Okay. I’m going to do it again. So I will just tell you up front – we are going to stay in Judges 6 this week. There is so much to learn and so little time, but here we go! I’m going to draw out four principles necessary to understand in order to change the way we think about ourselves, thereby changing how we interact with the world around us.
Read: Judges 6:11-18 (or the whole chapter if you haven’t yet)
If you have never read the book of Judges, you ought to. It is shows the end result of a people who have no one to lead them. In this book, the writer depicts a cycle of obedience, blessing, disobedience, oppression, crying out to the Lord, rescue from the enemy, return to obedience and on and on it goes. When Israel cried out to God, he raised up a deliverer for them and rescued them from their enemies. This time it was Gideon.
Israel had abandoned their commitment to the commands of God and the Midianites invaded their land and for seven years cruelly oppressed the Israelites. Judges says the Midianites were so cruel, the people found places to hide wherever they could. The land was stripped bare of all food and the livestock stolen and consumed by the enemy. It was a desperate situation.
They cried out and God sent an angel of the Lord (v 11) to call Gideon to be the deliverer. The angel finds Gideon at the bottom of a winepress threshing wheat to hide the grain from the Midianites.
First principle: He is going to call you out of the pit.
Gideon hid from his oppressors. You might say, “Of course he did. I would to.” And that is exactly what we do. We hide from the things that hurt us whether it be relationships, community, intimacy, family, etc. And when we are in the pit, our perspective and view is limited. Imagine Gideon in a winepress accomplishing a task that is normally done in an open air space. His view is limited. He can’t see anyone coming; he can’t enjoy the landscape, the sun glinting off nearby water, the breeze as it sweeps across the sand – nothing. He is hiding.
His interactions are limited. Imagine his wife or children coming to talk to him. Likely he resented their presence because it called attention to the fact that he was hiding. So, even people who haven’t hurt you are pushed away and seen as a liability rather than an asset.
In order to live fully alive, you will need to come out of the pit. It will be risky and scary at first, but nothing of significance will be accomplished while you are in hiding.
Are you ready to come out of the pit? I know from experience that Jesus is the most compassionate healer there could be. He has never pushed me beyond where he knew I could go and yet he has challenged me to go beyond what I thought I was ready for. Let him know that you are ready for the challenges of the open air.
Read: 1 Peter 2:9
This verse is the capstone of it all. We aren’t nobodies, forgotten in this dark world. We are HIS chosen people! And he is calling us OUT of the darkness and into his wonderful light! Come! Let’s go!