Showing posts from March, 2019

What's Your Name?

Judges 6:32 Therefore on that day Gideon was called Jerubbaal, that is to say, “Let Baal contend against him,” because he broke down his altar. Gideon got a new name.  What's yours? Ever get a nickname?  Usually, a nickname has to do with something you did or said. Mine was Father Guido Sarducci, a character played by comedian Don Novello on Saturday Night Live.  I was in High School and attended a career class.  We would go around the room and tell everyone what we wanted to do upon graduating High School  I said, go to Bible College and become a Pastor.  How they got Father Guido Sarducci out of that, I don't know.  But after a while, I even answered to my nickname. Gideon was renamed, not nicknamed, because he tore down Baal's altars.  "So Baal can deal with him."  I'm sure that the worshippers of Baal thought their worthless little god would - He didn't. That's the deal about idols.  They only life they have is the one you give them.  I

Are You Ready To Go To War?

Judges 6: 30-32 30 Then the men of the town said to Joash, “Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has broken down the altar of Baal and cut down the Asherah beside it.”31 But Joash said to all who stood against him, “Will you contend for Baal? Or will you save him? Whoever contends for him shall be put to death by morning. If he is a god, let him contend for himself, because his altar has been broken down.”32 Therefore on that day Gideon was called Jerubbaal, that is to say, “Let Baal contend against him,” because he broke down his altar. The challenged is made. The challenge will always be made.  PAY THE PRICE FOR KILLING OUR IDOL!  If you are going to kill your idols, address your families idols or lead a group of people who need to kill a few "sacred" things in their life.  Understand this.  We often fail to understand the price that people are willing to pay for their idols.  People are willing to ruin your reputation, destroy your plans, label you a

They Won't Like You

Judges 6:29 And they said to one another, “Who has done this thing?” And after they had searched and inquired, they said, “Gideon the son of Joash has done this thing.” When you do the right thing, the wrong people will notice.  Often we say, "No good deed goes unpunished."  That's because Satan doesn't want you to get away with it.  Anytime that you do anything that could bring people closer to God - Satan will try to interfere. Pray and ask for God's protection.   When an idol goes down, know that riots will start.  Gideon had exposed Israel's sin and sent a message all across the land.  No more Baal!   This caused them to call for Gideon's death, but why?  Couldn't they just go and rebuild the caller?  Sure. But they were offended.  They were humiliated, and they were angry. When you start destroying idols, don't expect a crowd to cheer you on, not at first anyway.   They believed in Baal, they thought he was offended.  The

You Can't Hide

Judges 6:28 When the men of the town rose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was broken down, and the Asherah beside it was cut down, and the second bull was offered on the altar that had been built. Gideon has torn down the altar and everyone in town notices.   There is something that you need to know about dealing with your own idolatry.  It exposes other peoples idolatry.  Idolatry isn't a secret sin that only effects you.  Your sins will influence others.  Especially, your closest friends and family.   I have watched for nearly 40 years of ministry people pass their sins on to the next generation of family and friends.  Children learn reverence and honor for God from their parents.  Likewise, they learn how to be selfish (and for the sake of this blog) idolatrous from them too.   But Gideon in defeating his own idolatry exposes Israels' problem.  As we will see, they will not like it.  But when you change your altar, people will notice.   I'

How To Destroy Your Idols.

Judges 6: 25 - 27  25 That night the Lord said to him, “Take your father's bull, and the second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it 26 and build an altar to the Lord your God on the top of the stronghold here, with stones laid in due order. Then take the second bull and offer it as a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah that you shall cut down.” 27 So Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the Lord had told him. But because he was too afraid of his family and the men of the town to do it by day, he did it by night. So you've discovered that there is something in your life that is getting more attention and affection than God.  What do you do?  I've heard people say, "That's ok, I'll just stop."  (Insert laughter here.)  They never "just" stop.   First of all, tell God that you're sorry for what you did and that you need His help

Stop Robbing Yourself

Judges 6: 25 - 27 25 That night the Lord said to him, “Take your father's bull, and the second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that is beside it 26 and build an altar to the Lord your God on the top of the stronghold here, with stones laid in due order. Then take the second bull and offer it as a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah that you shall cut down.” 27 So Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the Lord had told him. But because he was too afraid of his family and the men of the town to do it by day, he did it by night. So God challenges Gideon to take a step of faith and destroy the idols in his hometown.  Gideon knows what this means, and he knows how much trouble he is going to get into for it.  But the battle must be won!  Remember that the problem isn't the Midianites, the problem is Israel's idolatry.  Defeat the idol, and you will defeat your enemy.  What is an idol?

Where Do You Go?

Judges 6:24 Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it, The Lord Is Peace. To this day it still stands at Ophrah, which belongs to the Abiezrites. Memorials are usually reserved for famous people or groups of people.  If you have ever been to Washington D.C., you know that the town is full of such magnificent structures.  But in the Old Testament, it was common to build a memorial (altar) to God to remember what He had done for them. When Jacob has a dream from God of a stairway to heaven.  When Jacob made peace with Esau. When Israel defeated the Amalekites. When God gave Moses the 10 commandments.  When God dried up the Jordan river so they could cross.   Here Gideon builds an altar to commentate God calming his fears.   He worshipped God there. He praised God there.  He gave thanks to God there.  When he was afraid, he could go back and remember! Can you think of some places in your life where God did a great and wonderful thing in


Judges 6:23 But the Lord said to him, “Peace be to you. Do not fear; you shall not die.” Gideon has figured out that he has seen an angel.  He's a little freakout, to say the least.  So God speaks to him.  "Hey, Gideon!  Chill dude!  There's nothing to be afraid of!" (My paraphrase)  So let's review. The Midianites have invaded their world and taken everything by force. An angel, maybe God Himself, has visited Gideon. Gideon is told that he is the new leader (Judge) of Israel Gideon is informed he will trounce the Midianites. Nope, no reason to be afraid.  Right?  Put yourself in Gideon's sandals for a moment and ask yourself, "What would you do?"  Yea, that's what I thought. POV (Point of view) is everything. Today while driving to church I had to make a right-hand turn at a stop light.  A bicyclist was getting ready to cross the street. I see that he has the right of way and that the crosswalk sign agrees with me.  But the b

I Saw A Angel!

Hebrews 13:2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Have you ever met an angel?  Maybe.  I believe I have.  Years ago, when Betty and I were first married, a man stopped me in the parking lot of the apartment complex where we lived.  He was desperate and needed assistance.  I had compassion on him and gave him what little I had.  Some might say I was naive, but in my heart, I knew that this was the right thing to do. As soon as I turned the corner to go into the complex, I thought of something I want to say.  I turned around, and the man who was standing no more than 3 feet away from me was gone.  There was nowhere for him to hide, he disappeared.  I knew what had happened. Judges 6:22 Then Gideon perceived that he was the angel of the Lord. And Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord God! For now, I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.” Gideon realizes he has been talking to an angel.  He loses it.  Well, what wo


Judges 6: 19 - 21 19 So Gideon went into his house and prepared a young goat and unleavened cakes from an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket, and the broth he put in a pot, and brought them to him under the terebinth and presented them. 20 And the angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened cakes, and put them on this rock, and pour the broth over them.” And he did so. 21 Then the angel of the Lord reached out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and touched the meat and the unleavened cakes. And fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened cakes. And the angel of the Lord vanished from his sight. It doesn't seem to mean much at first read, but the angel proves to Gideon that he isn't hallucinating.   We see Gideon going to prepare a meal and an offering to give to the angel.  This is important.  Gideon could have asked for the angel to do a miracle, like make the Sun go black or do some kind of trick.  The religious

Are You Hallucinating?

Judges 6: 17 - 18 17  And he said to him, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, then show me a sign that it is you who speak with me. 18 Please do not depart from here until I come to you and bring out my present and set it before you.” And he said, “I will stay till you return.” Gideon is wondering if he's crazy.  He figures that if he fixes a meal and the angel eats it, then he isn't hallucinating. Gideon doubts himself, not God. This is an issue for many people today. They don't doubt God, His existence or presence.  They don't question His goodness or mercy.  They attend church, pray to Him and believe in the Word of God.  But they doubt themselves.  Their qualifications, their skills, their value to the Kingdom of God. It's easy to understand because in our eyes we see who we are - Sinners.  Sinners who deserve judgment and eternal damnation. But when we see ourselves through His eyes, we are sinners saved by grace.  We are saved?  But we don't des

Do You Have 20/20 Vision?

I have horrible vision.  It's something like 20/200 or so.  Without my glasses, I am blind as a bat.  I have seen my world through corrective lenses since I was in the 4th grade.  They are the first thing I put on in the morning and the last thing I take off at night.   But how do you see yourself?  When you look in the mirror what do you think?  Do you have 20/20 vision from your perspective or from God's   Judges 6:16 And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.” God has told Gideon that he is going to deliver Israel from the Midianites.  To which Gideon, in essence, said, "Are you kidding me?"  I'm nobody, from a family of nobodies, that's from a clan of nobodies!"  Every felt that way? God says, "Defeating Midian will be like beating up one man." This doesn't seem to add up, does it? Your perspective vs. His perspective will often be as opposite as night and day.  T

Be All You Can Be

Judges 6: 15 And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.” God’s declarations in the face of your situation will cause you to go, “Huh?”  We will ask, “how God how?”  I have to tell you that this is normal.  What you see rarely lines up with what God knows about you.  But as you follow Him, you discover who you are.  Who you were created to be.  Who He wants you to be.   The world will tell you that you are weak.  But the God within you is strong.  The world will tell you that you are nobody.  But God created you, and you are the apple of His eye.  The world will tell you that you are a loser.  But God will tell you that you are a leader.   You can ask God how.  But ask Him how you can become the person He created you to be.   PRAY: Dear Jesus, how can I become everything that you want me to be today.  AMEN. 

God "I've Got Your Back"

Judges 6:14 And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” Notice that God doesn't even comment on Gideon's complaint. (vs. 13) But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.”  Instead, God stays focused on the purpose of His visit.   Have you ever poured your heart out to God only to hear Him speak to you about something seemingly unrelated to prayer?   Over 30 years ago Betty and I were going through a rough time in our marriage.  (This is no secret and is a part of our testimony).  I was at the couch in our living room begging God to save our marriage.  The Holy Spirit spoke to me clearly and distinctly at that moment, "Tell your wife to quit her job."  What?  What does that have to do with our marriage?  He repeated it and emphasized that I should do it NOW!  I quickly got up from the couch, went to Betty and blurted out, "You need to quit your job

Hello Mighty Man, Or Woman, of Valor!!

Judges 6:12 - 13 12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” 13 And Gideon said to him, “Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” So Gideon is in a winepress hiding from the Midianites.  An angel shows up and calls Gideon, "O mighty man of valor."  Gideon doesn't even say thank you!  Instead asks, "... why then has all this happened to us?'  This is an odd conversation, to say the least.  But what God is saying and what Gideon is thinking isn't the same.  Gideons mind is on the problem while God's words are focusing on the solution.   You will find that when God calls you to do something for Him, His will and your self-image will not line up.   But reme

In the middle of your problem, God has a solution.

Judges 6:11 Now the angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. Solutions don't look like what we expect.  Noah was a shipbuilder?  Moses was a world-class leader?  Joseph was a Prime Minister?  This list goes on.  When we allow our life and culture to shape our perception of past, present, and future we often miss what God is doing.  His answers will come in packages we would neither expect or even embrace.  A significant key to your faith is to look where no one else is looking.   God goes to the solution before He brings deliverance.  Sure God could have called fire down from heaven and destroyed the Midianite army.  That would have made things a lot easier for everyone.  But the point of deliverance wasn't to deliver Israel from the Midianite.  It was to deliver Isreal from their idolatry.  Your problem may not be THE pr

Don't Be Scared!

Judges 6:10 And I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.’ But you have not obeyed my voice.” To recap, a prophet from God has come to declare the obvious.  Well, it is evident to us, it wasn't to the Israelites, thus the need for a prophet.   He said, do not fear false Gods.  The terminology that we often use here and in other places might be a bit misleading - so let me set the record straight.  Are there any other gods?  No!  There is nothing to be afraid of because there is nothing in the universe that is like the One True God.   Can we make up a false god?  Yes.  It's called idolatry, and we can worship anything we create. Can we make our false idols appear to be as powerful and mighty as God?  Yes, we can.  Even though it is a figment of our imagination, we can believe they are real. Idolatry usually leads to fear.  People will often play the "us vs. them" game or the "What if?&q

God Has A Message For You

Judges 6: 8 - 10  8 the Lord sent a prophet to the people of Israel. And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I led you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of slavery. 9 And I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land. 10 And I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.’ But you have not obeyed my voice.” If you don't know, prophets were God's messenger to Israel.  If they were going off the rails, a prophet would show up and let them know.  What did this prophet have to say? HEY, IT'S ME!   “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel:  The prophet isn't taking credit for this message.  He is delivering it to a people who need to hear it.  When God speaks, you'll know it.  More about this later, but for right now it means, "Pay attention"! REMEMBER WHEN?   I

This Is The King of Painful Ideas!

Judges 6:6 - 7 6 And Israel was brought very low because of Midian. And the people of Israel cried out for help to the Lord. 7 When the people of Israel cried out to the Lord on account of the Midianites, The Midianites prove a long-standing belief.  The world's way of doing business is profitable.   As I mentioned in my previous blog, the Midianites were a nomadic tribe that traveled from place to place taking what they wanted.  They overwhelmed their enemies with their numbers and as any good bully can tell you - they could back up what they promised.  You didn't mess with them.   I'll admit it - the world's way of doing things is profitable, and you can even enjoy the spoils of your victories.  But it cannot satisfy completely.  You have to go out and do it again and again and again to fill your need for attention, money, pleasure or whatever you desire.  The Midianites had to be ok with the fact that EVERYBODY hated them.  They had to be ok with the

Are You In Pain?

Judges 6: 3 - 6 For whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. 4 They would encamp against them and devour the produce of the land, as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel and no sheep or ox or donkey. 5 For they would come up with their livestock and their tents; they would come like locusts in number—both they and their camels could not be counted—so that they laid waste the land as they came in. 6 And Israel was brought very low because of Midian. And the people of Israel cried out for help to the Lord. As I said in my last blog, pain is a reality of life.  It will happen and probably often.  But why?  Doesn't God love me?  Yes!   Pain was introduced into this world through the sin of Adam and Eve.  Disease, death and a host of other nightmares descended upon mankind because of their refusal to obey God.  Now before you point your finger at Adam and Eve ask yourself, "Ha

You Are Gideon

This blog is a first in a series about Gideon. You can read the whole story in Judges chapter 6 and 7. But as I was reading this a few days ago, I realized that we have more in common with Gideon than we think. We are going to take a few verses at a time for the next few days. Discovering it’s message and meaning. Judges 6 1: 2 The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Midian seven years. 2 And the hand of Midian overpowered Israel, and because of Midian the people of Israel made for themselves the dens that are in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds. Israel was up to its old ways again. Idolatry. Worshipping Baal and all the other evil that went with it. For that, God had removed his hand of protection from them thus allowing the Midianites to terrorize Israel. The Midianites, a nomadic warring people, would simply overwhelm their neighbors with greater numbers and take what they wanted.  It was a v

What Are You Doing?

So much of life is on autopilot.  Our job, our family even our downtime is often scripted.  Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months and months turn into years.  Then one day we go - "What happened?' Don't feel bad.  Many people do this every day.  Is it over?  Have you wasted your life?  Are you a fool?  Well, the bad news is, you're not Cher, and you can't turn back time.  The good news is, you don't have to live one more day like that.  What do you do? 1 Peter 2:9   But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Discover how God sees you.  You're a royal priest, a holy person (really), a person who use to live in the dark and now you live in the light.   Discover what God wants you to do.  God will create the need, then He will provide for it.  But don't be surprised when God calls you to

Coming Soon!

A quick note to our newest subscribers.  If you attend FFWC, you've been added to my daily devotional list.  You may unsubscribe at any time, but I encourage you to spend a few moments each morning meditating on these devotionals.   Starting Monday, March 8th I am going to change my format (at least for now) and start walking you through stories in the Bible, verse by verse.  We are going to start with Gideon in Judges chapter 6.  I am excited about what God has already shared with me, and I know that it will be a BIG blessing to your life.  AMEN   God told Abraham - Your son is coming soon! God told David - You'll be king someday - coming soon! God told the Old Testament - The Messiah will arrive - coming soon! Jesus told us that He will return - coming soon! Revelation 22:20  He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! There is an aspect to God whereby we remember what He has done.  We need to remember that He has ke

Politics vs. Obedience

I've always said that politics exists because of fear.  We jostle for position and advantage with a purpose to accomplish some agenda.  Either ours or our teams.  Politics used to be an art of compromise.  One that searched for the best in everyone's interests.  But times have changed. It's now about bullying and manipulating facts and emotions to fit your desires.  Best interests aside.  Take care of yourself and forget the rest.  Amazing as it seems.  Fear is still the big Mo (Motivator) in all of this. 1 Samuel 15:22   And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. King Saul (a politician) has disobeyed God.  Why did he do it?  To endear himself to his people.  He was afraid of their rejection.  When you think that your authority comes from others instead of God, you will be doomed to bow down to their wishes and wh

You're Surrounded!

Remember the old cop shows. The bad guy is in the building, and a cop on a bullhorn says, "Surrender, we've got you surrounded!" Then the bad guy thinks he can shoot his way out of it and you know the rest of the story. Well, some things have never changed. 1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” You've probably heard the old saying, "If you want to know who you will become, look at your 5 closest friends."  Or "You will become who you spend the most time with." Don't surround yourself with people who degrade you and think ill of your future.   Surround yourself with people who will tell you that you're smart, or talented.  Surround yourself who will encourage you, even when you make mistakes.  Surround yourself with people who believe in you.   Surround yourself with people of faith.  People of faith believe that God created you with a great purpose.  They think that God doesn't make mi

Stinkin Thinkin?

Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: (KJV) I remember the first time I heard someone tell me, "You need to quit your stinkin thinkin if you're going to make it in life."  I was at a conference, and the speaker was none other than Zig Ziglar. Then this morning we were listening to a podcast that talked about the two parts of the brain.  The thinker and the prover.  Whatever the thinker thinks, the prover will go out of its way to prove.  It doesn't matter if it is real or not. If you say that you are a failure, your brain will go out of its way to find examples to prove your statement.  Then it will stay on the lookout for new material. If you say that you are a success, your brain will do the same thing.  It will start looking for past and present examples of success. After listening to the podcast, I asked my family, "Why would God make us this way?"  It was a good discussion.  But I would like to ask you the same thing. Phi