Great Economic and Social Depression in Israel of Old
According to Bible in the days of the Judges, the children of Israel had done evil in the sight of the LORD and He delivered them into the hands of the Midianites for seven years. It was so bad that they had to hide in dens, caves and strongholds from the oppression of the Midianites and Amalekites. No one could speak up, nor raise their heads. Totally subdued. Even their produce was often confiscated and destroyed by the ruling powers, the Midianites.
Israel came under great socio-economic depression and oppression. They became greatly impoverished by the activities of the Midianites. There was no more justice in the land. It was a great day of doom.
See excerpts of the account in the Book of Judges, chapter 6, verse 1 to 6:
“Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. So the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years, and the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of the Midianites, the children of Israel made for themselves the dens, the caves, and the strongholds which are in the mountains. So it was, whenever Israel had sown, Midianites would come up; also Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. Then they would encamp against them and destroy the produce of the earth as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep nor ox nor donkey. For they would come up with their livestock and their tents, coming in as numerous as locusts; both they and their camels were without number; and they would enter the land to destroy it. So Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites“
And Israel cried unto the Lord. They cried out of anguish of their souls unto the Lord to deliver them. And the Lord heard and chose a man by the name Gideon – the seemingly insignificant personality, the least and the weakest. Gideon, like some of us, has been so beaten down by the circumstances of life that he has lost confidence in himself. He has become fearful. The situation around him has instilled fear and hopelessness into him. The giant in him had died until the Lord showed up. And the Lord understood that.
As you will know later, the Lord guided Him all the way through the pre-war phase and during the war. Imagine God (while) telling him to go down and strike the enemy in the valley and He (God) quickly added an option, saying in Judges 7:10-11 “But if you are afraid to go down, go down to the camp with Purah your servant, and you shall hear what they say.” On a lighter note: who would not be afraid? Have you read the description of the army he was going to face? Bible says the Midianite and Amalekite armies were as numerous as locust; camels without number like sand by seashore!
The Lord knows our frailties and fears, yet He helps our infirmities. He strengthens our faith in the face of adversity. He searches our heart and helps us.
Bring Down Everything Exalting Itself Against God
Gideon proceeded in this unction to execute the first action. He pulled down the foreign idol that had been erected and sacrificed unto by his people. He destroyed all the worship places of Baal.
For you and I, the questions are: Are you the Gideon of God called to bring deliverance to your people? To your community or to the nation? First of all, in order to execute this divine task, you need to pull down in your life everything and anything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, be it in your heart or in your life or in your working place. Pull down that selfish ambition that does not point you to God. That ambition that will make you tread upon the people of God.
Remember, the fall of Lucifer (Satan) the son of morning emanated from ungodly ambition in his heart, for he said, “I will ascend to heaven and exalt my throne above the stars of God and sit upon the mount of the congregation. I ascend above the heights of the clouds. I will be like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:12 – 14. By this God pulled him down from heaven.
The Lord Chooses By Himself
Let’s go back to Gideon’s story. After destroying the altars of Baal, the Spirit of God came upon Gideon and he gathered as many children of Israel as he could to prepare for war against the Midian and Amalek. Maybe out of fear, he gathered 32,000 men that God had to correct him.
“And the Lord said to Gideon, “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.” Judges 7:2.
By strength shall no man prevail (1 Samuel 2:9). The LORD by Himself chose those that are called for the battle. He tested and pruned down the 32,000 men to just 300 men. The Lord God chooses His battle axes Himself.
With these men, God delivered the Midianite and Amalekite armies into the hands of Gideon. The Lord caused the enemies to destroy themselves; “…the Lord set every man’s sword against his companion throughout the whole camp.” Judges 7:22.
Lord, our prayers are that:
You will choose your Gideon that will set us free from oppression. Raise Gideons. Men that you have empowered by Your Spirit. Raise men and women who have pulled down haughty imaginations in their hearts and their ways. Those that you have endured with your Spirit. Those that you will work with, having minimal human interference. Those that You will use to bring Your Miraculous Deliverance to Your People, to a nation, Oh God!
Raise men and women that though small in their eyes yet mighty by the Hands of God! Men and women who have not defiled themselves with the king’s dainties. Men and women that speak uprightly. That seek not their own things but lean on the Most High God. Lord, raise us Gideons and deliver Your People from oppression and calamity. Set fire in the midst of the enemies. Pull down their strongholds. Recompense upon them with Your Great Hands. Deliver the oppressed and set the captives free in the mighty name of Jesus.
Thank you Father!