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