Judges: Day 5

The Lord Calls Gideon

by

Today's Text: Judges 6:1-40, Psalm 127:1, James 1:16-17

Scripture Reading: Judges 6:1-40, Psalm 127:1, James 1:16-17

When we read Judges 6, we see that Gideon is certainly having a low moment. We find this youngest son from the weakest tribe crouching in the winepress trying to thresh wheat in secret, so the mighty Midianite army won’t get a whiff of his harvest and swoop down to steal it. All of Israel was feeling abandoned by God and their hearts were confused and resentful. Every time they tried to get back up, they were gleefully knocked down by some neighboring pagan army. God’s chosen people wondered if He had given up on them and chosen someone else to love, protect, and set apart for Himself.

But Israel wasn’t down because God had forgotten them. They were hiding in caves because they had stubbornly and persistently chased after evil for many years. They had established traditions and patterns that avoided God altogether. The paths their feet traced in their homes and in their towns led them in the ways of wickedness. They were in a rut, and it’s hard to look up and figure your way out of habitual sin.

It takes something dramatic to turn our hearts back toward God.

Gideon was trudging his sweaty rut like the rest of Israel, when an angel of the Lord appeared to him. Why would an angel appear to him? It wasn’t because Gideon was the one honorable man among thousands; it was because God’s time was right to raise up a leader in Israel. It is God who marks the seasons, who raises up leaders, and who brings down empires. “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor over it in vain” (Psalm 127:1). All other planning and plotting is futile.

I’ve never had to hide from an army, but I have had some low moments. I’m sure many of us can remember feeling confused and resentful at some point. In spite of our doubts and ruts, and the habitual trails that lead us to wickedness, God can lift us up to victory with Him. Gideon didn’t just decide to grit his teeth and pitch his military plan to the leaders. God chose him, called him, and promised him victory “as if Mideon were one man” (Judges 6:16).

Whatever your circumstances may be today, don’t let them scare you. Don’t let the worn pathways of sin lure you into hopelessness. Don’t be deceived by the voices that tell you that your sin is too great, that your habits can never be broken. Our God can rescue and redeem even the most lost. He is light in the blackest night. Run to the One who controls the sea and the stars, and trust Him with your darkest secrets.

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  • Hannah Olsen

    What struck me most about this passage was that God’s response to Gideon’s question, “if the Lord is with us, why has this happened?”, is “I am sending you!” He works through us.

  • Kristen Horton

    “Don’t let the worn pathways of sin lure you into hopelessness.” What a word I needed today! I have always heard sermons more or less belittling Gideon for “testing” God so many times with his fleece, but the thing I noticed as I read to today is that God repeatedly answered and assured Gideon of His call and His presence, His promise and His might.

  • Isabella Vadala

    This was an amazing reading for me because, similar to the Israelites, I have seemed to be “cute off from God” I keep trying to run back but I’m struggling to understand why something so great would want a relationship with me. Maybe instead of being mad at God for abandoning me, I should repent for sin and run to him. Just struggling about the reality of a God..

    • Lonna

      Isabella, the fact that you’re reading is evidence of your searching which is evidence that you do believe. Sometimes it’s nearly impossible to reconcile all we’ve done wrong and all the wrong done to us, with the truth of what God says about us and His unfailing love for us. Our hearts are hurt to the point of hindering our ears to hear and our eyes to see. We hear from a point of self defense. God never breaks His promise and He’s promised to never abandon us. There comes a point where we just have to stop struggling to make the pieces fit, to understand the reasons for everything, and just let His love overwhelm us. Just let Him be all that He is, to you. We all wonder how and why the Creator of the universe would want a relationship with us, but the answer is in that question; He’s the Creator, we are the created. A relationship should naturally be what follows. Isabella, you are loved, chosen, remembered, forgiven, beautiful, whole, provided for, redeemed, known, purposeful, intentional, wise, protected, sung over, delighted in, kind, compassionate, and fully accepted as you are and where you are, right now. You are a deliberate choice. ❤️❤️❤️

    • Elizabeth Claire

      Isabella,
      When we’re sick, do we wait to go to the doctor when we’re better, or do we go when we’ve gotten to our worst point and can’t help ourselves anymore? God is ready to heal you exactly where you are — if we waited to go to God once we “had it all together,” we would never seek Him because none of us will ever be perfect. That’s why we must accept grace for the gift it is.

    • Dawn Berghone

      Lonna love your words of encouragement!

  • Janna Becker

    Don’t be deceived by the voices that tell you that habits cannot be broken. We have just moved our young family into a house that has been undoubtedly provided by the Lord. And yet there are boxes everywhere, I can’t get a handle on a routine for my kids, even the day to day stuff seems impossible and overwhelming. My rut has been to see it as all too hard, and not something I’ve ever been good at, so I can’t make it work, no matter how hard I try. So, today, I remember Gideon, and how much I feel like him, and I remember that I am not a mighty man of God because of me, but because God is with me.

    • Liz

      I really resonate with this. I continuously feel overwhelmed trying to do the day to day things while also making time for my husband and children. I needed the reminder that I am mighty because God is with me, not because I have the strength to make it all happen.

  • Praying for the strength and release from anxiety as I head out on vacation with my family of 3 young boys. Finding solace in today’s words to break the well worn paths in my mind

  • Taylor Martin

    So today is my birthday, and last night I found out my grandmother, who is more like a mother to me has blood cancer. So yeah. I’m in a rut. Turning 25 was supposed to be a milestone year so great reasons and now it’s…shit, quit honestly the worst year of my life, and it’s only been 24hrs. However, then I read this. Yeah, I just read Judges 6 for my devotional tonight. The part with Gideon, and it reminded me that God is who God is. It recounts the story of the Israelites being saved and brought out of Egypt, and even as they turn from God, he still has mercy to save them from themselves. Gideon tests God multiple times, but God understands his fears and allows himself to be tested, for He is a kind god who understands our need for reassurance.
    So here I am in this rut, and I definitely don’t want an army; but I still needed to be reminded that God does not abandon us. He does not leave us to our fears, worries, or doubts. He allows us to say “Show me how you are a good God after___(fill in the blank),” and He says “Okay” and proceeds to show us. I have no idea what this next year of our lives will be like for my family, but we serve the Lord and we will trust him whatever may come. God is good, and eventually it will be well with my soul.

    • Cacey

      Happy Birthday. I’ll say a prayer for you and your grandmother.

    • Diane Lindsey

      I’m sorry and I’m praying for you and your grandmother. Praying you will find His encouraging presence daily.

    • Christine Schultheis

      I’m sorry Taylor. Happy birthday first of all. 25 is exciting! I’m sorry to hear about your Grandma. I’m super close with mine so I’m sure it must be hard for you. What you said is true. God still loves us and is there with us in the valleys. Listen to the song “Who you are” by JJ Heller if you get a chance. It reminds me of what your going through. Take care sister.

    • Natasha Reyes

      Hi Taylor, happy birthday! And I will be praying for your grandma. I am close to mine, and she is one of my anchors in life. She is 95, and quite healthy and functional. I dread the day that she falls ill. Anyway, I understand your anxiety and worry. I pray that God comforts you and your family, and that He guides the doctors to make the right treatment decisions with you. I want to thank your u for sharing, your faith and trust in God inspires me!

    • Laura

      Happy birthday, Taylor! I can relate because I had a tough birthday just a couple of days after yours. I love birthdays and I know I’m probably getting too old to be excited about another year, but I am! But, this birthday sucked. My daughter is going through a bout of illness that is likely chronic, but not fatal, but it’s newly diagnosed and I’m scared. The pastor that has walked through this with us is an interim and my birthday was his farewell. One thing I have pulled from this first week in Judges is that God redeems the broken things we walk through. I know, by His grace, I will someday be able to share the beauty that came from the ashes of this dark time. Know you are not alone. Hugs and prayers.

  • Amanda Oicle

    My family and I have just moved 18 hours away from home. I’m a lead pastor at a church in our new town. We have been looking for a house for months but decided to move even though we do not have a house. We have been staying with a family from the church.
    We know that God has led us here but we are still without a house. I’m pleading with the Lord that He will give us a home in our new town.

    • Michelle

      Amanda, I will, be praying for you and your family to find a home soon .

    • Kimberly Foshee

      Praying Jesus will guide you and your family to the right home! Praying that He will show you and your husband His goodness even financially thru the process! May He give you peace as you wait on His perfect home for your family!

  • Lynn Johnson

    Praying for the rut that I am in and the freedom of chains breaking from seemingly harmless habitual sins…my eyes are on The LORD!

  • Today’s devotional is so encouraging to me. It is something I really needed to hear because right now I’m really struggling with not falling back into that rut. Please pray for me if you think of it, that God would build me up that I might not fall back into the sins that had such a hold over me. Sometimes sin’s chains somehow look “better” to us than God’s freedom. Pray that I would not be deceived, that I would recognize the slavery of sin for what it is, and that God would sanctify me to want more and more what He wants.

    • Missy

      Praying for you now. :)

    • KC Derond

      “Somehow sin’s chains look better to us than God’s freedom.”
      WOW! This worded it perfectly for me. I have spent the better part of 3 years falling in and out of that rut. I feel like I’ve finally made a breakthrough, praying for all in the same situation. God can redeem! It’s never too late for a fresh start.

  • The world is full of deceivers, and like the Israelites, we often loose our way and get caught up in the ways of this world, but isn’t it wonderful dear sisters, that we can ALWAYS run back into the arms of our Savior and HE will welcome us with open arms, just as He did for Israel countless times. I have been so very lost many times throughout my life and caught deep in the mire of my sin, but God…He has always heard me when I cry out, “Save me from this mess I’ve created.” Lord, please forgive me when I so easily get caught up in this world. Help me to cling to You. I pray that I will not be afraid to do that which You call me to do…May Your Spirit envelope me as it did Gideon to accomplish Your will. Oh….how I love You, Lord. amen.

  • Kaitlin Garrison

    Love today’s passage. It is so inspiring to me that we can plug ourselves and our issues into verse 15 and 16. Even though we may be weak, have a sensitive personality or seem incredibly unqualified for what’s He’s asked us to do, the ONLY thing that matters is that He promises to be “with us”. And that is what makes us strong and victorious— not our own efforts. That brings me such relief! May He “envelope and clothe” (vs. 34) just like He did Gideon, that we would be a light for Him in dark places.

  • I am loving this Judges study! Two things that struck me in today’s reading are God’s patience with us, and God’s ability to make much of little. How often I see myself in these stories–this fearful, weak flesh of mine. Gideon asked for a sign from God three times in this one chapter, and God was patient with Gideon each time. It makes me think of a parent, watching their child attempt something the wrong way because there is a lesson to be learned, knowing they would eventually swoop in and show them the right way. And how often I am the same as Gideon! Praising the faithfulness of God, then joking about how I long for a bright blinking sign in my life to show me the paths to take. What does that say to those around me? Although it is said as a joke, there is truth behind it. I pray I can display faith in God’s sovereignty and hand in my life, rather than fear of the unknown.

    The second thing I noticed relates to that fear. Notice that Gideon refers to himself as “the least in his father’s house, the weakest clan in Manasseh.” But when the angel of the Lord appears to Gideon, he says “O mighty man of valor.” We name ourselves based on our limitations, forgetting that God is all powerful and His spirit lives within us. He is able to make much of little, and I so often forget that I am not doing it all on my own. I’m so thankful for this study this morning, and this wonderful community. God bless you all this Friday!

    • Deborah Craytor

      Kayla, you’re not the only one praying for a brightly blinking sign! Just yesterday, I was pointing out to God that He has written on other people’s walls, so why can’t He give me such clear instructions? I’m a perfectionist, and it’s so hard to accept that it’s OK if I don’t get something 100% right; God can work and accomplish great things with whatever little I offer.

      • Lora Hutcherson

        When talking about wanting signs to know which path to take, a pastor recently made this point. God can do wonderful, powerful things in any circumstance. Surely he is able to bless you and use you to bless others on whichever path you choose….thinking of that takes some pressure off of me when I make hard decisions. Praying it can help you too.

    • Megan

      Kayla thank you ever so much for your post. I needed the reminder that God doesn’t always see me the way I do. Phew what a blessing.

  • Courtney Hall

    2 Corinthians says that God’s power is made perfect in weakness. Gideon is yet another example in scripture where God’s perfect power is displayed not in Gideon’s strength, but in his weakness.

  • Janna Jackson

    The Israelites yet again are in the situation they are in due to their own sin, yet God is providing a way of redemption for them. He calls Gideon to be part of that redemption and even after Gideon doubts, God is patient and faithful to Gideon. This is a picture of humanity and the gospel. We do what we want which leads to unhappiness and ultimately death, but God stepped in and took our place so we could live.

  • Thank you, Rebecca. Last night, my son found an American Dagger Moth Caterpillar. It was a beautiful golden yellow and for a kid that is nervous about all things nature, he was so interested in this critter. Sadly, we discovered that the little guy was nearly dead and so we moved him amidst our flowers for safety and peace. My son was sad that this sweet caterpillar was dying, that he’d never have the pleasure of flight, that his entire life was about preparing for a transfiguration that he would never see come. My heart ached at the thought. I couldn’t imagine feeling so stuck, so forsaken, so hopeless and yet, truth is this caterpillar was still a caterpillar, he would’ve become this wholly different creature regardless of what he’d encountered in his short life.

    Are we not the same? When we know God, when we accept Jesus, we are still children of God. When we struggle with sin, with depression, with health, we are STILL children of God. NO experience, no loss, no season changes that, God says we are HIS and so we absolutely are.

    This was timely, in an incredibly long season of waiting, I have had my fair share of feeling forsaken, however brief, they’ve been there. And now, as my mind, runs away with concern regarding some health issues, I look to God for rescue. I can’t begin to imagine these seasons, despite their hardships without the Lord to ease my warring heart, without the knowledge that I AM A CHILD OF GOD. That I belong to Him and that He loves me, seeks me and rescues me despite my lackings and frivolity.

    • Brandi

      Praying with you and for you.

    • Tina

      Ahh ~B my dear friend… bless you for your kind thoughts and prayers…
      All is well here. The journey with mum is on going.. but she is here and we get to love on her each blessed day we are given with her…
      And you my friend.. have you moved yet? How are you feeling through this major stuff life throws our way..
      Let’s talk when you have time over e mails… miss you and sending much much much love to you and yours…xxx♥️

      • ~ B ~

        I’m so glad to hear things seem smooth, at least. Still prayerful over you all. We have not moved yet, still waiting a permanent position. My husband is living 9 hours away and comes home about once a month. Prayerful that after one year of this, he finds something soon. Trusting God’s plan, I know he’s just moving the pieces in place.

    • Tina

      I don’t know how that has happened.. the message before has ended up here…
      Computers eh..!
      God is near to those who call on Him… the who call on Him in truth.. He’s got this whatever the outcome… because absolutely you are a beautiful child of God and HE loves you every inch of you, as wide as the ocean and beyond, to the length, breadth and height of.. He love you… and me to too dear heart. Will be praying peace and gentleness of heart for you, to trust Him and to hold fast to Him who knows the plan He has for you…
      Sending love wrapped hugs and prayers.. and as always.. love to the family.. xxxxx

      • ~ B ~

        No worries, T! I appreciate your thoughts and prayers regardless of computer troubles! Thank you very very much!

    • Debbie

      praying for you

    • Emily B.

      Amen! Our identity is safe and secure in Him.

    • Kimberly

      Oh B, I’m so sorry about the health issues. Hugs from Nevada dear sister! Praying these verses over you today.
      Is. 54:17 – no weapon formed against you shall prosper
      Phil. 4:6-7 – be anxious for nothing. The peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your heart and mind. If there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things. (Note in my Bible on virtue – gr. arete (ar-et-ay) Many scholars feel that in biblical times arete was commonly used to refer to manifestations of God’s miracle power.)
      PS. 27:13 You will remain confident that you will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

      • ~ B ~

        Kimberly, Thank you so very much. Such perfect scriptures for my heart today! Love to you!

  • My sin is great alright…

    But God… my God is Greater!!!!!

    Amen!!!

    That has not always been easy to say, let alone write …But God… today allows me the ease to do so..
    I have sinned in foolishness… I have sinned in stupidity…I have sinned every which way one can, some have caused me to stop breathing for fear, in fear, through fear… I have done things I am not proud of… said things I would love to rewind and discard… I have been someone, this person writing, me, would not recognise, But God…
    He recognised even in that me, that I could change, that I could be someone He would be proud of… He recognised that though I do, or am walking through a valley… I have potential to be raised out of that place and into the light of who I am, a beautiful and wonderfully made in His image child of God… He recognises and knows the real and true me.. the one He has called his own, the one He has filled with hope..the one He has promised, and has done on many, many occasions rescued and redeemed when I believed all was lost..
    Thankful for the grace, mercy and redeeming love of God.. every day..

    Thank you Lord God… Thank you…!

    Amen…

    Thankful for you my sister’s and our journey together at this time… Blessings, love and hugs coming across the many ponds…xxx

    • ~ B ~

      You’ve been on my heart. Hope you have felt and abundance of peace in this season, T!

      • Tina

        Ahh ~B my dear friend… bless you for your kind thoughts and prayers…
        All is well here. The journey with mum is on going.. but she is here and we get to love on her each blessed day we are given with her…
        And you my friend.. have you moved yet? How are you feeling through this major stuff life throws our way..
        Let’s talk when you have time over e mails… miss you and sending much much much love to you and yours…xxx♥️

      • Cynthia Johnston

        B,I miss seeing your thoughts here. Hope you are well and your husband has found a new position. We loved living in Cincy and now live in N. Alabama near Huntsville.

    • Cynthia Johnston

      Love you,Tina!♥️

  • Heidi Jones

    Praying for God’s eye to be drawn to Lynchburg, Virginia where many have been evacuated due to a potential dam breaking. Also for those in California suffering from the effects of the fires. Praying for God’s good gifts to be poured out on those involved in these situations today!

    • PamC

      Thank you for your prayers. Here in the Sacramento Valley, we ran from a failing damn a year and a half ago. Now our sky is so gray & the sun so red. You can barely breathe. Every time you turn on the news there is a new fire. We are definitely praying for the people running in Virginia and for our brothers & sisters here fighting & escaping the flames. Thank you Heidi and everyone for your prayers.

  • Sarah Powell

    My worn pathway of sin is pride and the belief that I must be able to do more/better on my own – but the insecurity/fear under that is that I never get it right and I’m not good enough. I am so thankful that God shows up in spite of me and for my benefit! He tells me “of course you can’t do everything perfectly – but I can”. I love that He comes to and uses us when we are weak and uncertain because then we have greater chance to be blessed by witnessing His greatness and are compelled to give Him the glory, not ourselves.

  • Churchmouse

    Dear sisters, so many of us, perhaps most of us, go about our days “threshing wheat ” in our homes, our schools , our workplace. We quietly go about our business, trying to follow Jesus in these very ordinary places. We’re trying to be faithful in the mundane, in the necessary. Oh let us not be deceived! God sees! He knows! And He values the work done there. “The Lord is with you, valiant warrior.” Our battle field is not in the Jezreel Valley but it is often right where we are. Will we be faithful in the here and now, in the place unseen, in the dark night of the soul as well as the lofty mountaintop? We who persevere, who press on, are not common troops. We are valiant warriors. Not because we feel like we are but because He says we are. Let us stay the course. Let us put His stake in the ground. God is with us.

  • Rebekah Speirs

    I love reading how Gideon acted in the night because he feared other people, because I am in a similar situation where I have felt the need to act on something that I perceive to be wrong, but fear other people. It’s stupid, but at least I have the comfort of knowing that those God chooses were and are not without fear.

    I’m thankful that I have the freedom to honour God in my life, and that He has given us hope in our fear! Today I want to live in the belief that despite my fear, He is with us all.

  • Joelle Ilsa

    Over past 5 years i was in a really bad employment. i’m still in now. it is never fair and people are bias against skin color, religion, belief and even races. There are evil voice that spread hatred beside me, there are voices of anger, disappointment, blames, curse and i have to be honest that my soul and belief was shaken. i try to stay true to myself. there is no point for all those negative thought and action, human is bias and they act on their greed. i do understand that but i shouldn’t be negative about that. i get involve in public speaking, talk about hopes, dreams; and i mix with positive people outside office hour to build my dream slowly. i am so grateful that this article pops up this morning as those evil voices were lurking around me again today. thank you.

  • As we dive more and more into Judges and I read more of the devotions that go with this study I realize how too often I have strayed and not even realize it. As the 15th anniversary on my son, George’s death approaches and I get further into this study I feel I should not be mourning him but rejoicing that I will see him in Heaven and that George is up singing praises with the Lord and many other family members. George was a very strong Christian for his 18 years, he already knew he wanted to be a minister and had been minister already. At the candlelight vigil held for him the day he drowned I was told 80 people (men,women, teens and children) came and around 20 to 25 received Christ as their Savior. I am learning through my studies with SRT that God is there for the good and the bad and there are many sisters in Christ to share them with you too. I have and am still learning that what much of what we may think of as bad for the rest of our life may be bad just for a small period of time. The Lord is there for me, you and everyone all we need to do is ask.

    • Sandy Forsythe

      Such a hard loss, – thank you for sharing your wisdom….

    • Tina

      Oh Dorothy…sending you double double love wrapped hugs filled with prayers of peace for you..
      Life’s journey for all are different …But God… the same yesterday, today and the mess of tomorrow… ALL praise to Him who is near always…Amen..xx

    • CJ

      Dorothy – the loss you experienced is palpable. Sending love and prayers to you. Your faith is astounding – George IS in heaven and IS rejoicing with His Savior. It is so beautiful you can know that and rest in that.

  • Thank you, Lord! Things can change, strongholds can be broken, addictions gone, people can be healed, whole, and set free through Your Sacrifice, Power and Love! You haven’t given us a spirit of fear, but of love and a sound mind. Nothing is too hard for You! Please do it today Lord! Heal, set free, and restore. Please turn even the hardest if hearts toward You today. May we see it in our own lives and those we know and give You praise, glory, and honor that only You deserve! In Jesus’ Powerful Name Amen!

    • Kristen

      I shoukd have said that You didn’t give us the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind! ( I didn’t see a way to edit above!)

    • Jessica McCreary

      Amen!!! ❤️

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