Judges 6:11-23 Man of Valor

And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” Judges 6:12

No one could say that George Smith didn’t have courage. A daring jet test pilot in the 1950’s, back when the sound barrier was first broken, he could face anything – until he had to bail out of a jet going 805 miles per hour. Though he survived, he was afraid of ever flying again. Then, during his hospital stay, a nurse gave him an antidote to fear. He took her word to heart: “Courage,” she said, “is knowing the worst – and discovering that, in God’s world, the very worst can’t really hurt you.”

This nurse taught a lesson that all the people of God of all ages need to learn: that with God by our side we cannot lose no matter what or who we face in life. This was true for the people of Israel, it is true for the church, and it is true for each of us. God wants to teach us today how to be mighty men/women of valor; people who have the courage to stand up for God, no matter what circumstances they find ourselves in.

In the book of Judges, chap. 6, we find that the people of Israel are not living as men/women of valor. In fact, we are living as a defeated people. They have fallen away from God and back into a sinful lifestyle of paganism & idol worship. In fact, Gideon, the hero of our story, had a father who had become a priest of a pagan God. Because of Israel’s sin, God allowed them to be delivered over to their old enemies of the desert, the Midianites and the Amalakites, who came up like “swarms of locusts” with their cattle & their tents, covering the whole breadth of the land & devouring its produce, so that the Israelites had no food left, or sheep, oxen, or other livestock. The people of Israel were forced to find refuge in dens, caves, & fortresses in the mountains. This went on for seven years, until finally the people cried out to God for help, and God sent them a prophet to rebuke them for their evil ways.

But God’s sending of this prophet was a prelude to His sending them aid. For God would once again teach the people of Israel, and teach us by their example, that those who follow God should fear no one or no thing, because God is on our side.

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