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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sometimes, God’s Call to Action is Unexpected

Yesterday, we reminded ourselves that actions have consequences.  The Israelites learned this lesson over and over again throughout the days of the Judges.

When the Israelites cried out to the LORD because of Midian, he sent them a prophet, who said, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. I rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians. And I delivered you from the hand of all your oppressors; I drove them out before you and gave you their land. I said to you, 'I am the LORD your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.' But you have not listened to me." (Judges 6:7-10 NIV)

When we walk with God, we experience the benefits and blessings that come from walking with God.  When we fight against God, we experience the struggles that come from rebelling against God.  No one can fight against God and win.

The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior." (Judges 6:11-12 NIV)

Gideon was not a particularly brave man.  He wanted to eat.  He wanted his family to eat as well.  So, he took stalks of wheat, hid in a winepress, and was working with the wheat to turn it into flour and eventually bread.  He didn’t want the Midianites to see him.  He was afraid of these captors and oppressors.  The Midianites didn’t find him, but the LORD did.  And the LORD called him a “mighty warrior” – something that was completely unexpected.

"Pardon me, my lord," Gideon replied, "but if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, 'Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?' But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian." (Judges 6:13 NIV)

Sometimes God’s call is unexpected, but it doesn’t need to be.  Gideon’s question sounds valid on the surface, but it’s really not.  God already answered this question to Gideon’s ancestors.  We know that the stories were preserved from generation to generation because we have them preserved in our Bible still today.  Gideon should have known that this was the result of their own rebellion against God, but he did not.  He knew of God’s mighty deeds, but clearly did not know of their covenant agreement with God. 

God’s call to action was unexpected, but not really.  It was the same call that God had given to all of Gideon’s generation and to all the generations before him from the time of Moses.  He just didn’t know his Bible.

How about you?  Are you surprised by God’s call to action in your life?  Are you surprised because you had never read that story, studied that passage, or memorized that verse?  Are you surprised because you don’t know God’s word?  Are you changing that?