Tim’s Daily Bread Devotional 5.2.22

By May 2, 2022Daily Bread

Good morning!

I hope this day finds you and your family well. I invite you to take a few moments with me to read and reflect upon today’s scripture selection — and to carry these thoughts with you into your day.

Today’s Scripture:  Judges 6:11-20 (Common English Bible)

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.

In difficult and challenging times, 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 fears, clarifying in our confusion, and comforting in our sorrow.

 

Hymn:  “If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee” by Georg Neumark (1657); translated by Catherine Winkworth (1863)

If you but trust in God to guide you
and place your confidence in him,
you’ll find him always there beside you
to give you hope and strength within;
for those who trust God’s changeless love
build on the rock that will not move.

Only be still and wait his pleasure
in cheerful hope with heart content.
He fills your needs to fullest measure
with what discerning love has sent;
doubt not our inmost wants are known
to him who chose us for his own.

Sing, pray, and keep his ways unswerving,
offer your service faithfully,
and trust his word; though undeserving,
you’ll find his promise true to be.
God never will forsake in need
the soul that trusts in him indeed.

Thank you for sharing this moment of your day with me, with God, and with these reflections on a portion of scripture.  I hope you will carry these with you throughout your day and night.

Grace and Peace,


Dr. Tim Bruster
Senior Pastor

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