Reset and Repositioned – part 2

We left off in part one of Reset and Repositioned discussing how Gideon gave a generous offering, he worshipped, and he obeyed God by removing idolatry. Then in Judges 6:34, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon. As a result of hearing, seeing and obeying, Gideon is now reset and repositioned to defeat the enemy of Israel. 

As Israel’s enemies gathered to attack, Gideon assembled an army of 32,000 men. Gideon asked God for confirmation of his success with a fleece and God gives him the confirmation. The Lord then tells Gideon that he has too many men in his army and directs him to send home all who are trembling and afraid, Judges 7:3. So, 22,000 men depart leaving Gideon with an army of 10,000 men! Nearly 70% of his army were too fearful and went home! Fear can be paralyzing and also contagious. Those who were trembling and afraid could very easily be a detriment to the entire army in battle. When fear is overwhelming it is very difficult to hear the voice of God and therefore to trust God. It wasn’t that Gideon and the 10,000 men weren’t afraid, throughout this passage of scripture, it is evident they were. They just overcame their fear for a greater cause. 

God is Looking for Faithful Men

After God has Gideon whittle the army down to less than a third, He tells Gideon he still has too many men. This time God’s plan to shave off more men is to give a “test” by how they drink water at the river. The word test can also be translated, “sift”. God wants to sift the 10,000 man army to a smaller number, a much smaller number. 

So, the whittling down continues. God tells Gideon to separate everyone who laps the water with his tongue as a dog laps, as well as everyone who kneels to drink.” Now the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was 300 men; but all the rest of the people kneeled to drink water, 7:5-6.  The dog lappers did not get down on all fours or on their belly and stick their tongue in the water and lick it up like a dog as you might expect. Verse 6 tells us; they lapped by bringing their hands to their mouth, then apparently licked it up with their tongue like a dog. The kneelers must have done something similar, however, kneeling using their hands to the mouth to drink. God was not using this “test” or “sifting” to choose the less fearful, more watchful or best warriors. The historian Josephus believed the 300 men who passed the test were less watchful, which resulted in a greater recognition of God’s power. 

Hearing, Seeing and Obeying

What was God’s reason for reducing the number of men for this battle? He tells us back in verse two; “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, ‘My own power has delivered me’. Pride was the reason. God wanted this victory to be obvious to all that it was Him and His power working through these men that delivered Israel, not their own power. For this particular battle, traditional weapons were not needed. Watchful men were not needed, nor talented, wise, or skilled warriors. God needed faithful men. Men who will hear and obey even when afraid, faced with overwhelming odds and no traditional weapons.

Gideon divided the 300 men into  three companies, and he put trumpets and empty pitchers into the hands of all of them, with torches inside the pitchers. He said to them, “look at me and do likewise. And behold, when I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do. When I and all who are with me blow the trumpet, then you also blow the trumpets all around the camp and say, for the Lord and for Gideon.” So, Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp…and they blew the trumpets and smashed the pitchers that were in their hands. When 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 cried, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” Each stood in his place around the camp; and all the army ran, crying out as they fled. When they blew 300 trumpets, the Lord set the sword of one against another even throughout the whole army; and the army fled…, Judges 7:16-22.

The 300 men were armed with a torch and a trumpet against the Midianites, Amalekites and all the men of the east as numerous as locusts, camels without number and the sand on the seashore. These men did what they were told and said what they were told at the time they were told. The torch was a fire of light representing “seeing” what God is showing them. The blowing of the trumpet represented the voice of God, or “hearing” what God is saying. So, the torch and trumpet speak to “seeing and hearing” from the Lord so they can say what He is saying and do what He is showing them to do. Their part is to be faithful and obedient to Him and then, and only then, is victory secure.

Torch and Trumpet = Seeing and Hearing

These men followed instructions by trusting and obeying God through their leader Gideon. As it was then so it is today. God needs faithful men who will trust Him, saying what He is telling them to say and doing what He is showing them to do. This is exactly what God is looking for today. In our current climate in the United States, those who are hearing and seeing then saying and doing, faithfully trusting our Father, will cause a reset and repositioning. Not only was Gideon and his men reset and repositioned, but as a result of their faithful obedience to the Lord, the nation of Israel was also reset and repositioned! 

Gideons arise in this hour!  Ekklesia arise!  Faithful and obedient sons and daughters arise!

Joe Nicola

Reset and Repositioned

Months ago, before Covid-19 and the riots, the Holy Spirit spoke the word “reset” to me. Meaning that we were going through a time that would cause a reset in our nation and the Body of Christ. You typically need to reset something because it is not set properly. Later, He added the word, “reposition”. Similarly, you reposition something because it isn’t positioned correctly.

Whether we realize it or not we are born in the midst of violent spiritual warfare on the earth. As a result of our new birth in Christ we become a beloved son in the Family Dynasty of the living God. The overall mission of this family is to do the will of our Father. As Jesus said, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven“, Matthew 6:10. Not our will, but His be done. How do we accomplish the will of God?  By hearing and seeing from Him so we can speak and act for Him, this is the essence of Ekklesia; the government of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. God is looking for faithful men that will simply be obedient to Him. 

Gideon and his small army are an example of faithful men as well as an illustration of being “rest and repositioned”. Judges 4 begins with, again the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord… In chapter 5; the judge and prophet Deborah lead a victory for the people of Israel over the Canaanites. The chapter ends with a song of victory and praise to God. Then once again Judges 6 begins with, the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. This is a repeated pattern in scripture; faithfulness demonstrated by obedience that produces blessing. Then unfaithfulness demonstrated by disobedience that leads to oppression and bondage. 

As a result of the oppression in Israel by the Midianites, the people cried to the Lord in prayer and God sent a prophet, Judges 6:7. The prophet tells Israel they were in this oppressive predicament because they did not obey God. In verses 11 and 12, the Angel of the Lord appears and says to Gideon, “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior”. There was no outward evidence of Gideon being a valiant warrior and obviously Gideon didn’t see himself that way either by his reply. God sees us differently than we see ourselves. He sees who we truly are, and He speaks to it, calling it out in us to cause us to rise up to be who He created us to be and do what He created us to do. However, we still need to respond by faith to Him. 

Gideon is found threshing wheat in a winepress when the Angel of the Lord appears which speaks to the littleness of his harvest as well as his fear of the Midianites. Gideon asks the Angel for a sign to validate the authenticity of the Angel of the Lord. He then goes and prepares an offering. In the midst of lack, an economic downturn and oppression from enemies, Gideon gives an offering. Notice how much of a generous offering he gives, verse 19. The angel of the Lord touched it and fire consumed it then Gideon builds an altar commemorating the promise of peace from God for himself and the nation.

The first thing Gideon was instructed to do was tear down his father’s altar to false gods and idolatrous worship of Baal and the Asherah. As tough as an assignment from the Lord as this was, he does it. The same holds true for us. Before we go up against our enemy, we must remove idolatry from our own life. This resets us so we can be repositioned for victory. We cannot fight a spiritual battle in the same spirit that we are confronting. If we do, we will be defeated. 

What did Gideon do so far? He gave a generous offering, he worshipped, and he obeyed by removing idolatry. Then in verse 34 it says, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon. Gideon went from hiding in a wine press threshing wheat for food to commanding an army for national deliverance. As a result of hearing, seeing and obeying, Gideon is now reset and repositioned to defeat the enemy of Israel.

May Gideons arise in this hour! To be continued…

Joe Nicola