Day 21 – Sword of the Lord
Don’t Build an Altar to your Accomplishments
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. - Colossians 1:16 -17
This is the last day we will look at Judges 6-8. Gideon has been visited by the Angel of the Lord; he is informed that he has been chosen to deliver the children of Israel from the Amorites. He builds an altar to the Lord and calls it Jehovah Shalom. Next, the Angel of the Lord gives Gideon specific instructions on what to do.
Tear Down Altars of Baal & Asherah
The Lord tells him to remove idolatry from the midst of His people. Baal (symbol is a bull it means master or lord) and Asherah (goddess of fortune and happiness) we still see these 2 demonic spirits / idols operating in our world. Gideon was fearful to tear down the altars by day so he did it at night – fear did not stop him from obeying the Lord.
Judges 6:25-27 Now on the same night the LORD said to him, "Take your father's bull and a second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal which belongs to your father, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it; and build an altar to the LORD your God on the top of this stronghold in an orderly manner, and take a second bull and offer a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down." So Gideon took ten men from among his servants and did as the LORD had said to him. But because he feared his father's household and the men of the city too much to do it by day, he did it by night.
When his father and the men of the city arose to find there altars of idolatry torn down they were furious and wanted to kill whoever did this thing but Gideon’s father intervened and said, "Would you plead for Baal? Would you save him? Let the one who would plead for him be put to death by morning! If he is a god, let him plead for himself, because his altar has been torn down!"
Even after tearing down the altars of Baal and Asherah Gideon was uncertain if he really was the chosen instrument to deliver Israel from their enemies. So, he ask God to confirm his call by giving him a sign with the fleece…God confirmed his call and NOW it’s time to battle the enemy.
Gideon puts out a call for the army of Israel to rally to him, 10,000 men show up and God says in Judges 7:2 "The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, 'My own hand has saved me.
So God gives Gideon a test to determine who will go into battle with him…300 are chosen! God only needs a remnant. 7Then the LORD said to Gideon, "By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand. Let all the other people go, every man to his place."
Hear the Strategy of the Enemy
Even after everything Gideon has seen the Lord perform on his behalf he is still uncertain of the outcome. So, God lets him hear what the enemy is thinking; 9 It happened on the same night that the LORD said to him, "Arise, go down against the camp, for I have delivered it into your hand. 10 But if you are afraid to go down, go down to the camp with Purah your servant, 11 and you shall hear what they say; and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp." Then he went down with Purah his servant to the outpost of the armed men who were in the camp.
Our God is so good, He knows the frailty of men; He knows we often doubt and fear His instruction to us. Through His loving-kindness He strengthens us and even lets us hear the fear of the enemy.
15 And so it was, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, that he worshiped. He returned to the camp of Israel, and said, "Arise, for the LORD has delivered the camp of Midian into your hand."
New Weapons for this Season – Sound & Light
16 When he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet into every man's hand, with empty pitchers, and torches inside the pitchers. 17 And he said to them, "Look at me and do likewise; watch,… 18 When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then you also blow the trumpets on every side of the whole camp, and say, 'The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!..20 Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers—they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing—and they cried, "The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!" 21And every man stood in his place all around the camp; and the whole army ran and cried out and fled.
Don’t Build an Altar to your Accomplishments
In Judges 8 we read the account of how the whole army of Israel rallied around Gideon and the 300. Through their united efforts they defeat the armies of the Amorites. Unfortunately we also see how once again they fell into idolatry only this time it was due to an ephod the Gideon had built and put up in the city square.
Judges 8: 24, 27 24 Then Gideon said to them, "I would like to make a request of you, that each of you would give me the earrings from his plunder." For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites. Then Gideon made it into an ephod and set it up in his city, Ophrah. And all Israel played the harlot with it there. It became a snare to Gideon and to his house.
34 Thus the children of Israel did not remember the LORD their God, who had delivered them from the hands of all their enemies on every side.
Word of the Lord
As I was with Gideon so I am with you; I call you mighty men and women of valor - you can go all things through the power of My Spirit. Although you may experience doubt and fear at times do not let them deter you. Press into Me and I will reveal the plans of the enemy and give you the strategies to defeat him. I have new weapons for you this season; sound and light will shatter the enemy. Always remember it’s not by your might or your power that the enemy is defeated, it’s by My Spirit. Yes, I move with you and through you but without My Spirit you can accomplished no great thing in My kingdom. Keep your focus on Me and keep your heart pure of all forms of leaven. Beware of puffed-up-ness, haughtiness, thinking more highly of yourself than you ought these are a snare to you and will bring you down is left unchecked says the Lord. Go in this your might, all things are possible to those who believe!
Open our eyes, Lord!
Open my eyes so I can truly see the marvelous things in your law! - Psalms 119:18 (NET Bible)
Read & take Action: Your reading today is the devotion passages, take time to let God’s Word sink into your heart. Search you heart to see if there is doubt or fear present, repent, and let Holy Spirit heal you of past mistakes that may have brought in these snares. Determine not to build altars to your mistakes or to your accomplishments. The enemy will use our mistakes to get us to camp in an old place – he also will use our accomplishments to get us focus on our good deeds. Both can become snares!
Decree: New weapons: I will wield the Sword of the Lord, Sound and Revelation light to defeat the enemy in this hour!