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[thoughts] Do I Have To? (September 4-10, 2000)

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  • Mark Roth
    Egroups placed the above message; not I. But I *did* choose some other links for you: http://www.anabaptistbooks.com/links4you.html Now for this week s
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 3, 2000
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      Egroups placed the above message; not I.

      But I *did* choose some other links for you:

      Now for this week's thoughts....

      This edition goes out today to 690 subscribers. Thank you!

      (Judges 6:11-14; 7:1-3,7,20,21)

      Did Gideon have to do it?
      Be faithful!

      Gideon had his hands full. He not only had wheat to raise and otherwise
      tend to, he had to do so in hiding from the oppressors of his people.
      Surely that kept him busy full time. Surely he didn't need anymore to do.

      I can imagine that Gideon could have easily figured that he didn't need any
      more enemies. The Midianites were enemies aplenty; no need to go looking
      for more. And he especially didn't need to alienate and make enemies of his
      own people.

      The Lord thought otherwise, or so it would seem from today's lesson. First
      off, God let Gideon know that he was the one to "save Israel from the hand
      of the Midianites" (Judges 6:14). So, yes, there was indeed something else
      for Gideon to do in addition to wheat farming. Then, in what might have
      seemed like just one more complication, God gave Gideon an assignment to be
      done before tackling the Midianite problem. God told Gideon to take down a
      heathen altar and cut down the grove where it sat. That upset his own people!

      Now let's get back to the question before us: Did Gideon have to do it?

      YES. As a man of God ("The Lord is with thee"), Gideon in a sense had no
      choice. Oh, sure; he could have refused to obey a very direct, very
      personal command from the Lord: "Go in this thy might...have not I sent
      thee?" (Judges 6:14). But I don't think Gideon really considered that as a
      legitimate option. If he could have proven to him that this was actually
      from God, he knew he would do it. He *had* to because he had no other valid
      option left to him.

      NO. I think this brings out another important angle from which to view this
      question. You see, if Gideon *wanted* to do it, then he didn't *have* to do
      it as something he had no desire to do. Gideon's heart was set to follow
      God; that is what he *wanted*. It strikes me that Gideon's commitment to
      the Lord was such that doing His will was not the burden that *have* implies.

      What about us? How is our heart toward God? May He find us as committed and
      as available as Gideon. May He free us from finding His ways and commands
      burdensome. May He teach us to delight to do His will!

      God's people today still have oppressors.

      Evil and compromise, contentions and discouragements, materialism and
      disloyalty -- these and an innumerable host of other oppressions assail,
      hem in and defeat scores of Christians. You need look no further than
      yourself, your youth group and your congregation to see these and other
      oppressors at work.

      God's people today still need deliverers.

      I believe God continues to call and use deliverers in the same general
      fashion in which He called and used Gideon. I believe He uses those who are
      every-day faithful, not those who only hope to be special-event faithful. I
      believe God takes those who are of mighty valor and empowers them as
      instruments of deliverance.

      Young person, be faithful! Every day and in every way, choose God and His
      kingdom. Do not turn away from any directive of the Lord. Always, *always*
      be submissive and obedient to His ways. This will most assuredly lead to
      your own deliverance from any oppressors. And it will make you available to
      God in His efforts to bring deliverance to other Christians. So be faithful!


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      Mark Roth

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