#DailyDevotion Be The Least That The Lord May Use You
Read Judg 6:1–24
Jdg 6:1 The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD gave them into the hand of Midian seven years. Jdg 6:7-10 When the people of Israel cried out to the LORD on account of the Midianites, (8) the LORD sent a prophet to the people of Israel. And he said to them, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: I led you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of slavery. (9) And I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land. (10) And I said to you, ‘I am the LORD your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.’ But you have not obeyed my voice.” Jdg 6:13-16 And Gideon said to him, “Please, sir, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” (14) And the LORD turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” (15) And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” (16) And the LORD said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.”
It really is sad when we read through Judges how the people continually rebel against the Lord their God. But really is it any different today? How many times a life, year, month, day and hour do we rebel against God and do what we want to do? How often do we put our trust in things other than our maker? I dare say it is way too often. And when we do does the Lord discipline us like he did Israel? Hebrews 12 would seem to indicate the Lord will discipline us if we are his children.
Now where we will get really messed up here in our thinking is the whole obedience thing. We start thinking if we just start obeying the commandments then the Lord will be pleased with us. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Just look at the Pharisees. They were really obedient to the Law but Jesus certainly wasn’t pleased with them. No, obedience to the Lord must come from trusting in the Lord. It is our faith, our trust that the Lord wants. Israel didn’t obey because they didn’t trust the Lord. It was their lack of faith that was disturbing. Same thing with the Pharisees. They didn’t trust Jesus so even what looked like obedience was not from the Spirit, it was not the fruit of faith. Even their “good works” were not pleasing to the Lord.
The Lord in our account today hears the cries of the Israelites who repent and are turning to him for help. He calls up Gideon to be a judge over Israel. Gideon thinks the Lord picked the wrong person. He doesn’t have a large army to command and he is the “least” in his father’s house. But that’s exactly who the Lord works with, the least, the foolish, those who are not to bring salvation. Indeed, Jesus in order to win salvation for us becomes the one who is Not, even to the point of death to win the victory over sin, death and the power of the devil.
In our dealings with life and with others, particularly as we witness our faith to them, it would be good to be like Gideon and Jesus. Let us become the least, the weak and like those who are not and let God’s Word, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news that Jesus is the Love of God for us. Let us share the good news that we are acceptable to God on account of Christ and that faith is what pleases him. From that trust obedience will follow.
Lord God, heavenly Father, you called the people of Israel to repentance through trials and tribulations because they did not trust you. Grant us such repentance and faith that we may not fall away like they did but may your Holy Spirit through the gospel give us such trust in You that we turn not to created things that obedience may flow from such faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.