Studies

Remaining Vigilant and Overcoming Fear

Download mp3 study, right click “save as”

Discussion

For Our Admonition Part 17

“Remaining Vigilant and Overcoming Fear”

Key Verses:  Jdg 7:1 – Jdg 7:15

After being given the affirmative signs that the Lord was blessing Gideon’s work and the land would be blessed (signs of the dew), Gideon prepares to engage in warfare with the Midianite army.  This lesson is for us to learn of God’s ways in waging spiritual war against our inward enemies that are the carnal thoughts and lies that ensnare us all in unbelief.   Here is our first set of verses for this study.

Jdg 7:1  Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. 

Jdg 7:2  And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. 

Jdg 7:3  Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten. 

Jdg 7:4  And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. 

Jdg 7:5  So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. 

Jdg 7:6  And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. 

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. 

Jdg 7:8  So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all the rest of Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley. 

The army of Israel camping out at the well of Harod tells of Gideon’s yet fearful state of mind regarding the battle he has been tasked with leading for the Lord.   Camping at the well of Harod, which is a name only mentioned this one time in all of Scripture, signifies what we see more expressly in Jdg 7:10-11 which we will cover shortly.  Harod is Strong’s H5869 and means eyes and comes from a root word H2729 which means afraid and which well is referred to as fountain of tears or fountain of trembling.  We, like Gideon, even after being given mighty signs, still fear the flesh and going into the hot fire that is needed to wage spiritual warfare.  There is some growing still needed.

2Co 5:7  For we walk by faith, not by sight (our physical eyes or senses):

The young and immature new man will be greatly oppressed by design (Rom 8:20) by the heathen nations representing the carnal mind and its millions of lies and false doctrines (Rev 9:16).  We overcome our fears of men and fears of judgment by first giving into such fears and being overcome with fear.   The wisdom of God has us being strong in Spirit by first being shown we are weak in the flesh (2Co 12:10).  It’s only when we have no hope in ourselves that the Lord takes over.

Exo 14:14  The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

Psa 56:2  My enemies would hound me all day, For there are many who fight against me, O Most High.

Psa 56:3  Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.

Psa 56:4  In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?

Php 3:3  For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

We first find Moreh, the place of the Midianite camp, mentioned in the Bible as the place on the west side of the Jordan in the land of Canaan.  It was here the Lord spoke to a new journeyman Abram to encourage him.

Gen 12:6  And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.

Gen 12:7  And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.

Those words of the Lord were like rain on a dry earth which brings forth righteousness. The Midianites are camped by the hill or Moreh which means rain [H4175] and comes from a root [H3384] meaning to teach.  It takes the Word of God, the doctrines of Christ (God’s rain Deu 32:1) falling from the clouds and the heavens to bring judgment.  The assembly of the Midianites at Moreh in the valley of Jezreel signals that judgment has come to deliver the land. The former and latter rains (Words and doctrines of Christ) are what curses the old man and brings the blessing to the new man by way of judgment.

Joe 2:23  Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain [H4175]  moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain [H4175], and the latter rain in the first month.

Heb 6:7  For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:

The Midianite camps are strongholds and idols of carnal thinking that live in the valley and depressions of our earth.  Those valleys will be filled with spiritual blessings, which is the judgment of the old man.  That is how all flesh is being saved.

Luk 3:5  Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;

Luk 3:6  And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

The stage is set for the Judge of Israel (Christ in His Elect) to begin judging the nations and cleansing the land within us.  Yet there is a problem in that Gideon (and you and me in our immaturity and weakness of faith) is still afraid of the fight ahead. Christ becomes unattractive quickly when we realize there is more to it than knowing doctrine.

Luk 14:33  So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

There is no turning back.  We have to get over the hump and be willing to lose everything to be used of the Lord in judgment of the nations within and without.

Luk 17:32  Remember Lot’s wife.

Luk 17:33  Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.

What is the Lord’s response to us being weak in faith and still fearing the war with the flesh?  His ways are not our ways whatsoever!  Instead of giving us more resources to comfort us in our carnal reasoning, the Lord strips what little comfort we might have by taking away 99% of our army in reducing it from 32,000 to 300 men.  The winnowing down of the army is a well-known parable (Hos 12:10).  Coming to understand the Lord’s ways and fighting spiritual warfare always brings us back to faith and not trusting in our own abilities.  There are three primary lessons learned in the process of the Lord winnowing down Gideon’s army.

The first macro lesson is that God’s Elect, who is the Israel of God, is a very SMALL group.  It is indeed very few that make up His people and the army by which the nations are being and shall be judged and subdued is, was and will be.

Mat 22:14  “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Luk 12:32  Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

The Lord will have it be known that He is the Saviour and Deliverer and we are merely the instruments through which He works His greater works (Oba 1:21, Joh 14:12).

1Co 1:29  That no flesh should glory in his presence.

The Lord only appears to and is choosing this 1% (300/32000) who have been prepared to know they need repentance (Luk 15:7) and a Saviour to save them from their enemies.  It is this same small army by which the heathen nations within ourselves and without are judged by the fiery Word we speak (Jer 5:14) at the appointed times.  The battle with the Midianites is a type and shadow of this end time battle as Christ is revealed in us.

Rev 19:11  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

Rev 19:13  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

Rev 19:14  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

A second key lesson in this story of winnowing down the army, is that the fearful don’t make the cut and are unable to accomplish many miracles and good works in their unbelief.  Those not given the gift of faith will continue to fear men and are sent away as they cannot be used of the Lord.

Rev 22:15  For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Where faith lacks and unbelief rules, not many mighty works get done and that includes the works in purging the Midianites within us.

Mar 6:5  And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.

King Saul was rejected as king for his disobedience in not killing all the Amalekites.  His disobedience was because he feared men and obeyed them rather than God. This is our inward battle we fight every day with the Midianites.

1Sa 15:23  For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

1Sa 15:24  And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.

Twenty-two thousand (22,000) that feared went home leaving 10,000 in the camp.    The fearful have been purged yet there is more purging to prepare the weak and despised army of Christ for a successful conquest.

The third and most noteworthy lesson as it pertains to this parable is the requirement for vigilance (faithfulness) in our walk of faith.  The opposite of vigilance is lasciviousness where we turn the grace of God and the law of faith into a lazy justification (Jud 1:3) to stop striving at every turn to stay on this narrow road.  The NON-vigilant are not going to make it.

Rev 17:14  These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

We are not faithful when we are not vigilant in discerning between the good and the evil and acting in a godly way. We get there by experience and use.

2Co 10:3  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.

2Co 10:4  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,

Heb 5:14  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Lord willing, we are being given a spirit of vigilance and be chosen of the Lord to fight against the Midianites within ourselves so we can make that blessed and first holy resurrection.  The lapping of water like a dog or a leopard is a metaphor for what the Lord wants His army to be doing in always keeping guard and watching.

1Pe 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Mat 26:41  Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Luk 12:35  “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning;

Vigilance differs from a similar word “diligence” mainly in the aspect of watching. Both denote the act of being careful and being conscientiousness.  The vigilant keep watch or else so they will not be overcome and snared by Midianites and others evils.

Rev 3:3  Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Our failures to be vigilant require a repeat of the fiery grace lessons (Rom 5:20) and experiencing anew the wrath of God against our unbelieving and lascivious ways.

1Th 5:6  Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

1Th 5:7  For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

1Th 5:8  But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

With the army now reduced to 300 men, Gideon waits on the Lord who then gives the command to go take the Midianite camp.  The very thing that disqualified the majority of Gideon’s army, being fearful; has now afflicted Gideon, the judge and mighty man of valor in the making.  Gideon still fears even after the four times the Lord proclaimed victory (Jdg 6:14, 6:16; 7:7, 7:9) and despite having been given three confirming signs.

Jdg 7:9  And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand. 

Jdg 7:10  But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host: 

Jdg 7:11  And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host. 

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. 

Jdg 7:13  And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along. 

Jdg 7:14  And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host. 

Jdg 7:15  And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian. 

Until faith is given to the few, men of all kinds, even religious ones, remain in bondage to fear.  The shadow of true faith, the law of Moses, commanded that Israel be not afraid before engaging their enemies.  This law further requires the priests to come speak and encourage the people!  Sharing our testimony is what the Lord’s priests do in helping one another overcome their fears and reminding us often that the victory is already won.  It is the duty of God’s priests to lift up one another and bolster faith and confidence in what the Lord wills for His people that believe.  The battle truly is the Lord’s.

Deu 20:1  “When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.

Deu 20:2  So it shall be, when you are on the verge of battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people.

Deu 20:3  And he shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; 

Deu 20:4  for the LORD your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’

Overcoming fear of death takes strong faith and it is passing that point of maturity that brings lasting deliverance.

Heb 2:14  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

Heb 2:15  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 

Gideon, like all of us, is commanded to engage in war needs strengthening and encouragement by his fellow “neighbors and laborers” in the faith. The Lord tells Gideon to go with a servant named Phurah to the camp of Israel’s army and listen to what he hears spoken.  Phurah is a name only found in the Bible in these verses of Judges 7.  It comes from a root word H6288 meaning young branches, new shoots or sprigs like of a tree or plant.  Gideon is Phurah as he is still young in service yet he in shadow, like all the elect, are mighty men of valor that will be the instruments of judgment and salvation to the entire human race which is ALL ISRAEL (Mat 19:27, 1Co 6:2).  Being made ready requires us to walk with Christ through His Christ and be taught war.

Pro 24:5  A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Pro 24:6  For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.

1Ti 4:10  For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

1Ti 4:11  These things command and teach.

Angels of the Lord, our fellow brethren, who have walked before us are there to lead us through the tough times with comfort, encouragement and exhortation.  Even our Lord needed strengthening when in a body of weak flesh.

Luk 22:42  Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

Luk 22:43  And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 

Psa 34:7  The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. 

The KJV calls the man sharing his prophecy (dream) a “fellow” but that word is much more commonly translated as neighbor or friend.  We are friends of the Lord and true friends of one another when we obey God, which is how we love God and one another (1Jo 5:3, Joh 15:14).  It is our fellow servants that minister as priests of God to each of us in our time of need.  Fellow servants are used to reveal Christ in us and show us how to make war with the enemies of Christ.  We are the army of the Lord that is following the Lord, the Word of God, riding on the white horses and following Christ .

Rev 19:10  And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

His Word fitly spoken by angels, will strengthen us and help us to stand strong.

2Ch 20:15  And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

Eph 6:10  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 

The details of the neighbor’s dream signify that it is thru the laying down of our life as a living sacrifice that we overcome the Midianites.  Barley is symbolic for the first fruit harvest of the grain crop in Israel and symbolizes the Lord and His Christ who are a type of firstfruits (Jas 1:18, 1 Co 15:20).  Christ is this Bread which is the Word of God.

Joh 6:50  This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

Joh 6:51  I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

This  Bread of Life coming into a tent or dwelling place is going to turn everything upside down and great shall be the fall of that former house.  The dream is one and this same bread is also known as rain that comes upon the old carnal man’s dwelling.

Luk 6:49  But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

The symbolism is multi-faceted as the Word is also likened to an ax that is worked by a deliverer who is also ax men or hewers of wood the very meaning of Gideon’s name.  Gideon’s sword, which is his ax, is used to chop down the wood that is the tree and carnal-mindedness (Midianite mindset) of all mankind.

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.

The enemies of the Lord, which are carnal thoughts and minds the world over, will all be converted in due time, beginning in the hearts and minds of the elect who are being judged now by this same Word, rain and ax!

Rom 12:20  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

Psa 66:3  Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee

Gideon hears the dream, the Spirit of prophecy, from his brethren and through this experience, he grows in faith and obeys the Lord in leading Israel into battle.

Jdg 7:15  And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.

Gideon like all of us are learning to walk by faith and not by what he sees and processes with a carnal mind through physical senses.  The brethren play an essential role in developing one another and building confidence in the Word and His precious promises.  It is why we are to break Bread often in communion with one another.

1Co 11:24  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

1Co 11:25  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

1Co 11:26  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

We end the study with a reminder of who we are battling as God’s people and how we are to be prepared to fight and stand on faith wearing all the armor.

Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Eph 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

As we are able to live more and more each day Lord willing, we will progress further in cleansing the land of the Midianite nation and judging righteously.

Comments and questions welcome.  You can also email me direct at peterjwilson56@gmail.com

Studies

The Raising Up of Gideon

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.

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).