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Alas, the enemies of Israel have come to teach us a lesson. The desert kings of Midian and of the peoples around us have joined together and brought a mighty army moving right into the Jezreel Valley below our hillside caves.  We harvested the crops we planted last year, and the camel-mounted Midianites stole them. It is looking like we will not last the cool season, hiding, starving. And now this army will be looking for us.

Will I, Gideon, continue to cower in hiding? Will we all continue to cower in hiding? Am I a frightened teenager or, as the Lord called me, a mighty warrior?

I am standing at the high place next to the altar I built to the Lord when I am shaken by the Spirit of God. I draw breath and realize that I am being called. Will I respond? Yes. Yes, I will. I pick up my shepherd’s staff and race down the hill, shouting, “Follow me. We go to fight in the name of the Lord.” Someone hands me a rams-horn trumpet, and I blow it. The men around me straighten up and stride in my direction, carrying whatever implements they have. They want to fight. It is time to fight. Our tribal god, the Lord, will go with us.

I dispatch messengers to the surrounding tribes of Israel. We make a camp that will hold these men and many thousands more, blanketing the hills of Manasseh.

But wait. Is this the Lord’s plan? And can he help us prevail? He has not appeared to me again, nor spoken to me in the night. How will I know?

I go to the hilltop again. I speak into the wind.  Is this a small tribal god who calls me, or is it someone bigger — a being who controls the sun, the stars, the dew, the rain? How big is he? Will he carry us to victory? Can he? I beg him, “If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have promised, look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. Let it be a sign to me if in the morning it is wet with dew but the ground around it is dry.”

The wind blows in response. I don’t hear the velvet voice. I lay the fleece on the threshing floor and go back to my cave to sleep.

In the morning, it is wet with dew, and the ground all around is dry. Could this have been an accident? Again I speak into the wind. “Lord, do not be angry with me. Allow me one more test. This time make the fleece dry and the ground covered with dew.”

In the morning, the fleece is dry and the ground is covered with dew. These are unmistakable miracles, an unseen hand changing the natural order of things. The Lord is with me. and he is no tribal god. He is God.

We will take on Midian, even though their warriors are mounted on camels and our men are a poor match on foot. The Lord will make the difference.

Part 1 2 3 4 5

Ref. Tim Keller study on Judges; Judges 6


Short Story by Phyllis Wheeler

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