Judges 13, 14
Topic : Judges
The Book of Judges Vs. the Book of Joshua
|Spiritual vision||Earthly emphasis|
|Fidelity to the Lord||Apostasy from the Lord|
|Sense of unity||Declension, anarchy|
|Sin judged||Sin lightly regarded|
Cycle of Men and Nations
Labeling it a birds eye view of the cycle of men and nations, one historian has summarized history in this way:
(1) from bondage to spiritual faith.
(2) from spiritual faith to great courage.
(3) from courage to liberty.
(4) from liberty to abundance.
(5) from abundance to selfishness.
(6) from selfishness to complacency.
(7) from complacency to apathy.
(8) from apathy to dependency.
(9) from dependency back to bondage.
- C. Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity, p. 106
- Richard Patterson, Tradition and Testament, p. 123
- The Fight, J. White, IVP, p. 164
Hoping to relieve him of financial pressure and enable him to write more freely, the first publishers of American writer Sherwood Anderson offered to send him a weekly check. After a few weeks, however, Anderson took his latest check back to the publishers office. Its no use, he explained. I find it impossible to work with security staring me in the face.
Unlike Anderson, the Israelite leader Gideon found that he couldnt work without security staring him in the face. It was Gideons insecurity which caused him to ask God for two miraculous signs aimed at strengthening his faith. From a human point of view, Gideons fear is understandable. After all, his tiny force of 300 armed men was about to face an army of 135,000 Midianites. Gideons band seemed to have little or no chance against such a superior force.
However, Gideon knew that God had sent him against the Midianites (see 6:12-16). But the fear of defeat had paralyzed Gideons faith. Thats why he asked God to prove His presence through the two familiar requests we read about today. On the first night, Gideon put a fleece on the ground. If it was wet the next day while the ground was dry, he would know God would give him victory (vv. 36-38).
But that wasnt quite enough for Gideon. Perhaps he realized that a fleece could remain wet even after the ground had dried. So he asked God to keep the fleece dry and the ground wet on the next night (vv. 39-40). God did as Gideon requested, and Gods servant went on to lead the Israelites in the defeat of the Midianites (7:1-25).
The miracle of Gideons fleece demonstrates that ours is a God of compassion. Gods command and promise were clear: He would be with Gideon, and they would strike down all the Midianites (6:16). Instead of rebuking Gideon for his fear, the Lord buoyed his faith with a miracle. God allowed security to stare Gideon in the face so Gideon could accomplish Gods purpose.
- Decision Making - The Will of God, p. 222.
- C. Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity, pp. 244ff
- Swindoll, Starting Over, p. 22
- The Strong Family, Bible Study Guide by C. Swindoll, p. 71
- C. Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity, pp. 125-135
Judges 13, 14
- Liberating Ministry From The Success Syndrome, K Hughes, Tyndale, 1988, pp. 84ff
The gods had given me almost everything. But I let myself be lured into long spells of senseless and sensual ease...Tired of being on the heights, I deliberately went to the depths in search for new sensation. What the paradox was to me in the sphere of thought, perversity became to me in the sphere of passion. I grew careless of the lives of others. I took pleasure where it pleased me, and passed on. I forgot that every little action of the common day makes or unmakes character, and that therefore what one has done in the secret chamber, one has some day to cry aloud from the house-top. I ceased to be lord over myself. I was no longer the captain of my soul, and did not know it. I allowed pleasure to dominate me. I ended in horrible disgrace.
- Wake Up Calls, Ron Hutchcraft, Moody, 1990, p.74