Monday, September 28, 2020

Does God Have Your Attention!?


Greetings friends – welcome to the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries located in Spring Hill, Florida not but 4.5 miles from Weeki Wachee Springs. I’m your servant Leonard V. Johnson.

Is God trying to tell us something from all these terrible and major wildfires in California, Oregon, and Washington!? Or, the brushfires in Australia!? Or, the flash floods in Indonesia!? Or, the earthquakes in China, India, Iran, the Philippines, Russia, Turkey, and the Caribbean!? The swarms of locusts in Asia, East Africa, India, and the Middle East!? Cyclone Amphan in Bangladesh and India!? The forest fires in Uttarakhand!? The Assam floods in India!? The green snow of Antarctica!? And friends – this was all in the year 2020! What about the 8.2 magnitude earthquake which struck off southern Mexico in 2017!? Now that is an earthquake that will get your attention! They felt the vibration from that and the reoccurring shock waves - some of them well over 7.0 on the Richter scale – all the way up to Mexico City. Just a monster of an earthquake that killed an estimated 98 people and injuring over 300. 

Is God trying to tell us something by all of these events which befall our nations, countries, and provinces!?

Now, I don’t believe that Almighty God intentionally wants to see harm come to individuals, to wreck homes, families, or to destroy human lives and lay waste to the landscape. None of that is in God’s mind. But on the other hand – has God allowed these catastrophes to happen!?

And, before I go any further – the people who have the same mindset as Sir James George Frazer, who wrote the book The Illustrated Golden Bough, in which is written in the introduction, “He described man as progressing from a belief in magic as a means of controlling his environment to religious belief, which propitiated gods and spirits.” In other words, like the majority of the native Hawaiians believe that the eruptions of Kilauea are from the volcano deity Pelehonuamea. Well, this article may not be your cup of tea.

But, it is our belief that Almighty God – the very Creator of all life, material and spiritual – has allowed these terrible natural disasters to occur as a result of mankind’s unwillingness to submit to His will, to obey His commandments, and His statutes.

God established a way of life – a code of living – that brings about all kinds of wonderful benefits. Just like He would treat His own family, He instructs His people in a way that will be for their best interest. These Laws bring about harmony, peace, long life, prosperity, protection – without war, pestilences, without internal strife, happy marriages, obedient and happy children. And, of course, when you lay down at night, peaceful and restful sleep. There’s a lot of people who can’t sleep at night because of all the anxieties and worries they have. However, mankind has decided to go it their own way. To plot their own course without God.

Has God allowed what is happening in this world today to happen!? And, of course, God hasn’t stopped mankind from making their own course or choosing the lifestyle that they choose to live. But are there consequences to these decisions!? You know, like Sir Isaac Newton’s – “every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” And, of course, these two forces are called action and reaction forces and are the subject of Newton's third law of motion, yet, I believe every action we do has a corresponding reaction. I believe there are consequences – and not only to individuals but for a nation, a country, and a province, as well.

Last month I was blessed by Almighty God and our Lord Jesus Christ to have been a final witness, to an individual, concerning the gospel of Christ – of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, of eternal salvation through Him, of the principles of the New Covenant, and of the soon-coming kingdom of God and of God’s ultimate plan of redemption for mankind. I was asked by my sister-in-law why I didn’t believe in “the rapture.” And I began to slowly explain what God’s living word truly says and does not say concerning a “rapture” – along with the truth about death and what happens after death – of the fact that I didn’t want her to “be ignorant, … concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest [she] sorrow as others who have no hope.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:13 NKJV. Though she believes in going off to Heaven – cf. John 3:13. I explained “the mystery [the hope of the gospel] which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints” – Colossians 1:26-27 NKJV. Within that short discussion, I told her about the glorious hope of the gospel – the good news of the potentiality of eternal life, the great hope of the resurrection, and into the family of God. My sister-in-law’s best friend, who was visiting with her – and who had indulged in a lifestyle which God finds abominable - cf. Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:24-32 – just rolled her eyes and laughed. My wife yelled out, “No one came here to talk about God or religion!” Sadly, my sister-in-law’s best friend died 21 days later, possibly from complications involving diabetes. Like Mr. Michael Garrett, who has mentioned having a “list,” I too have a list of the names of special people that have passed in my life – whom I would be so blessed by God, His will be done, to have the honor and privilege to be standing there to help comfort them when they are resurrected, and to mentor them in His Word, His Truth, and in His ultimate Plan of redemption. Her name has been added to my list - if I am so blessed by Almighty God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

So, in speaking of - has God allowed what is happening in this world today to happen? – I would like to read an example of this in the Book of Judges, the 6th chapter

Now, this is during the time when the nation of Israel was without a king. And there was a lineage of judges who ruled over Israel – and that, of course, is the subject of the Book of Judges. These judges who were wise would stand up, and God would inspire them to give the nation good advice about which way they should go. This chapter has to do with a man who believed that he didn’t have any power to make any changes in the nation of Israel – but God inspired him to do so.

Verse 1 – “Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD. …” – how many times have you read that in your Bible!? How many times has that happened in the history of the nation of Israel – and even today!?

“ … So the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years, …” – so they were in subjection to their enemies.

So we see here in the very first verse an interesting aspect of the LORD God’s character. He not only allowed them to fall into the hands of the Midian’s – their enemies – but it appears that He may even have had a role in them being in subjection to their enemies.

Sometimes we tend to forget how good things are until we lose it. And, I’ll give you an example – when the Internet goes out! We hate it when the Internet goes out – don’t we!? We’re so used to all the modern conveniences – and when your computer goes down, it feels like the end of the world! It can be quite miserable. We are truly spoiled here in the United States of America, and in most of the nations of Israel because we have enjoyed such great bounty. When we compare our situation to someone else – like a vagabond standing on a street corner; and you know that all he has is what he has on, or what he pushes around in a shopping cart – and we look at our own lives and we begin to realize just how good we actually have it! And I think this is what the LORD God is trying to impress upon His people – here.

Verse 2 – “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 the Midianites have absolutely driven the children of Israel up into the mountains into these caves, and they couldn’t just be on the plains farming and raising their own crops.

Verse 3 – “So it was, whenever Israel had sown, Midianites would come up; also Amalekites and the people of the East …” – these are descendants of Esau. An ancient hatred that goes back many decades and centuries between the children of Israel and the descendants of Esau – the story of those two brothers. Even though they themselves were reunited with one another – the families continued to carry some sort of resentment toward one another. And this resentment continues even today.

Verse 4 – “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 [ass].” – so these people would come in like a plague, camp in the countryside, eat all of their crops, take their animals, pillage and take what they wanted.

Verse 5 – “For they would come up with their livestock and their tents, coming in as numerous locusts; both they and their camels were without number; and they would enter the land to destroy it.” – they came up TO DESTROY THE LAND! Not to build it up, to help out, to farm it – but to purposely destroy the land.

Verse 6 – “So Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites, and the children of Israel cried out to the LORD.” – the same old story. When we get in trouble then it’s, “O, Lord! Save me!” “O, God! Can you help me, I’m in a terrible fix, now I want you to listen to my prayer!” Like in the movie The End, where Burt Reynolds was negotiating with God – “Oh, God! Let me live, and I promise to obey every one of the Ten Commandments. I shall not kill... I shall not commit adultery... I shall not... I... uh... I'll learn the Ten Commandments, and then I'll obey every … one of them!” But before then – ignore God, “Ho-hum, we don’t need God! Everything’s good, my wallet is full of money, I have food in my refrigerator, plenty of gasoline in my car!” However, you take away a few things, and then all of a sudden, people turn to God. It’s truly shameful.

Verse 7 – “And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried out to the LORD because of the Midianites, 8) that the LORD sent a prophet …” – now we don’t know who this prophet was – a nameless prophet here in this passage of Scripture. But he came and WARNED the nation, saying –

“ … ‘Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘I brought you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of bondage: 9) and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land. 10) Also I said to you, ‘I AM the LORD your God; do not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.’ But you have not obeyed My voice.’”

Friends, our nation has been bent on absolutely rejecting God’s Law from every angle imaginable! For thirty-nine years I have spent watching our nation destroy God’s Law! They have rejected it, hated it, covered it up, and even boarded it over! In 2013, the Ten Commandments monument in Washington, D.C. was toppled by vandals, in 2017 a major blow to the Ten Commandments came from the Supreme Court of the land! A complaint brought forth by a Wiccan group stated that the presence of a statue bearing the Ten Commandments in Bloomfield, NM. on the lawn of the city hall building was offensive. Judge Parker, of the U.S District Court, ruled, “In view of the circumstances surrounding the context, history, and purpose of the Ten Commandments monument, it is clear that the city of Bloomfield has violated the Establishment Clause because its conduct in authorizing the continued display of the monument on city property has had the primary or principal effect of endorsing religion.” And when the case was appealed through the courts, finally making it to the Supreme Court – they didn’t want to hear the case. And in June of this year, a man was arrested for toppling a Ten Commandments monument in Kalispell with a chain and a pickup! They have painted over them! They have kicked His Ten Commandments out of every school, every national monument. And even the great seal of the United States of America – go back and look at the history of the seal of the US, the first committee (consisting of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams) proposed the motto around the edges to state, “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.” And they wanted to place an allegorical scene from Exodus – with Moses standing on the Shore, and extending his Hand over the Sea. But, of course, in 1782 Congress turned to its Secretary Charles Thomson, who came up with a new design which provided the basis for the final seal – an American bald eagle with its talons holding thirteen arrows and olive branches. And you go back and look, asking yourself – where did those symbols come from!? Did we – as a nation – just dream those symbols up out of thin air!? Or, did they come from our history, which goes back to the days when the prophet Moses walked the earth!?

Verse 11 – “Now the [a]ngel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth tree which was in Ophrah, …” – now that little town, Ophrah – just to give you a reference – remember when the nation of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, they wandered in the wilderness forty years, eventually coming to the Jordan River on the eastside. And they crossed over into the promised land. The first city they came across was Jericho – and the walls of Jericho came down because of God’s power. Roughly 16 miles northwest was the little town of Ophrah. So that should give you some idea of where they are at – here. The angel of the LORD was under a terebinth tree – I remember growing up in a two-story white farmhouse in Oregon which had a seventy-five or one-hundred-year-old twisted Garry oak tree in front. Its branches touched the ground, making it very climbable. That old Garry oak is still standing there on that piece of property!

“ … which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites.”

So, the Jamieson Fausset and Brown Commentary of the Whole Bible tells us here, “this incident tells emphatically the tale of public distress. The small quantity of grain he was threshing indicated by his using a flail instead of the customary treading of cattle – the unusual place, near a wine press, under a tree, and on the bare ground, not a wooden floor, for the prevention of noise – all these circumstances reveal the extreme dread in which the people were living.” 1

Verse 12 – “And the [a]ngel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, ‘The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!’” – that must have floored Gideon! For God to have an angel appear unto you and say, ‘You mighty man of valor!’ I wonder about some of the men in history – like Sir Winston Churchill who had discovered why he had been born. He had said once of his extraordinary luck in surviving World War I – that he could hear the sound of invisible wings beating over him. He was driven by a strong sense of destiny. He believed from the age of sixteen, that there would be great upheavals and terrible troubles for the British people – and that he would be called upon to save England and London. 2 There have been great men who have made that statement – “I understand the purpose of my life now.” Because they understood that God had had a hand in their life. Mr. Churchill became the leader of Great Britain at the point when they needed him the most. And I believe absolutely this saved that nation from the invasion of Nazi Germany at that time! And here he tells him, “You mighty man of valor!”

Verse 13 – “Gideon said to [h]im, ‘O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? …” – ‘Why God!? Where have You been!? Why is this happening to our nation!?’ You know – men ask that question.

Did they ever ask the question – that God’s hand might be in the fact that they are in bondage!? We read in verse one that it is because the children of Israel ‘did evil in the sight of the LORD’ that they were in bondage. God was the One that brought this upon them. Why!? So that they would turn to Him, and cry out to Him! That’s the reason that they are in the predicament that they are in. And he’s asking, ‘Where have You been, God?’ And God is saying, ‘I’ve been here all along. I’m just trying to get you to PAY ATTENTION!

“ … And where are all His miracles … ’” – why aren’t all these wonderful miracles which we hear about in prophet Moses’ day aren’t happening today!? Well, we understand from His living word that it is because of sin which stands in the way. “ … which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.’” – God probably chuckled at this remark.

Verse 14 – “Then the LORD turned to him and said [through His angelic messenger], ‘Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?’”

Verse 15 – “So he said to Him [speaking to the LORD through this angelic messenger], ‘O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.’” – indeed, Saul said that in his day. And David was the youngest of eight sons of Jesse and was a shepherd of sheep. So, seemingly, the person who appears, to man, to be the weakest and the poorest is the very one which God will choose – 1 Corinthians 1:27.

Verse 16 – “And the LORD said to him, ‘Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.’”

Verse 17 – “The he said to Him [again, speaking to the LORD through this angelic messenger], ‘If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who talk with me.’”

So, here is an angel which has appeared unto Gideon – and, of course, this angel has taken on the likeness of a man, cf. Hebrews 13:1-2. He didn’t really know that this “man” was an angel of God at first. But, what is it within man that needs an inner reassurance that God is with us!? Even the prophet Moses said to the LORD God, “’ If I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this is Your people.’” – Exodus 33:13 NKJV. And, even another time, he said to the LORD, “’ Suppose they say, ‘The LORD has not appeared to you.’” So the LORD said to him, “What is in your hand?” He said, “A rod.” And, the LORD told him, “Cast it on the ground” – and it became a serpent. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Now put your hand in your bosom.” And when he took it out it was all leprous, like snow. And when he put it in his bosom again and pulled it out it was restored like his other flesh. You know – the prophet Isaiah had said to King Hezekiah, “’ This is the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing which He has spoken: shall the shadow [on a sundial] go forward ten degrees or go backward ten degrees?’” And King Hezekiah answered, “It is an easy thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees; no, but let the shadow go backward ten degrees.’” – ‘Now that would be something! I would believe you – then!’ – 2 Kings 20:8-11.

There is this idea that the revelation of Almighty God and our Lord Jesus Christ is a rarity today – isn’t it? And it was in Gideon’s day as well.

So, Gideon wanted to see a sign, and he continued –

Verse 18 – “Do not depart from here, I pray, until I come to You [still speaking to the LORD through this angelic messenger] and bring out my offering and set it before You.”

Verse 20 – “The [a]ngel of God said to him, ‘Take the meat and the unleavened bread and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth.’ And he did so.”

Verse 21 – “Then the [a]ngel of the LORD put out the end of the staff that was in [h]is hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened bread; and fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. And the [a]ngel of the LORD departed out of his sight.”

Verse 22 – “Now Gideon perceived that [h]e was [an] [a]ngel of the LORD. So Gideon said, ‘Alas, O Lord GOD! For I have seen [an] [a]ngel of the LORD face to face.’”

And, I have a story – Back a few years ago now, when I was driving a tractor-trailer over the road heading for California, I had pulled into a truck stop for the night as it was just getting dusk, and I saw this old woman walking across the parking lot. She appeared to be wearing nothing but a filthy ragged blanket. She passed all the other trucks, and just as I pulled the airbrakes – she was standing next to my truck looking up at me with very kind eyes. As I slowly rolled down the driver's side window, she asked very calmly, “Do you have a blanket?” And I thought to myself – she already has a blanket. I quickly replied, “No, I don’t have a blanket!” Without saying another word, she turned and walked out into the desert and out of sight. But, in fact, I had an extra blanket – in fact, I had two extra blankets that I always brought with me. And, the thought then struck me – I had just failed the test. And I said to the LORD, “O’ Lord GOD! I have failed!” So, I, like Gideon here, saw an angel – albeit in the likeness of an old woman? – ‘face to face!’

So, continuing here –

Verse 25 – “Now it came to pass the same night that the LORD said to him, ‘Take your father’s young bull, the second bull of seven years old, and tear down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the wooden image that is beside it.”

So here is the very first act that the Lord GOD gives to Gideon. He was to destroy the altar to Baal and cut down the wooden image of Asherah – a Canaanite goddess of erotic love – which his own father had set up. Baal being the chief deity of the Canaanites. And they worshiped under green trees – recall the LORD God says in His living word, “You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree.” – Deuteronomy 12:2 NKJV; see also Jer. 2:12. And they had these celebrations in which they danced around in a frenzy, along with temple prostitution. And, the Canaanites practiced child sacrifice! This is what was going on in Israel.

Verse 26 – “’ and build an altar to the LORD your God on top of this rock in the proper arrangement, and take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the image which you shall cut down.’”

Friends, when you begin to attack and try and destroy the false religion of some of these people you better be careful! Because it can cost you your life! As Mr. Michael C. Garrett was attacked by YouTube when he mentions in his five-part series “Toxic Philosophy” - that the toxic philosophy of liberalism and socialism is to those proponents a type of religion.

Verse 27 – “So Gideon took ten men from among his servants and did as the LORD had said to him. … 28) And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, there was the altar of Baal, torn down; and the wooden image that was beside it was cut down, …”

Look at what happens –

Verse 29 – “So they said to one another, ‘Who has done this thing?’ And when they had inquired and asked, they said, ‘Gideon the son of Joash has done this thing.’ 30) Then the men of the city said to Joash, ‘Bring out your son, that he may die, …” – they are ready to kill Gideon and his servants. And on that very day, his own father began calling his son – Jerubbaal, which means ‘Let Baal plead against him.’

Verse 34 – “But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; then he blew the trumpet, and the Abiezrites gathered behind him. 35) And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, who also gathered behind him. He also sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali; and they came up to meet them.” – so here all these leaders of the tribes of Israel which gathered together.

Verse 36 – So Gideon said to God, ‘If You will save Israel by my hand as You have said – 37) look, I shall put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; …” – so, here again, comes a reassurance to Gideon. He wanted to reassure himself again that the LORD God was truly with him! So, he places a fleece of wool out, and when the dew came along there was no dew on the fleece, and then he did again, backward, …. Now you can read through this. But, both ways Almighty God performed a great miracle to show Gideon that He was truly with him.

Now, down in chapter 7 of the Book of Judges

Verse 1 – “Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the well of Harod, so that the camp of the Midianites was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley. 2) 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.’”

You know Almighty God and our Lord Jesus Christ has come to our rescue on a number of occasions – haven’t They!? Friends, in my own life I can certainly attest to this! Indeed, God could have built a mighty army of the Israelites and just completely annihilated these 135,000 Midianites!

Verse 3 – “’ Now therefore, proclaim in the haring of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and afraid, let him turn and depart at once from Mount Gilead.’ …” – so here we have the Israelites under Gideon – 32,000 strong. Against an army of 135,000! When He said, ‘Whoever is fearful and afraid, let him turn and depart.’ If you turn back in the Book of Deuteronomy there are some instructions for going to war that God gave to Moses. And God says, “The officers shall speak further to the people, and say, ‘What man is there who is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go and return to his house, lest the heart of his brethren faint like his heart.’” – Deuteronomy 20:8 NKJV. It was actually a law for going to war. “ … And twenty-two thousand of the people returned and ten thousand remained.”

Verse 4 – “But the LORD said to Gideon, ‘The people are still too many; bring them down to the water, and I will test them for you there. …” – and they had this little exercise to see who was going to kneel down and lap up the water like a dog, or which ones would get on their knees and cup their hands to their mouth to drink. And through this process –

Verse 6 – “And the number of those who lapped putting their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men; but all the rest of the people got down on their knees to drink water.”

Verse 7 – “Then the LORD said to Gideon, ‘By the three hundred men who lapped I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand. … 8) So the people took provisions and their trumpets in their hands. And he sent away all the rest of Israel, every man to his tent, and retained these three hundred men. Now the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.” – so, how would you like to be one of those three-hundred men in Israel’s army, and you’re looking down at 135,000 Midianite soldiers!? Nowhere in any realm of possibility would a military general take that few of soldiers and go to battle with 135,000!

There was a brilliant man back in the early 1900s, Frederick Lanchester, who made important contributions to automobile engineering – long before Henry Ford ever created his first automobile. He was an English polymath and engineer and he worked out all kinds of designs for engines that we continue to use today which are contributed to him. In 1914, before the start of World War I, he published his ideas on aerial warfare in a series of articles in Engineering, which included a description of a series of differential equations on how two forces would attrit each other in combat, and demonstrated that the ability of modern weapons to operate at long ranges dramatically changed the nature of combat. And, that a force which was twice as large had been twice as powerful in the past, but now it was four times, the square of the quotient. 3 Lanchester’s laws, the formulae for calculating the relative strengths of military forces, called the Lanchester’s Linear and Square Law’s. A forces ratio. But it tells you how you can divide your forces – and the fact that you divide your forces into two armies facing one army it increases your odds some four times. Now, if Mr. Lanchester had only these three hundred men he would have said, “Go home!” Because there is no way that they could face an army of this magnitude!

Verse 9 – “It happened on the same night that the LORD said to him, ‘Arise, go down against the camp, for I have delivered it into your hand.’”

And, Gideon was allowed to go down there and creep up to the very edge of the enemy who was as “numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the seashore in multitude.”

Verse 13 – “And when Gideon had come, there was a man [a Midianite] telling a dream to his companion. He said, ‘I have had a dream: To my surprise, a loaf of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian; it came to a tent and struck it so that it fall and overturned, and the tent collapsed.’” – when Gideon had overheard this dream he realized God had actually placed that army into his hands.

Verse 14 – “Then his companion answered and said, “This is nothing else but the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel! …’”

Verse 15 – “And so it was, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, that he worshiped. He returned to the camp of Israel, and said, ‘Arise, for the LORD has delivered the camp of Midian into your hand.’”

Verse 16 – “Then he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet into every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and torches inside the pitchers.” – so, they took a lamp and placed an earthen vessel over it to shield the light.

Verse 17 – “And he said to them, ‘Look at me and do likewise; watch, and when I come to the edge of the camp you shall do as I do: 18) When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then you also blow the trumpets on every side of the whole camp, and say, ‘The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!’”

Verse 19 – “So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outpost of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just as they had posted the watch; and they blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers that were in the hands. 20) Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers – they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing – and they cried, ‘The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!’” – notice they don’t have a sword in their hand! They have a trumpet in one hand and a torch in the other!

So in the quiet stillness of the night, while the enemy was rolled up in their beds, suddenly there was blasts from trumpets and shouting which startled them from their sleep, half-dressed they stumbled out of their tents only to be surrounded by these torches of their enemy – the armies of Israel. They couldn’t tell who was friend or foe, so they began slashing at each other with their own swords.

Verse 21 – “And every man stood in his place all around the camp; and the whole army ran and cried out and fled. 22) When the three hundred blew the trumpets, the LORD set every man’s sword against his companion throughout the whole camp; and the army fled to Beth Acacia, toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel Meholah, by Tabbath.”

Verse 23 – “And the men of Israel gathered together from Naphtali, Asher, and all Manasseh, and pursued the Midianites.”

And, of course, they went on to pursue them and kill their kings.

Down in chapter 8 of the Book of Judges

Verse 10 – “ …. About fifteen thousand, all who were left of all the army of the people of the East; for one hundred and twenty thousand men who drew the sword had fallen.”

Now, going on down to the end of this chapter –

Verse 28 – “Thus Midian was subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted their heads no more. And the country was quiet for forty years in the days of Gideon.”

They tried to get Gideon to be their king over all Israel after this, and he wouldn’t have anything of it.


Friends, turn with me if you will over into the New Testament now, to the Book of Hebrews, the 11th chapter

Gideon is mentioned. And we know that this is called the “faith” chapter – all of these examples which are given are men and women of faith throughout the nation of Israel.

Verse 32 – “And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon …” – well, I took the time to tell you today of Gideon. “ … and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33) who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, …” – recall, Daniel. Verse 34 – “quenched the violence of fire, …” – recall, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. “ … escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” – as Gideon’s men here. And the armies of king Hezekiah when the Assyrians came down and surrounded Jerusalem, and how he went in and prayed to Almighty God and the very same thing happened to those Assyrians!

Verse 35 – “Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36) Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment.” – the prime example being our Lord Jesus Christ!

Verse 37 – “They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented – 38) of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.”

Verse 39 – “And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40) God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.”

And, of course, we will all be joined together at the blowing of the SEVENTH TRUMP!

So, continuing, chapter 12 of the Book of Hebrews

Verse 1 – “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, …” - I contend that getting yourself involved in politics is a major distraction – a major ‘weight.’ Put away from you every ‘care of this life’ as Jesus would say.

Friends, these terrible hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, and wildfires which are raging around the world – some of them we will experience ourselves, like our brethren in California, Oregon, and Washington. Now, they may be occurring only by chance – after all, there have always been hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, and wildfires – with one of the worst having been the Lydia earthquake of AD 17, which destroyed (according to Tacitus and Pliny the Elder) 13 cities in Asia Minor! But there is coming a time when people will see most phenomenal events – a WARNING from Almighty God and our Lord Jesus Christ – the purpose being to GET OUR ATTENTION! Let us friends, on this holy Day of Atonement humble ourselves before Him and call unto His salvation. □


1 Jamieson, R., Fausset, A.R., Brown, D., Jamieson Fausset and Brown Commentary of the Whole Bible, Zondervan Publishing House, 1982, pp. 189.
2 Roberts, A., Life Liberty & Levin Transcript. The life and legacy of Winston Churchill, Fox News, 5 January 2020. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
3 Lanchester F.W., Mathematics in Warfare in The World of Mathematics, Vol. 4 (1956) Ed. Newman, J.R., Simon and Schuster.

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