering of atonement, and the continual burnt offering, and the meat offering of it, and their drink offerings.

A kid is a young goat, signifying again the trials and baptisms that lie ahead as Gideon and we progress to offering up bullocks and ultimately our whole being as we learn to walk by the law of faith versus the self-righteous law of Moses (the letter).  The Lord’s Temple must be consecrated and prepared for service by these offerings.  The OT ritual is just a shadow of the New Testament reality that our life must be sacrificed as the second sacrifice for sin (Lev 16).

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your divine service.

The offering is laid upon the Rock which is Christ.  That is how the Lord builds His Church (Mat 16:18) and is the foundation the elect lay and build upon by faith.

1Co 3:11  For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Laying down our lives is the old man being boiled in the broth which is the fiery Word and water of the Word that is sanctifying us.  That life is being poured out upon the altar (cross) as we die daily with Christ.  Then we can be used of the Lord and His Glory fills the house.

Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so, we also should walk in newness of life.

Click here for IWWB FAQ Article on Gideon’s Offering

Gideon’s offering is touched by the rod that is the Word of God and fire which consumes the offering. Thus, we see how sacrificing ourselves is how the old man and carnal mind (the wood) is going to be consumed by the Lord (Heb 12:29).  This tarrying for this sacrifice and the bringing of fire upon it is a type and shadow of the NT reality of how we must wait on the Lord to endue us with power before we are sent to do battle.

Luk 24:49  And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Seeing the fire begin to work in our heavens opens our eyes and we begin to see the spiritual truths of God’s Word.  This is a mighty sign of Jonas indeed when we have seen a fire handling and speaking Angel of the Lord (Rev 14:18, Rev 19:10, Jer 5:14).

Jdg 6:22  And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord GOD! for because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face. 

Jdg 6:23  And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die. 

Jdg 6:24  Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. 

The Angel speaks comfort and peace to Gideon (the new man) similar to these words.

Joh 14:27  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Joh 11:25  Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 

This was Gideon’s initial participation in a baptism.  There are many steps and progressions of baptisms that are all part of the ONE Baptism (Eph 4:5, Mat 3:11) that is, was and will be saving us in our day of the Lord (Midian).

Mar 16:16  He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

An altar is where Israel gave gifts and offerings to the Lord.  The living sacrifices of the Lord are consecrated (dedicated) before the Lord.  Under the law of faith, that altar is none other than the cross of Jesus Christ where we go to die with Him so we can live with Him.

Gal 2:20  I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

An altar is the place of our gifts and offerings.  Gideon is already progressing in faith and as he quickly builds an altar dedicated to the Lord and names it Jehovahalom which means Jehovah is peace.  This altar is in Ophrah to this day tells and tells of the importance of establishing peace with God by dedicating ourselves to His Word.

Rom 5:1  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (The Word)

2Co 5:18  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

Like Gideon, our offerings and altar building, both progress as we mature in the faith.  The ultimate and final altar we are building for the Lord is the cross.

Rev 6:9  And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held

Luk 9:23  And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Luk 9:24  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

Our sanctification, the cleansing of the Promised Land within, including the purging of the Midianites, is going to require Gideon (and us) to give everything we have.

Heb 9:13  For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:

Heb 9:14  How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Gideon is settled and at peace in this early stage of his spiritual maturity.  The Lord immediately tries his faith and sends him to tear down the altars of Baal and build an altar to the Lord in its place.  This is the most basic beginnings of spiritual warfare to replace the lies of our hearts with the Truth.

Jdg 6:25  And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father’s young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: 

Jdg 6:26  And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. 

Jdg 6:27  Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father’s household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night. 

 Gideon’s first test of faith is to tear down the altars dedicated to Baal and build a new altar on the rock that is Jesus Christ.  We will see Gideon’s immaturity again when the time comes to be a doer of the Word.  He still feared men and was not yet able to tear down Baal’s altars in the daytime but only in the night.  We will Lord willing, pick the story up here next study.

Sincere questions and comments are always welcome.  You can also email me directly at peterjwilson56@gmail.com.  Be pleased to be a helper of your joy (2Co 1:24).

FAQS

Sects in the New Testament

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Note:  This is an addendum to a prior post on Cult Accusations Against the Body of Christ. That post can be found here:  Cult Accusations Against Christ

Sects in the NT

 The Pharisees were considered a sect in the NT and so were the Sadducees:

Act 15:5  But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.

Act 5:17  Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation,

Paul was a Pharisee [Acts 26:5] in his youth and was also called a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes. Christ was called a Nazarene, from the city, Nazareth [Matt 2:23]. Paul was a follower of Christ, thus called a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.

Act 24:5  For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:

 Whilst in Rome as a prisoner, the Jews that came to Paul’s lodging, said this about the sect of the Nazarenes:

 Act 28:22  But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken against.

But Paul also was under the Nazarite vow. Let us now briefly consider being under the vow of the Nazarites as given by the Lord through Moses [Num 6:1-2], seeing that Paul took the vow of a Nazarite, coming out from under this vow as he was maturing in Christ. We know that Paul in his earlier walk was keeping the feasts [Acts 18:21] and purifying himself signifying the accomplishment of the days of purification [Acts 21:26]. He was under the vow of the Nazarites, separating himself unto God.

Act 18:18  And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.

This typifies us, as babes in Christ [1Co 3:1-4]. The Nazarite vow typifies the immature carnal zeal which is typical of carnal babes in Christ. A Nazarite makes his zeal known to all, by separating himself through a vow [Num 6:2]. He wants everybody to know that he is not like other men looking down on the publican [Luk 18:11]. We notice the three requirements of this vow [shadow] and what this is spiritually representing to us, Christ’s sons.

1] The Nazarite was forbidden to drink wine or strong drink or touching anything made of the fruit of the vine.

Num 6:3  He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried.

This sounds so special. Here is the NT witness or parallel to this exclusiveness:

1Co 1:4  I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;

1Co 1:5  That in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;

1Co 1:6  Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:

1Co 1:7  So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 

But is this holiness really so glorious or is there something that excels?

2Co 3:6  Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

2Co 3:7  But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:

2Co 3:8  How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?

2Co 3:9  For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

2Co 3:10  For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.

As spiritual Nazarites at the beginning of our walk, we too, do many wonderful works under this vow [type] [Matt 7:22-23] while we spiritually walk this out in our immaturity. We are blind as bats, as Samson, the lifelong Nazarite [Judges 13:5], whose eyes were put out [Judges 16:21] to then see, being made blind first [John 9:39-41, NT parallel]. Paul was three days without sight [Acts 9:9]. The symbolism of not being permitted to drink, eat or touch anything concerned with the vine tree or the fruit of the vine, is the symbol of Christ and His Words [Matt 26:26-29].

Luk 22:20  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

Joh 15:4  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

Joh 15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

After the days of our separation [type and shadow], we now partake of the fruit of the vine. We are now mature enough to partake of Christ, eat His meat and drink His blood [John 6:53].

2] The Nazarite could not cut the locks of his hair [Num 6:5] which symbolizes his own self-righteous works.

We know we have to exceed the righteousness of the law.

Mat 5:19  Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 5:20  For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

 What is the spiritual reality for us, after our vow [type] is fulfilled [when we mature in Christ]? We can cut our hair and live by a much more mature law. The symbolism of not being permitted to cut one’s hair, short hair being the symbol of the man who is the head of the woman, means in the spiritual language that Christ’s Spirit in us is ruling over our souls. This only comes as we are maturing through much sorrow of having fiery trials.

 1Co 11:3  But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

1Co 11:4  Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.

 1Co 11:14  Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 

 3] The Nazarite could not touch a dead body until the days of his vow was fulfilled.

Num 6:6  All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body.

Num 6:7  He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die: because the consecration of his God is upon his head.

 As spiritual Nazarites in type and shadow, we, are not able to eat all things or esteem every day alike at the beginning [Rom 14]. But as maturing sons, we reckon ourselves dead with Christ, dying daily [1Co 15:31] [Gal 2:20] and make ourselves unclean for Christ’s Body [type and shadow] filling up what is behind of the afflictions of Christ.

Rom 6:11  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Col 1:24  Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church

 Paul, as a Nazarite, in the beginning, did not understand that the Lord is making Himself one new man and only whilst in Rome, not being under this vow anymore, now declares these Words:

Eph 2:11  Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

Eph 2:12  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

Eph 2:13  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Eph 2:14  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; ………. Eph 2:19   

 Coming out from under the Nazarite vow, all spiritual Nazarites Lord willing, will get past the need for any vows [type and shadow, when our separation is fulfilled] and will be made able and ready to follow Christ who says this concerning any vows:

Mat 5:34  But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:

Mat 5:35  Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

Mat 5:36  Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

Mat 5:37  But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

 Summary

We, as the sons of God, members of the many membered body of Christ, only have the Truth and His Spirit to ward off the fiery darts of our enemies. The Words of Christ never puts us to shame. Christ’s Words are Life [John 6:63]. The carnal world does not understand the Truths we hold and cherish [Joh 12:38].

2Co 13:8  For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.

Dan 12:9  And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

Dan 12:10  Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

We, as the true Bride of Christ, are not members of a cult, but reformers as is Christ because as He is, so are we [1 John 4:17]. We rest in Him because He is our Sabbath.

 

Studies

The Coming War With the Midianites

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Note:  Audio recording had technical error and will need to be redone.  A great discussion lost but that too all the Lord’s doing

For Our Admonition 14

 “The Coming War With the Midianites”

Key Verses: Jdg 6:1 – Jdg 6:10

We continue in the book of Judges and begin looking at the story of Gideon.  This will be a multi-part study with many spiritual lessons contained in the signified words of Judges Chapters 6-8 as the Midianites subdue the land and the Lord uses this evil to teach and admonish Israel.  The pattern of the prior judge dying off and the children of Israel soon returning to doing evil repeats itself.

Jdg 6:1  And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years. 

Jdg 6:2  And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds

Jdg 6:3  And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them; 

Jdg 6:4  And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass. 

Jdg 6:5  For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; for both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it. 

Jdg 6:6  And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD. 

Jdg 6:7  And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD because of the Midianites, 

Jdg 6:8  That the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage; 

Jdg 6:9  And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drave them out from before you, and gave you their land; 

Jdg 6:10  And I said unto you, I am the LORD your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice. 

 We should be noticing a pattern and Lord willing begin to apply this in our walk.  Our oppression and vexation by heathen enemies is the punishment (curse) for our disobedience. This is the grace of God in action, the experience of evil that is humbling us (Ecc 1:13 CLV).

Deu 28:20  The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.

These wicked inward (and outward) nations are part of His sword that will be used for good and turning the hearts of Israel back to the Lord.  Nothing is being wasted as the Lord makes wicked people and creates evil all for the good of His people.

Psa 17:13  Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword:

The Lord’s answer to us (Israel) doing evil is to send more trouble to us to enslave us further.

Isa 45:7  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Pro 16:4  The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

To turn the hearts of a rebellious and disobedient Israel (you and me) the Lord is sending the wicked to bring us to our wits end where we cry out for deliverance and learn obedience.

Tit 2:11  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

Tit 2:12  Teaching (chastening) us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Like the Moabites, the Midianites are inward enemies, part of our own household of flesh, that must be overcome because they will keep us from walking by faith.   Their origins come from Midian, the son of Abraham’s concubine wife Keturah (Gen 25:1-2).  There are two seeds of Abraham, one of flesh and one of Spirit, but only the seed of Isaac is given the promise who are the chosen of God.  Our fleshly seed (old man) is being destroyed and in the process is being used to save the spiritual seed (the new man) in faith.

Rom 9:6  Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 

Rom 9:7  Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.

Children of the East:

While the Midianites are central, this time of Israel’s history involved related nations all found to the east of Israel.  It was the Midianites who are also the Ishmaelites who buy Joseph (the new man in us) and take him to slavery in Egypt (Gen 37:28).  The offspring of Ishmael and Midian, both being sons of concubines are sent to dwell in the east signifying this separation with Israel who is given faith.  Men or children of the east are men of the FLESH versus the children of the Spirit of Christ who abide in the west.

Gen 25:6  But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country. 

The men and kings of the east (Rev 16:12) symbolize Babylon which is the seed of Abraham (called) but not the seed that is chosen and born of the Spirit.  It is in the east where we all must go (Isaac, Moses) when called of God and from where we will be called out (Gen 29:1, Exo 2:15, Rev 18:4) in the appointed time.  Children of the east are known for wisdom and are rich (Job) and increased of goods having many cattle and camels.

The Meaning of Midian:

The name Midian comes from a word of the same name that means contention and comes from H4066 that means strife and contention.

H4079, midyân, mid-yawn’A variation for H4066: – brawling, contention (-ous).

contentions, 4

H4066, mâdôn

strife, 7

contention, 3

contentious, 3

discord, 1

Midianites and Moabites go hand and glove and are aligned with our carnal mind that is always at enmity with the ways of the Lord (Rom 8:7).  The Midianites work with Moab, the Amalekites and other children of the east to curse Israel and cause Israel to sin.

Num 22:7  So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the diviner’s fee in their hand, and they came to Balaam and spoke to him the words of Balak.

Num 31:16  Look, these women caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass against the LORD in the incident of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.

We are commanded to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2Co 10:3-5).  An Old Testament version of this command is this.

Num 25:17  Vex the Midianites, and smite them:

Num 25:18  For they vex you with their wiles, wherewith they have beguiled (seduced) you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi ….

If we do not obey the Lord, we will be recompensed with more evil and more enemies who will compass about us and cause us to err in judgment.

Hab 1:3  Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. 

Hab 1:4  Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth

Being enslaved to the Midianites is another type and shadow of our being enslaved in Babylon.  Being enslaved to strife and contention is the manifestation of unbelief and a yet carnal mindset.  Unity is replaced by division, strife and envy.

1Co 3:3  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

The fiery Word is necessary for judgment to burn all the wood and carnal mindedness up.

Pro 26:20 Where no wood (carnal mindedness) is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.

Pro 26:21  As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife. 

Strife and contention represent the mirror opposite of the peace and rest that those in the faith are to be dwelling.

Jas 3:14  But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

Jas 3:15  This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

Jas 3:16  For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

Midianites in large numbers bring envy, pride and all works of the flesh to the forefront and thus are good in helping us examine ourselves and how we conduct ourselves in the house of God.

2Co 10:12  For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

Php 2:3  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Pride and envy and other such fleshly lusts and emotions stir up strife and discord and cause us to exalt ourselves and seek dominion over others including the new man within.

Pro 28:25  He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.

When the Midianites are strong in the land, Israel is unable to work the land and hides out in the dark caves and strong holds created by our defiled mindset.

Jdg 6:2  And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds

Jdg 6:3  And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them; 

Jdg 6:4  And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass.

Midianites and their coalition partners (Amalekites, children of the east) take away all of Israel’s sustenance including their animals that work and provide food.  Such is the curse of our disobedience to the commands.

Deu 28:31  Thine ox shall be slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof: thine ass shall be violently taken away from before thy face, and shall not be restored to thee: thy sheep shall be given unto thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue them.

When strife and contention is in control there is little good we can do for the Lord and our service is greatly diminished. Being bitter about our fiery trials and chastening is an attitude and thought pattern we are taking captive to bear fruit for God.

Heb 12:14  Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

Heb 12:15  Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

There is little produced for the Lord when the Midianites are in control of the Promised Land.  All of Israel’s (our) sustenance is taken away and we are unable to feed ourselves or others the Truth of the Lord.  Without any sustenance, we come into a place called Spiritual Gaza.  The name Gaza comes from a root word H5794 and H5810 that appropriately tells us of our demeanor and thought life when the Midianites within oppressing Israel are.  Being vehement, harsh, fierce and greedy are traits of our flesh and selfish carnal mindset that will suppress the fruit and good works the Lord demands of His people.

H5794, az

From H5810; strong, vehement, harsh: – fierce, + greedy, mighty, power, roughly, strong.

The Midianites presence in Israel removes the sheep, the oxen and the asses from Israel.  Midianite thoughts (spirits) are destroying and taking God’s people captive who are the sheep of His pasture (Psa 100:3).  Instead of feeding the sheep of the Lord (Joh 21), we all first go astray for a time becoming spiritual wolves instead that are devouring the sheep through covetousness and strife.

Eze 22:27  Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.

Deu 5:21  Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour’s wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or anything that is thy neighbour’s. 

Midianites defile our heavens and earth and bring and keep SELF as our top priority.

Joh 10:11  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Joh 10:12  But he that is an hireling (wolf), and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

An ox is a symbol of the power and strength within us to increase our spiritual wealth and health.  The land within must be worked and tilled and the ox is the best spiritual animal the Lord has given to Israel to use (no horses allowed).

Pro 14:4  Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.

The Midianites spirits are causing us to err from the Lord and work the land (examining ourselves) and making the necessary corrections in our walk (Mat 7:5, 2Co 13:5).  Our ox falls into a ditch and is not returned (Exo 23:4) and Israel suffers a season of spiritual depravity. In a like manner, the asses or donkeys of the land are also found no more.  All of God’s people come into the Christ (the City of God) riding a young donkey which is representing of our beastly nature and already being humbled by trials that are dragging us to Christ (Joh 6:44).  We come meekly as little children to the living God.   That is the attitude we lose with Midianites in control.

Mat 21:5  Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

The Midianites separate us from the brethren and bring division between us and Christ that oppress and vex us until the Lord brings deliverance.  Without any sheep, oxen or donkeys we are doomed to remain in bondage to our enemies.  We need the ability to walk in the Spirit or else we have no hope but to fulfill the lusts of our flesh.

Gal 5:16  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Gal 5:17  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Gal 5:19  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

Gal 5:20  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies …

Whereas the lies of Babylon and the harlot are said to be 200 Million (Rev 9:16), the numbering of the Midianites is said to be without number.

Jdg 6:5  For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; for both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it. 

Ultimately, the Midianites represent all mankind or the whole world in the same way we know Babylon is much more than just the orthodox churches of men.  Looking ahead we see a second witness to the “without number” count of this enemy and their camels.

Jdg 7:12  And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.

All of mankind represents both the sands of the sea (Rev 7:9) and the stars of heaven (Gen 15:5) that cannot be numbered and who are opposed to Christ, but will all be converted in the end (Gen 16:10). This whole world hates Christ and will come against us as Israel.

Joh 15:19  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

Cattle signify possessions or riches which are the lusts of the flesh (1Joh 2:15-16) that the Midianites within covet and trust in, versus the sure Words of the Lord.  The word for cattle H4735 is also translated as possessions and even the word substance as we see in Job 1:3 and 1:10.

Job 1:3  His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.

It takes judgment by a judge to bring the wrath and fire of the Word to awaken us to our sickened and naked “self-righteous” spiritual condition (Rev 3:17).  True riches, the kind the Lord loves is His righteousness that is the gold we are told to be buying in the fire of judgment.  Buying gold in this fire is our selling all that we own.  This is how we as the “rich young ruler” are learning to follow the Lord.

Luk 18:22  Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

The land east of Israel in the natural is a dry and desert place which is a good fit for camels (Rom 1:20).  These large beasts carry our fleshly burdens and represent our carnal Babylonish thoughts.  Camels are also a symbol of worldly riches (store of fat and water) that are the outward righteousness of the law that impresses men but does not fool God (1Sa 16:7, 1Ki 10:2).  Gulping down this outward righteousness is how we swallow a camel.

Mat 23:24  Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

Mat 23:25  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

Mat 23:26  Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

Our camels are ultimately bowing down at the well of Christ when we are being given our new wife that is the Body of Christ (Gen 24:11).  The judgment upon the Midianites and the deliverance of Israel is a type and shadow of our self-righteous camel coming through the needle’s eye.

Luk 18:25  For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Luk 18:27  And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.

We have learned in other studies that lies and false doctrines are the locusts (grasshoppers as used here) that blot out the truth and keep us focused on carnal things.  Such is the mindset of a Midianite that are in the promised land without number.  Gideon and all of the Lord’s judges have a gigantic task in front of us to subdue a gigantic Midianite army within and convert all men without when we judge the world in the lake of fire.  We know from the rest of Gideon’s story, that this enemy without number is conquered using a very small army (a little flock) of 300 men (1%) that was winnowed down from an initial 30,000.

Jdg 7:7  And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.

As we are being dragged to Christ, our spiritual impoverishment will torment us, and we will cry to the Lord for deliverance from our flesh and salvation from the Midianite oppression.

Jdg 6:6  And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD. 

Jdg 6:7  And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD because of the Midianites, 

Jdg 6:8  That the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage; 

Jdg 6:9  And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drave them out from before you, and gave you their land; 

Jdg 6:10  And I said unto you, I am the LORD your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice.

The Lord answers our cries and sends a messenger to speak the Word of truth and remind us of the many miracles and progress we have already made in coming out of Egypt (the world) and making it into the Promised Land.  Coming out the world’s (Egypt’s) bondage is a great beginning but there is more to being free in Christ.  We must also come out of Babylon and be freed from the oppressions of the lies and false doctrines of the world that masquerade as religion and self-righteousness.  The prophet is only the preparation stage of our baptism by fiery trials.  Christ and a Judge must follow and that is when the real war begins, and the land is reclaimed.

Mat 3:11  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

All men dwell in the land of the Amorites (Canaan – Gen 10:16) which are these clay vessels which are marred and made carnal by God’s sovereign design (Psa 51:5, Jer 18:4).

Eze 16:3  And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite.

It is by coming to know our marred origins and through the hope of our promised salvation that we are in the process of being saved in this age.

Rom 8:20  For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

We are told to “fear not” the Amorites which is our fearing men and not the Lord.  The Lord telling us here of our disobedience is to link the invasion of the Midianites to our disobedience.  This is an OT way of representing the grace of God that is saving us from our sins and working righteousness in our day of judgment.  The sooner we are given to fear the Lord and obey Him, the quicker the land is being cleansed and peace restored to Israel.

Rom 5:20  Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace (wars, fire, tribulations, etc) did much more abound:

A judge and savior are needed and is coming to cleanse the land of the Midianites. The Lord calls upon Gideon to do His mighty works in ridding Israel of the Midianite invaders that have impoverished Israel.  We will look further into the escapades of Gideon in future studies.

Jdg 6:11  And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.

Jdg 6:12  And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.

Sincere questions welcome.  You can also email me directly at peterjwilson56@gmail.com.

Your brother in Christ,  Pete