Day 9

Gideon Pursues the Kings of Midian

from the Judges reading plan


Judges 8:1-35, Deuteronomy 20:5-8, 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: Judges 8:1-35, Deuteronomy 20:5-8, 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

Where did we get the idea that the battle should be easy? Why did we start calling the Christian life a “walk” when it is more like a war? After all, “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens” (Ephesians 6:12).

Yes, we’re the sheep of God’s flock (Psalm 95:7), the tiny chicks He tucks up under His wings (Psalm 91:4) and His dearly loved children (Ephesians 5:1). But these tender images don’t tell the whole story. We are warriors, enlisted for battle against an enemy bent on rebellion against God and the destruction of His image bearers. Truth, peace, faith, and salvation are standard issue armor for Christ’s followers (Ephesians 6:14-17). Why fit us for battle if we’ll never be expected to fight?

In Judges 8 we find Gideon serving as the general of God’s army. He’s already led the charge in a battle that left the enemy bleeding and scattered (Judges 7:19-25). From our view on the sidelines, we wouldn’t have faulted this band of brothers if they’d simply let the remaining rebels limp away toward the hills. Instead we find them in hot pursuit. The front of darkness had been pushed back, yet they knew the fighting was not over. They were worn out, battle weary, low on energy and strength, and yet they pursued because there was still an enemy at large.

These words from Gideon’s story have sunk deeply into my gut: “exhausted yet pursuing” (v.4, ESV). They jar me into remembering that for the army of God, the orders haven’t changed. Until Christ returns for us, there will always been skirmishes between flesh and blood, good and evil, light and darkness. There will be times when God’s strength will empower us to push back the front of darkness, but the enemy hasn’t yet raised the flag of surrender. And in the words of Bible teacher Kay Arthur, “There’s no retirement in the time of war.”

As long as our enemy is on the run and still gunning for the people of God, retirement isn’t an option. Though we may find ourselves weary and worn out from the battle, or celebrating a God-given victory, let us not sit back and rest on our laurels. Let us raise our swords and keep fighting.

Fighting for truth.
Fighting for hope.
Fighting for love.
Fighting to make the gospel known.

In other words, “Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up” (Galatians 6:9). Until the Lord blasts His trumpet, signaling the final fall of our enemy, may He find us like Gideon’s army—exhausted yet pursuing, and empowered by the strength of our Savior, who “is the power and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24).

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Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

Post Comments (44)

44 thoughts on "Gideon Pursues the Kings of Midian"

  1. Kristin L says:

    Yes! Love this rally call to fight! As long as we are on this Earth, we have a mission to complete, and the end goal isn’t out comfort, entertainment, or 401K.

    1. Dorothy says:

      So true Kristen so true.

  2. Anna Damiano says:

    I had a different, much-needed perspective on this passage this time reading it:

    God did not choose Gideon for his faith – he needed reassurance FOUR TIMES before he would obey God. He didn’t choose him for his position, his courage, or his talents. And He didn’t choose Him for his humility or his righteousness – I mean, he took an offering of a bunch of gold to set up a big golden statue of himself, and even last chapter he told all the guys to say “For the Lord **and for Gideon.**”

    It’s so reassuring to me to know that God can call me no matter who I am or how I am, because lately I’ve been feeling pretty useless, like I’m not well suited for anything I could do for God. It’s almost like “If Gideon could do it, so can I.”

    But it has to be done for praise of God, not my own recognition. I guess when I feel useless it’s because I’m looking at my own abilities instead of God’s abilities. If I try to use my own strength for my own recognition, I’ll keep on being a nobody, quickly forgotten by the same people I helped. If I go in God’s strength for God’s recognition, He will reward me for eternity.

    1. Ellie Postlethwaite says:

      This perspective is encouraging to read! Amen!

    2. Jacqueline Robinson says:

      Yes amen! Wow

  3. Sarah Powell says:

    I definitely feel like that old Twila Paris song “The Warrior is a Child” sometimes. Trying to keep all this armor on and keep fighting. Yes, I’m exhausted sometimes – sometimes it feels like all the time. I am thankful though, that just like Gideon, I’m not battling on my own, without help. Thanks be to God who has the victory! Who infuses me with His strength making me a contender for the faith. And I’m thankful for the army of community around me that fights with me and reminds me to get up and keep going and not give up doing good. New day today. New mercies. Fresh strength. Still pursuing and pushing back the enemy that will never prevail.

  4. Kelly Chataine says:

    Speak hope! Speak love! Speak life!
    We focused on the battle that rages around us, and I have a fight that rages within me. One of the most potent lessons God has demonstrated for me is the importance of controlling my thoughts and words. Much of the battle takes place on these two fronts for me.
    God be glorified in all! God is worthy!

    1. Carol M says:

      Kelly, your posts are so encouraging to me… I hear others, who are in similar circumstances, and I thank God for your heart, that is, by His grace, submissive to Him.

  5. Kathy says:

    What a wonderful and perfect devotion to start this day. I’m like Kristine, “exhausted yet pursuing”. Students come back tomorrow. I teach high school and as I’ve said many times, “life is chaotic, but life with teenagers is like chaos on crack!” I am so thankful for this reminder that I am a warrior princess for God and right now my battlefield is my classroom. My students need me to fight for them.
    I pray for all of us, but especially for teachers, that we will remember that Almighty God, the God of angel armies, goes before us and stands behind us and is right beside us every minute of the day. My classroom is a battleground. Satan wants to do all he can to destroy my witness. But I have been given all I need to be victorious to “keep fighting for truth, for hope, for love, and to make the gospel known!”
    Be blessed precious warriors of God.

    1. Patti says:

      Thank you for that, Kathy. I’m a kindergarten teacher. This year I feel “exhausted” in many areas. My team has 2 brand new teachers straight out of college. Patience. As I respectfully mentor them and direct their expectations. Compassion. For a 5 year old in my class who is child #13 in her family. Perseverance for all the challenges of teacher evaluations, student learning targets, expectations for student behavior, and just the day to day battleground that is life. Everyday I pray : “Jesus, let your light shine through me”

    2. Laurie T says:

      So thankful for your word -especially for us teachers! Yes the classroom is looming but it is my battlefield for these minds and hearts of the next generation! —“….exhausted yet pursuing!” May our strength be in Him!

    3. Robin W. says:

      ❤️

  6. Kristine Loughman says:

    Exhausted yet persuing pretty much sums up my state of being right now – mothering, teaching, back to school… But let me not grow weary of doing good, of showing His love. Let me always be moving forward.

    1. Dorothy says:

      My prayers for you and all teachers at this time and throughout the school year. March on and fight the battle.

  7. Churchmouse says:

    Gideon was the guy in the white hat. The Israelites had routed the enemy with trumpets and lighted pitchers. This was not conventional warfare so they knew this victory was not from themselves. I’m thinking, though they were “exhausted yet pursuing, ” they may have been a bit exhilarated as well. The high from this battle perhaps made them feel invincible. In this self congratulatory stance, they stumbled. They worshiped their plunder in the form of an ephod. It became a snare, a trap that drew them away from the One who had given them victory. They lived in peace for 40 years so this indiscretion surely was no big deal. Gideon dies at a ripe old age. This thresher of wheat turned warrior for God is then forgotten by the very people he led into victory. He had done such good for the nation but they showed his remaining family no kindness. This is a sad story. The Israelites continued on the downward spiral of sin – they became prostitutes to a foreign god. This is a tragic story. Yet Gideon is no failure. He responded to God’s call and he fulfilled God’s purpose. His personal legacy shines even though Israel descended into darkness. May I not look for recognition by others as much as I stand secure in integrity before my God. May I not look at my possessions, my plunder, as much as I am grateful for my God’s provision. May I give all glory to God for the victories in my life and may I not tolerate that which could become a trap to trip me up from fulfilling God’s purpose. Let me boast only in the Lord. Amen.

    1. Anne says:

      My prayer as well

    2. LT says:

      Thanks for bringing in the whole chapter, Churchmouse, and seeing the big picture, instead of just looking at one verse. I think this is so important, so again, I thank you!

    3. Debbie says:

      Amen and Amen.

    4. Dorothy says:

      You have a way with words. This is so true and I too need to stand secure with God and grateful for all he has given me. Amen.

    5. Natasha Reyes says:

      Amen! Thanks for this Churchmouse. It made the study complete for me. Your insight is so simple yet so profound.

  8. Kristen says:

    Yes, help me Lord. I can’t do battles without You. I want to be undone like Isaiah in the presence of a Holy God. I want to know the weight of my sin to be in awe of Your sacrifice and fall in love with You. Please change me into who You want me to be, Amen This link talks about falling in love with Jesus. https://proverbs31.org/read/devotions/full-post/2017/12/26/how-to-fall-in-love-with-jesus

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