Its Time for Elevation


Its Time for Elevation
Hosanna Fellowship

“Its Time for Elevation”

 

I. Judges 6- Israel’s Fallen Condition

A few weeks ago we talked about out need to stand with Israel. We looked at the book of Ruth which took place during the time of the book of Judges. It was a time when the scripture records “every man did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). Therefore, it is easy to understand that Israel’s condition had become grave and she had fallen from her calling and intended purpose. She had left the God who delivered her out of her cruel bondage and had brought her into the land that flowed with milk and honey. In the book of Judges (covering around 400 years) we see the repentance and backsliding of Israel in the Promised Land. Judges 6 records the calling of one of the more familiar stories of the book

A. The Historical Context

The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD gave them into the hand of Midian seven years. And the hand of Midian overpowered Israel, and because of Midian the people of Israel made for themselves the dens that are in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds. For whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. They would encamp against them and devour the produce of the land, as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel and no sheep or ox or donkey. For they would come up with their livestock and their tents; they would come like locusts in number–both they and their camels could not be counted–so that they laid waste the land as they came in. And Israel was brought very low because of Midian. And the people of Israel cried out for help to the LORD. When the people of Israel cried out to the LORD on account of the Midianites, the LORD sent a prophet to the people of Israel. And he said to them, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: I led you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of bondage. And I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land. And I said to you, ‘I am the LORD your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.’ But you have not obeyed my voice.” (Judges 6:1-10)

B. God’s Choosing

Now the angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, “The LORD is with you, O mighty man of valor.” And Gideon said to him, “Please, sir, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” And the LORD turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” And the LORD said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.” (Judges 6:11-16)

II. Israel’s Striving-Gideon’s Calling

A. Midian or Midianite = “strife”

son of Abraham by Keturah and progenitor of the tribe of Midianites or Arabians

B. Joash = “given by the Lord”   Abiezrite = “my father is help”

C. Gideon = “hewer” or “feller” One who knocks down wood or stone

When the angel of the Lord reveals himself to Gideon he declares “Jehovah Im, Gibbor Chayil!”or “The “Lord is with You, Mighty Man of Valor” while Gideon is threshing wheat in the winepress so the Midianites won’t find it. God always calls us to a higher place in our thinking and lives. “He calls things which are not as though they were.”-Romans 4:17

III. The Divine Exchange

When God encounters Gideon, He refutes Gideon’s arguments as to why he cannot be the deliverer of Israel by declaring the Truth even though Gideon was unbelieving or unaware. “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?”… “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.”

A. Gideon recognizes His need to Worship

So Gideon went into his house and prepared a young goat and unleavened cakes from an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and the broth he put in a pot, and brought them to him under the terebinth and presented them. Judges 6:19 

B. God directs His Worship

And the angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened cakes, and put them on this rock, and pour the broth over them.” And he did so. Judges 6:20

  1. H5553 (sela)rock-crag, cliff, rock

Then the angel of the LORD reached out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meal and the unleavened cakes. And fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened cakes. And the angel of the LORD vanished from his sight. Judges 6:21

  1. H6697 (tsur) cliff or refuge  Deuteronomy 32:4, Exodus 33:22, Habakkuk 1:12

C. Gideon’s Understanding is Transformed.

Then Gideon perceived that he was the angel of the LORD. And Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord GOD! For now I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face.” But the LORD said to him, “Peace be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.” Then Gideon built an altar there to the LORD and called it, The LORD Is Peace.(JehovahShalom) To this day it still stands at Ophrah, which belongs to the Abiezrites.

(Judges 6:22-24)

IV. The Divine Commission

That night the LORD said to him, “Take your father’s bull, and the second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it and build an altar to the LORD your God on the top of the stronghold here, with stones laid in due order. Then take the second bull and offer it as a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah that you shall cut down.” So Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the LORD had told him. But because he was too afraid of his family and the men of the town to do it by day, he did it by night. (Judges 6:25-27)

To walk free the oppression of the Midianites they would have to be free from the idolatry and so free themselves from the striving of carnality.