I’m reading through Judges…the Book of Judges. Just the name of the book itself somehow makes you feel on guard, like you expect to be criticized or convicted of something, if anywhere in this book. It’s written against a backdrop of people, the Israelites, who are coming and going, listening to the word they were given and then forgetting and doing whatever they want. So then they are attacked, usually brought under bondage. They are put in the position to fight just so that they know that they have a God who wants to be a warrior for them. It’s the story of the raising up of individuals who are called out by God from under palm trees, or wine presses to bring messages and lead.
I had decided to stop at Gideon, to not just read through and understand but to reread over and over…to sit down at the table and be conscious of each bite, to savor it rather than stand at the kitchen counter and eat out of the bag, rushed and giving into the sensation that I may be full. Gideon is an interesting character. He is often labeled doubtful, insecure. He is a warrior but a warrior being subversive to provide for those who depended on him. He wasn’t fighting at all…but this redemptive battle becomes his as he is promised that God will be with him and then reassured over and over…and over again. His next step is only taken when God has knelt down, leaned close and whispered the confidence into his ear. I feel like I understand Gideon in that…
And then the truth comes to the surface as I look at these same words focusing instead on God in each verse. Gideon, the Midianites and Israelites fade into background…to God as the author and main player of the story…a love story. He always answers, lovingly and patiently. He never throws up His hands and wonders when Gideon will get it or tells him to refer to the reassurance of yesterday…He always answers. He always loves. And this part of the story where His love jumps off the page…the reason for it all becomes my love story and through the truth, I know I am loved. And then I am full and thankful that as I chewed every bite and digested, now I am satisfied.
So, get a Bible, turn to Judges and find the story told of Gideon. It’s a good one.
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