19. God's different way of doing things

The Lord works in ways we never thought of. He works in ways we never expected. When we start with our God-given task we might think that it might work out this way or that and then something totally different happens and we stand in awe. When the Lord called Moses to lead Israel out of Egypt he most probably thought that he would go to Egypt, ask Pharaoh to go and by the Grace of the Lord then lead the Israelites out of Egypt. But the Lord had other plans. He wanted to teach the Egyptians a lesson and He wanted to display His awesome power through the ten plagues. The same thing happened with Gideon.

In the first place things got much worse for Gideon once the Lord called him (Just like Moses!). The Lord told Gideon to pull down his father's altar to Baal and to cut down the Asherah pole beside it. He was to build an altar to the Lord and sacrifice a bull on it. Gideon obeyed and did just that. He was a bit afraid to do it, so he did it at night when no one could see him. But at least he did what he was told. And the very next morning when the people saw what was done, they were angry and immediately searched around for the culprit. When they found out that it was Gideon who did it, they wanted to kill him (PS It is just beautiful to me how his father stood up for him when the mob came to kill Gideon). What a start to his campaign to rescue his people! His very own people wanted to kill him, never mind the enemy. Just like Moses when he first went to Pharaoh, his own people wanted to get rid of him too as their circumstances deteriorated because of him.

So once again when you start doing what is required of you, don't be surprised when things firstly get much worse and your own people turn against you and even want to stop you.  The Lord works in different mysterious ways. Simply trust in Him that things would work out as it should. Just don't give up.

As I said, the Lord works differently than expected. Once Gideon was fired up and ready to go and rescue the Israelites, his first mission was to get as many warriors as possible to get rid of this ferocious army once and for all. He blew the ram's horn to summon all the warriors of Israel. He called on the clan of Abiezer and sent messengers throughout the tribes of Manasseh, Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali to gather armed men. He managed to get 32 000 men in total to be part of his mighty army. But the Lord once again had other plans. He asked Gideon to send away all the men who were afraid. Twenty-two thousand left. That must have been a very disheartening sight for Gideon. Imagine feeling quite safe with your army of 32 000 and suddenly two thirds of them leave! And to top it off, the Lord goes further and divides the men into two groups and sends home another 9 700. Of the 32 000 only 300 remained! Wow, Gideon must have been scared to death! Here he was with only 300 men to take on the army of Midian, Amalek and the people of the east. The Bible says they were like a swarm of locusts and their camels were like the grains on the seashore. What an intimidating sight that must have been! And here he was with merely 300 men. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

However, even though He works mysteriously, and even though everything may look dismal and hopeless, He will give us the courage to go on. He did just that for Gideon.

Judges 7:9-11: "Go down to the Midianite camp, for I have given you victory over them! But if you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah. Listen to what the Midianites are saying, and you will be greatly encouraged. Then you will be eager to attack."

Gideon did go and he heard how one of the Midianites had a dream that the Lord will give victory to him over all the armies united with Midian. Which the Lord then did. All Gideon and his 300 men did was to blow on their ram's horns and break their jars and shout "A sword for the Lord and Gideon!" and the alliance forces were thrown into turmoil. They even started killing one another. All Gideon did was stand and watch. And once the momentum was gained he rolled into action and mobilized his forces. But ultimately the Lord rescued them and brought the victory, in a totally unexpected way.

The Lord would do the same for you. If you feel that the odds are against you, if you feel that you will not be able to cope, if you are afraid, remember that Gideon felt the same way. The Lord will encourage you, the Lord will fight on your behalf. The Lord will bring the victory, maybe in totally another way than you expected, but the Lord is true and just. He will make all things work for good for those who trust in Him (Romans 8:28).

Gideon had victory over the forces and he reigned in peace for 40 years. May you also experience peace after the storm. But firstly you need to be obedient. Gideon would probably have died in that winepress if he didn't obey. Or most likely the Lord would have found someone else, and he would have died still as the least in his entire family. But now he died peacefully as the leader of a mighty nation. He died as a mighty hero. Why? Because he obeyed the Lord.

Lord help us to obey You. Even if Your ways looks so strange and not as we expect it to look. Help us to take action even thought we feel afraid. Thank you that we can know that You will encourage us. Amen

1 comment for “19. God's different way of doing things”

  1. Gravatar of RonelleRonelle
    Posted Tuesday, 27 July 2010 at 8:24:28 PM

    Sometimes we want to be obedient to God's calling, but on our own terms. let go of your ego and be silent so that you can hear God's voice clearly. He has His own way of doing things.
    God bless!

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