In this season of social distancing for most, and extreme isolation for others, as we all try to fight for faith in the face of COVID-19, I decided to share one thought a day from my daily devotional time in the hope of strengthening other’s hands in God (1 Sam 23:16), and encouraging friends forward in faith. You can subscribe at the bottom of the page to receive an email for each new post, and feel free to come back daily and share with anyone who might find them beneficial.
I use a reading plan that has me reading a few chapters in different parts of the Scripture for every day of the week, and so each day’s content will be dictated by the required daily reading of that plan. I will focus in on one unit of thought rather than trying to address the full scope of the day’s reading. I am trusting God that He will speak from different parts of His Word, as He always does.
Tuesday, March 24
Reading: Judges 5-7
Through all of last summer we struggled to get our young daughter Katie to learn to swim. She was terrified of the “big pool” and even more terrified at the notion of having to stick her face into the water. There was only one thing that would embolden her, one promise that would encourage her off the step and into some deeper waters.
“I will be with you.”
She is a stubborn little princess and so she would make us promise at least ten times before she would believe us, but that is the promise that she needed. For some reason, she knew that she would be okay if her dad went with her, in spite of her remaining inability to be any more buoyant than a medium sized rock. Little did she know, that her dad shares swimming techniques and ability with said medium sized rock, but my presence gave her all the confidence she needed.
Judges 6 is about the calling of Gideon, a great warrior of God. The call came to Gideon though at a low point in the history of God’s people. Israel had been tormented by the Midianites for seven years (Judges 6:1). Seven years! That is a long time to suffer under the hand of a cruel nation with seemingly little or no relief. And so, when the call came to Gideon to be mighty man of valor (6:12), he understandably had some pushback as well as some questions for God’s messenger.
Where had God been all this time?
Was He sure that Gideon was a good selection, seen as though he was the weakest in his family and his family was the weakest in their tribe?
But, God spoke six words to Gideon that changed not just his destiny but the destiny of his people. Six simple words from God that forever changed his reality.
“But I will be with you…”(v16)
Gideon was the same weak man, the people were still in their same immediate difficult plight, but the reality of God’s presence changed the prospects of God’s people. The promise of God’s power, changed the potential of God’s chosen servant. Gideon stepped into the reality of being a mighty man of valor not by changing who he was, but by remembering who he was with, and more significantly, who was with him.
Friends, in these challenging and uncertain times, where it is difficult for many of us to see the active hand of God moving (though He certainly is), and it feels like we are under the clutches of the Midianites, we need mighty men and women of valor who are prepared to live out the call that God has placed upon them. You won’t feel equipped, you won’t feel ready, but you can move forward in faith if you remember these six words.
But I will be with you!
It reminds me of Paul’s question in Romans 8:31.
If God is for us, who can be against us?
Courage, dear friends.