Tim’s Daily Bread Devotional 5.2.21

By May 2, 2021Daily Bread

I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below.

Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the thoughts and words of this reading that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.

Today’s Scripture:

Judges 6:11-20
Common English Bible
Gideon’s commissioning

11 Then the Lord’s messenger came and sat under the oak at Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite. His son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to hide it from the Midianites. 12 The Lord’s messenger appeared to him and said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior!”

13 But Gideon replied to him, “With all due respect, my Lord, if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his amazing works that our ancestors recounted to us, saying, ‘Didn’t the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and allowed Midian to overpower us.”

14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, “You have strength, so go and rescue Israel from the power of Midian. Am I not personally sending you?”

15 But again Gideon said to him, “With all due respect, my Lord, how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I’m the youngest in my household.”

16 The Lord replied, “Because I’m with you, you’ll defeat the Midianites as if they were just one person.”[a]

17 Then Gideon said to him, “If I’ve gained your approval, please show me a sign that it’s really you speaking with me. 18 Don’t leave here until I return, bring out my offering, and set it in front of you.”

The Lord replied, “I’ll stay until you return.”

19 So Gideon went and prepared a young goat and used an ephah[b] of flour for unleavened bread. He put the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot and brought them out to him under the oak and presented them. 20 Then God’s messenger said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread and set them on this rock, then pour out the broth.” And he did so.

Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today

It takes some convincing to trust sometimes—especially when we’ve been let down or disappointed.  It’s hard to trust sometimes when bad things have happened, and we’re trying to find a way forward.

So it was with Gideon.  Gideon was one of the judges in the book of Judges in the Hebrew Bible.  The judges were not only adjudicators of justice, but they were also religious and military leaders.  Gideon God chose Gideon, a young man from the tribe of Manasseh, to free the people of Israel and to condemn their idolatry. The Angel of the Lord, or “the Lord’s messenger” (the word angel means messenger) came as a traveler who sat down in the shade of an oak tree to rest.  This scene is reminiscent of the meeting between Abraham and Sarah and the visitors who came to them under the oak trees of Mamre and promised them that, in their old age, they would have a son (Genesis 18:1-15).

The LORD’s messenger greeted him and said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior!”

The messenger came to Gideon while he was threshing wheat in a winepress to hide from the Midianites.  Not a good time!  Gideon’s response was nothing if not honest:  “With all due respect, my Lord, if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his amazing works that our ancestors recounted to us, saying, ‘Didn’t the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and allowed Midian to overpower us.”

The messenger, speaking for God, replied, “You have strength, so go and rescue Israel from the power of Midian. Am I not personally sending you?”

Gideon’s response?  “With all due respect, my Lord, how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I’m the youngest in my household.”

Not only that, but Gideon requested proof that this was real by three miracles.  It took some convincing.  This is reminiscent of Moses’ call in the wilderness from the burning bush (Exodus 3).  Moses took some convincing, too.

It has been a challenging year.  Things are certainly looking up in the United States, but it is still hard.  You may have echoed Gideon’s words in your prayers: With all due respect, why has all this happened to us if you are really with us?

Sometimes it is hard to discern God’s presence in all that is going on.  Yet, Just as Gideon discovered, God is with us.  We are not alone.  God is strong in our weakness, encouraging in our fear, clarifying in our confusion, and comforting in our sorrow.

There is a lot of theology woven into hymns. To enhance today’s reading, I recommend listening to “O God, Our Help in Ages Past”. I hope you will take a few moments to let the words of this message and the emotion that always connects us to music connect with your soul.

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.

Under the shadow of Thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.

Thy Word commands our flesh to dust,
“Return, ye sons of men”:
All nations rose from earth at first,
And turn to earth again.

A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.

The busy tribes of flesh and blood,
With all their lives and cares,
Are carried downwards by the flood,
And lost in foll’wing years.

Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly, forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the op’ning day.

Like flow’ry fields the nations stand
Pleased with the morning light;
The flow’rs beneath the mower’s hand
Lie with’ring ere ’tis night.

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be Thou our guard while troubles last,
And our eternal home.

I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!

Grace and Peace,


Dr. Tim Bruster
Senior Pastor

Here’s more about this passage of scripture via Upper Room devotionals:

“WHY, GOD?”

God understands my frailty and my fears.

read more
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