Wednesday, July 10, 2019

2019.07.10 Hopewell @Home ▫ Judges 8:1-21

Questions for Littles: Who start and argument with Gideon and reprimand him sharply (Judges 8:1-3)? Who are unwilling to help him, because they don’t think he will win (Judges 8:4-7)? Who else treat him the same way (Judges 8:8-9)? How many of the enemy were left (Judges 8:10)? How many had fallen? How does Gideon choose the timing of his attack (Judges 8:11)? What is the success of his attack (Judges 8:12)? Whom does he then turn around and attack (Judges 8:13-17)? Whom does it turn out that Zebah and Zalmunna have killed (Judges 8:18-19)? Who refuses the command to execute justice on them (Judges 8:20)? Who has to do it himself (Judges 8:21)? 
It has often been the case among Christ’s people that those whom He raises up to defend them from external enemies end up having to fight enemies among the people of God. Jesus warned the disciples that it would be like this. Paul warned the Ephesian elders that it would be like this. And it was not a new thing at their time.

In this passage, Gideon has won a great victory, and now the Ephraimites want to attack him for not sharing the glory. He gets out of it by arguing that their glory is greater than his. Sometimes, God’s people attack out of pride.

Then there are the men of Succoth and the men of Penuel. Even when it is obvious that no one can ultimately defeat the Lord, there are always those among the people of God who harbor the secret suspicion that the Lord will lose. Sometimes, God’s people attack out of fear.

And sometimes, it’s not so much an attack as it is a sad disappointment from someone close to you. In this case, it’s even his firstborn son, who is just too timid to put his hand to the admittedly hard—but guaranteed—task before him in the service of the Lord.

As is often the case, this adds insult to injury in Judges 8:21, for the Z brothers take the opportunity to mock Gideon one last time before they meet the sword of justice.

God tells us ahead of time that His people will disappoint us so that we do not project our disappointment onto Him when they do. And, rather than desire status among them or security from their approval, we learn to rest in Him not in His people.
Who has disappointed you in the church? How have you turned to rest in the Lord instead of them?
Suggested songs: ARP46 “God Is Our Refuge” or TPH46C “God Is Our Refuge”

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