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

Download mp3 study, right click, “save as”

Discussion – Password Protected

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).

Studies

The Coming War With the Midianites

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