7:7 KJV) And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped
will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other
people go every man unto his place.
Through the years while reading the Bible I have
enjoyed studying the type of men the Lord seems to always choose to do important
things. All of these men seem to have three things in common. The first thing they
have in common is their low self-esteem…such as Moses. The second thing they
seem to have in common is their strong dependence on the guidance of the Lord…such
as Elijah. The third thing they seem to have in common is their strict obedience
to the voice of the Lord…such as Gideon.
Gideon was chosen by the Lord to lead the army of Israel into
battle against the well-trained Midianites, who had been oppressing them for
years. However, Gideon’s qualification for leading such an army was little more
than threshing wheat in his father’s winepress…whatever that is worth. In spite
of that, the angel of the Lord was sent to tell Gideon, “The Lord is with you,
you mighty man of valor”.
However, up until that point it did not seem that
Gideon had actually done anything to indicate that he was a “mighty man of valor”.
I find it interesting as well as comforting to know the Lord never sees us as
we are, but as we were meant to be…and Gideon was meant to be a “mighty man of
The Lord set Gideon up for such an honor by reducing
his army from thirty-two thousand men to three hundred men, that would go on to
defeat the great army of the Midianites.
This is a good example of how God choses “the
foolish things to confound the wise”.
The other day while traveling east of Houston, Texas
I stopped at the San JacintoMonument. This monument
was erected on the battle field where General Sam Houston had defeated General
Santa Anna from Mexico
for the independence of Texas.
The likelihood of Sam
Houston winning this battle was remote since Santa Anna had won every other battle
up until then. He had defeated those at the Alamo,
he had won the battle at Goliad, and now Santa Anna’s plans were to swat
General Sam Houston’s small army at San Jacinto.
This victory should stop these rebellious Texicans once and for all from any further
idea of wanting to become an independent nation.
Houston was so devoted to fighting and winning this war that he even had a
nearby bridge burned, which left no way for either side to escape. His idea was
that they would either win or die…but they would not retreat.
arrogant General Santa Anna was so sure that the victory would be his that he
and his men took a
siesta. While they slept, General Sam Houston and his men swooped down on them and
defeated Santa Anna’s great army in only eighteen minutes…and with that Texas
won its independence.
While at the San Jacinto
monument that day I realized that all of our battles are ultimately won by the
Lord. Perhaps our only part is to remain small in our own eyes as did Gideon and
his army or to burn our bridge of retreat as did General Sam Houston.
Thank You for reminding us once
again that it is “ Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD
of hosts”. (Zechariah 4:6)
29:18 KJV) Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that
keepeth the law, happy is he.
This is one of my most favorite
scriptures in the entire Bible because it talks about vision. Vision has always
been very important to me because it is the fuel that has kept me excited, alive,
and moving forward. I thank the Lord for gifting me with the ability to envision
things before they actually happen. There were times in my life when I had
nothing else except vision…and that is why I cherish it.
It is amazing how one can preach
on a scripture such as this for years and yet seem to only have a surface
understanding of it. Recently, while reading this scripture again, I began to
realize that in the past I had only seen in it what I needed to see at the time…but
there is so much more. Even though I could quote this scripture backwards and
forwards, I had only extracted from it what was relevant to me at that age of
my spiritual growth.
However, after further
examination of this scripture it does seem to be making two contrasting statements.
The first statement has to do with what it takes to make one perish. The second
statement has to do with what it takes to make one happy.
I had not realized until now how
devastating it is for one who is not motivated by vision. That being the case,
then vision is much more than just a dream exercise…it represents health
itself. Food and exercise may keep one’s body healthy, but it takes vision to
keep one’s spirit healthy.
What seemed to be a contrast in
this scripture may not be as much of a contrast as I first thought. The ‘b’
part of this scripture actually talks about happiness being the result of
keeping the law. However, the law this scripture speaks of is not the moral law
(because no man can perfectly keep that law), it is talking about the law of
faith (the Gospel). Therefore, happiness is the result of valuing and esteeming
the law of faith with meekness, which in turn can result in salvation. Salvation
and eternal life should produce happiness and happiness should produce vision,
health, and a long productive life.
I happen to be one of those people
who actually live in the vision every waking moment. Even when I wake up at
night to go to the bathroom…I use those few minutes to actually walk through
things that I need to before they ever occur. By doing that …when the time
comes for me to actually walk through those experiences I am already familiar
with each of the steps.
Since I am blessed with the ability
to immediately go back to sleep (after the bathroom trip) I do not waste my time
by remaining awake or lose my rest time because of insomnia.
When Abraham sent his servant to
find a wife for his son Isaac…the servant found Rebekah. As they rode for days
on the backs of camels returning home, the servant continued to tell Rebekah
all about Isaac. By the time they actually arrived home she knew Isaac without even
having seen him…because she had envisioned him.
You for giving me one of the most precious gifts of all…the ability to envision.
Lord, help those who have lost their way as a result of losing their vision.
Restore to them what man or life has stolen from them…and that is the ability
to envision...because, “Where there is no vision, the people perish...”
3:7 KJV) A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time
When our text says that there is “a
time to keep silence” it is not insinuating that talking should be replaced. It
simply means that there should be a balance between talking and listening. The
reason for silence is because through silence (or listening) we learn…and then
by meditating on what we have learned it becomes established.
The fact is there is nothing
quite as fruitful as meditating on the Word of God. Such fruit bearing times not
only allow one to receive fresh revelation for the moment, but it also allows
one to re-enjoy the blessings of the past.
text also says there is a time to speak. That means if one does not speak of their relationship
with Christ and give Him praise and glory, then surely the rocks would cry out.
With that thought in mind, I must
say that there are several things about the younger generation that bother me. By
saying that, I do not mean to insinuate that my generation was any better and that
it should be held up as an example. I merely want to point out a potential
cause for alarm in this present generation.
There are so many wonderful young
people in the world today. However, there are many other young people who
simply want to ‘dumb out’ and not even communicate with their parents or anyone
else. The way they do that seems simple and harmless…but is it?
I saw a good example of this last
week when my family and I were on vacation in Hawaii. One night we went to a luau and met
and had dinner with a great family from Alabama.
This couple had two boys who were eleven and fourteen years of age.
The eleven year old was engaged in
and enjoyed our conversation as well as enjoying the events of the evening. However,
the fourteen year old sat there all evening with ear buds in his ears and never
looked up. He chose not to talk, listen or make eye contact.
I am sad to say that over the
years I have met a few people that were born deaf and dumb. However, it
saddened me tremendously to see one who was not born deaf and dumb choose to
live as if they were. What could possibly have happened in a young person’s
life that was so bad it would cause him to want to zone out like that?
Another thing that alarms me is
when one chooses an alternative for talking. I realize that anything good can
be taken to an extreme and particularly by those who are prone to live an undisciplined
For example, texting is a great
tool, but when it is taken to an extreme it can eliminate needed conversation.
Texting is a low level way of communicating
because one only gets the bare minimum of the intent of the word. There is what
I call a two level communication that can only be accomplished by talking face
to face with a person. The word in a text may give a measure of meaning, but it
takes the spirit of the person face to face to give full meaning, life and
power to that word.
The point is we should all seek
proper balance in every area of our lives.
Thank You for reminding us of
potential extremes and ways to avoid them by meditating on Scripture such as
our text. Is it possible that we see some of our own ugliness and imbalance through
some of the young people of this generation? We ask for Your patience Lord as
we grow in You.
KJV) Heal me, O
LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art
time to time a person usually needs healing in some area of their life. One area
may be physical healing, another area may be the healing of their memories and
yet another area may be the healing from fatigue.
it comes to healing physical fatigue…rest is usually the answer. However, when
it comes to healing mental fatigue rest may help, but ultimately it is going to
take the supernatural.
Perhaps this is what Paul was
talking about in Romans 12:2 when he spoke of the renewing of the mind.
“...be not conformed to this
world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove
what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
only way one’s mind can be renewed is by cleaning out all the natural things
that have caused the blockage to begin with…and that takes the supernatural.
fatigue is usually the result of one’s mind slowing down and not keeping up
with its potential. A good example of this is when a car gets stuck in the mud…the
motor keeps racing and the tires keep spinning, but the car does not move
forward. In this case the idea is to get the car out of the mud so it can function
to its full potential.
mind works the same way. When one feels bogged down (or they have mental
fatigue) renewing the mind is the process used to get out of the ‘mind mud’.
Paul seems to imply that the
reason we get into ‘mind-mud’ is because we “conform to this world’s” way of
doing things. In other words when a Christian tries to do spiritual things in a
natural way then Paul calls that, “conforming to this world”.
suppose from time to time all of us have the potential of falling into this
trap…otherwise Paul would not have addressed it. Perhaps the reason Paul
addressed this issue is because he too had experienced the ‘mind-mud’
was certainly not aware that I was on the edge of ‘mind-mud’ until a few days
ago when I was driving through the open plains of Texas. All of a sudden I
began to realize that my mind was being renewed by the Lord. My focus had been
on so many other things that I was unaware of my own personal need.
when I unknowingly put myself in a position (the open plains of Texas) where the Lord
could personally minister to me…He did, and healing was the result.
point I want to make is…our dedication to Him is important, but His dedication
to us is healing. When we understand that principle, it should help keep us out
You for protecting us and healing us even when we are not aware of our need.
Lord we also want to emulate You as a father and meet the needs of others
without them always having to ask. Lord I am so blessed to know that my care is
a high priority to You…and that makes me love You even more.