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3.07.2006    |    "A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!"
This stirring battle cry was made when the Lord gave the Midianites over to Israel, a story of faith in the Lord told in Judges 7. It is a theme repeated, over and over, in the history of God's people Israel: faith in God, and only in Him, will bring about His purposes.

God acts through His people, and Gideon, through his faith, became one of God's agents in human history. But Gideon knew that his victory had little to do with his own merit. It was solely due to God's sovereignty, to God giving Gideon that which he needed to conquer the Midianites.

We have always had among us Midianites and Amalekites who would oppress us, even unto death. Simply because we worship God, and attempt to be faithful to His commandments. And, just as in Gideon's time, we will always have, one must pray, stalwarts who will, with great humility, take up the sword to defend God's people Israel today. Which people very much include those who proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord.

The quotation, "a sword for the LORD and for Gideon" might be used by people who think that they, and not God, can be in charge of their destiny. After all, does it not imply an equal partnership? God, and Gideon. What a tag-team! This would seem to be some sort of proof of the un-biblical adage, "God helps those who help themselves." The implication could be, that, somehow, God will only stick around to help only if we initiate the action.

There's a reason you can't find this in the Bible. It's because it denies the sovereignty of God, and the hard truth that without God, nothing is possible. With Him, anything. But it starts, and ends, with God.

As we are told early in Judges 7:
2The LORD said to Gideon, "The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, 'My own hand has saved me.'
Israel, then, and now, has often made this error. God saves us, by giving us the strength to fight His fight.

When it becomes solely our fight, we will lose. Sooner or later.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.