Today: [Judges Chapter Seven]: The Sword of the Lord and of Gideon! Who is your Gideon? In this chapter the Midianites are defeated. The Midianites represent those who come against you in strife and contention. Before the victory came fear had to be eliminated. You must eliminate fear in yourself and fearful people from your situation if you are going to have a great victory. In today’s teaching we see how to deal with fear and the fearful and see the circumstances by which God sets your enemies against each other while you sit back and see the salvation of the Lord.
Today: [Judges Chapter Seven]: The Sword of the Lord and of Gideon! In this chapter the Midianites are defeated. The Midianites represent those who come against you in strife and contention. Before the victory came fear had to be eliminated. You must eliminate fear in yourself and fearful people from your situation if you are going to have a great victory. In today’s teaching we see how to deal with fear and the fearful and see the circumstances by which God sets your enemies against each other while you sit back and see the salvation of the Lord.
[Jdg 7:1-25 KJV] 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. 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. 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 thousand.
In this chapter God instructs Gideon to prepare an army to destroy the Midianites. He stations himself at the well of Harod by the hill of Moreh. The well of Harod means “fear of the Lord” and Moreh means to teach. To go to the well of Harod speaks of Gideon walking in the fear of God and not man. In positioning himself here places the Midianites to their north. God is spoken of as living in the north and judging in the north. When you adopt the fear of the Lord as a response to the assault of the enemy you put them in judgment. It is not our place to judge our enemy but you place your enemy in God’s hands when you fear God and not man.
The people who gathered to Gideon were a mixed multitude of people. They weren’t sure what was happening but they knew something was going on. They didn’t want to miss out. Having a crowd is not always the best thing to happen. Even though some were fearful they were still enough people to get the victory for themselves. So God tells Gideon to send the fearful away. They numbered twelve thousand. Twelve is the number of government. You are either going to be governed by God or governed by fear. The number 1000 is a number of fullness. These people were full of fear.
What is fear? Fear is an opinion. Fear is a very difficult thing to deal with. It arises from judgments made about pending circumstances. We try to change our mind in the midst of fear and it is difficult because of circumstances staring us in the face. We feel like we are lying to ourselves and deceiving ourselves about how bad things really are. If you try to battle fear directly you will become more fearful. You must deconstruct the mechanism or infrastructure in your mind that fear takes advantage of to embed itself in your life. Fear is an emotion. Emotions are responses to particular thoughts. Your thoughts can be based on sense knowledge opinions or upon God’s promise, what God has to say about the situation. The difference is your focus. You are either putting your attention on the information coming to you from the sense knowledge realm or upon what God says through His word and through the prophets. Sense knowledge information is opinion. God’s word is truth. Do you want opinion or truth? Mat. 7:1 says “judge not”. The word judge there means to “have an opinion”. If you learn to “have no opinion” fear has no means to attach itself to your life. So don’t try to pull down the fear – pull down the opinion and fear will leave.
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. 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. 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. 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.
The 300 who lapped the water were belly down not looking around. The others were looking, and drinking then looking again – then drinking again. They were afraid but didn’t want to admit it. This group of people have a level of pride. They will say “… I’m not being fearful I’m being practical minded…” They had their attention on what might be coming. They were running scenarios in their minds about what they might do if the Midianites come over the hill while the company was drinking. The 300 who lapped were living in their now. When God spoke to me that Kitty would be my wife he also told me to “relax and live in your now…” Learn to put your attention in your now. You are where your attention takes you – in fact you are your attention.
Col. 3:2 says “set your affection on things above not on things of earth… The word there means “emotional focus” and also “opinion of one’s self…” It is also the Greek word for the diaphragm where you breath from. These 300 men put the belly on the ground – they humbled themselves. Don’t be so proud that you think you know more than God. Those who didn’t lap the water were saying “… I trust in God but you can’t take chances you know – you have to use common sense…” No you don’t. You have to do what Jesus did in John 5:19 – when He said “… I only do what I see the Father do….”
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. 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. 10 But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host: 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. 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.
God is still dealing with fear this time not in the army but in Gideon. Remember the angel of the Lord found Gideon cowering behind a wine press threshing a few stalks of wheat. God is speaking to Gideon in his dreams. The young men see visions and the old men dream dreams (Joel 2:28). The young man is the spirit man (2 Cor. 5:17). The old man speaks of your natural man (Rom. 6:6; Eph. 4:22; Col. 3:9). This is also an indication that in his waking life Gideon was so distracted that God couldn’t get through to him so He spoke to him in dreams.
God tells him if he is still afraid take Phurah his servant with him. Phurah was his armor bearer. His name means “the branch”. There are Messianic five verses in the bible that call Jesus “the Branch” (Isa. 4:2; Isa. 60:21; Zec. 3:8; Zec. 6:12; Jer. 33:15). If you are still afraid take Jesus with you (Heb. 13:5; De. 31:6). He said He would never leave us or forsake us. Sometimes you have to walk right into the enemy’s camp. There have been times that preachers have declared that God was going to kill us outright because they didn’t approve of us and we walked right into their churches and sat on the front row. There have been times I have walked into churches and been physically assaulted just for showing up. There have been times God sent us to the front door of people who were armed and with a spirit of murder in their hearts. We were not afraid because we took Phurah – the Branch with us.
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. 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. 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.
Now Gideon had something in common with the soldier who dreamed. They were both afraid. They were both under so much pressure that God couldn’t speak to their spirits in the waking life so He spoke to them in dreams. See you have to deal with the Midianite on the inside of you before you can deal with the Midianite in your situation. Midian means strife and contention. If you are in fear you are in contention with God. Rev. 21:8 says that the fearful lead the abominable, murderers and adulterers into hell. We see fear as something we can’t deal with. We think we are victims of fear but God considers fear a sin. It isn’t a sin to have the flu or a cold or some sickness you have no control over. You do have a choice whether to fear or not, whether to obey God or not to obey God. Gideon left the camp of the enemy having conquered fear.
16 And he divided the three hundred men [into] three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers. 17 And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be [that], as I do, so shall ye do. 18 When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that [are] with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, [The sword] of the LORD, and of Gideon. 19 So Gideon, and the hundred men that [were] with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that [were] in their hands. 20 And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow [withal]: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.
The people didn’t just cry “the sword of the Lord…” They cried “the sword of the Lord and of Gideon…” Gideon’s name means to “break, prune or cut down…” There is in every one of us a capacity to fear that will begin to grow when you look at circumstances and situations rather than looking at God. God used Gideon to cut off the fearful and the timid and send them away so the battle can be won. The Gideon in your life is always a person. He is the person who calls you up to your best self. He is the person who calls you up to your destiny in God. He is the person who calls you up to your potential and doesn’t want to hear any excuses. He is the person who has more faith for you than you have for yourself. He is the person who calls upon you to destroy your father’s idols and to kick over the sacred cows of religion so you can step out and obey God. He is also the person you will see people departing from in droves because they don’t want to give up their fear, their pride and their excuses for not fulfilling their potential in God. Find out who your Gideon is and stick with him or her for they will bring you to your victory.
21 And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled. 22 And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every man’s sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, [and] to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath. 23 And the men of Israel gathered themselves together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after the Midianites. 24 And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. 25 And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan.
God will defeat those who come against His people in strife and contention. We have occasionally told people “you aren’t my enemy are you? God fights against my enemies…” How does that happen? By turning them against each other. We have had very fierce enemies who would use every dirty trick and lie and make every effort possible to destroy us, our lives, our reputations, our ministry and credibility. We have also seen God turn them against themselves so they were so busy fighting us they didn’t have time to think about making us miserable. We often pray “God occupy them elsewhere …” We’ve seen our enemies put under so much pressure they try to commit suicide rather then repent. We’ve seen them run off into the woods only to be found covered in blood trying to slash their wrists with coke bottles. We’ve seen their lives and marriages fall apart and seen them pack up and scatter with the four winds trying to escape the pressure brought upon them because they chose to be our enemies. In all of that we prayed to God “forgive, release and bless…” because we couldn’t afford to allow the INNER MIDIANITE to rule while our OUTER MIDIANITES (sources of contention and strife) where dealt with by the hand of God.
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