Tag Archives: Gideon

‘Projection’ and Mis-‘Judging’

This morning, I got to thinking about a wonderful verse in Ephesians:

1I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, Ephesians 1:18 (NIV)

It had popped into my head when I was pondering a phone conversation I recently had with someone when she called me back after I left a message to have her call me. When she called back, she immediately started talking to me about something I had no idea about. All I could figure out was that she was worried about what I was thinking in regards to something that she was handling. It was not what I was thinking about at all!  When I realized what was going on and a significant pause opened up, I stopped her and explained what  I wanted and assured her that my brain had not gone that way. In the end each of us was blessed. It is great for relationships to work things out like this when there is misinterpretation.


“Projection’ is an image in our mind that we ‘project’ on a situation when dealing with others based on our own thoughts within ourselves.  It happens a lot since we humans have busy minds. We can do it in both a positive and a negative sense based on the way we are feeling at the time. It is a form of mis-“judging”. It is very prevalent in our news cycles, and all over political and religious circles. You can find examples of projection everywhere. 


This is a great reason to listen carefully to what people are saying and help free them from misconceptions about what they might be thinking if you get the opportunity. Sometimes people are so busy thinking thoughts they don’t really have time to listen. What a great thing to pray for!


People often project their thoughts on God too! It is something to watch out for. It is possible to think God is mad at us, when he isn’t. It is possible to think God doesn’t even think about us or that we have no place in his heart. All you have to do is look at the beautiful spring gifts he has made to remind us of all the loving touches he put in this world to bless our lives.


The verse above in Ephesians came to mind and is very apropos to the spring cleaning that needs to go on in our minds periodically. (It’s the first day of spring! Yea!). It is actually a prayer and it is a good one.  In fact it is beautiful! It is an effective prayer to pray and believe. Let in the light, open the windows, breathe and clear the cobwebs of our minds out!

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God’s Deliverance

After Gideon moved on from assuaging the Ephraimites in Judges 8:1-4, he dealt with the kinsmen of Succoth.  Gideon’s 300 men were hungry and Gideon asked for bread as he passed through Succoth. As the men of Ephraim complained for a piece of the glory, the princes of Succoth likewise had their own issues and threw unbelief and fear in Gideon’s face:

6 And the princes of Succoth said, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thine army? Judges 8:6

Did they believe he was going to win with 300 men? Did they support him? It was time to cancel Gideon’s subscription to their issues! And this time he did!

God had spoken earlier to Gideon that he would take care of the of the battle, that they would be victorious with only 300 men. (7:2) The four princes, Oreb, Zeeb, Zebah, Zalmunna were, indeed enemies.  In Psalm 83, Asaph includes these names in a list of the aggressive enemies of the Hebrews:

11 Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna:12 Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession. Psalm 83:11-12

Gideon and his 300 men got the job done.  When it was all said and done, Israel asked him to become king over them and to establish a kingly dynasty in his family.

22 Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian. 23 And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the Lord shall rule over you. Judges 8:22-23

The ancient Hebrews had a theocracy and they still wanted to appoint a King. Gideon continued to adhere to a theocratic government in which God was king. Gideon was a judge which was what God had called him to, and he reminded them of God’s sovereignty.

Today, we don’t live in a theocracy. God is not the elected President or the recognized King. We are subject to the human nature of those we elevate. This happens not only in politics, but also in education, entertainment, sports and in religion and other areas of culture. When people elevate a person there is more often than not a big temptation to succumb to difficulties:

15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. I John 2:15-16

This is all the more reason to pray for our country and listen to God in each of our own lives.

 

 

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Gideon’s Time and Our Time~What Is Different?

Gideon lived in a day when the Hebrews relied on strong leaders to deliver them.  As we have seen over and over in the Old Testament, the spirit of God rested on certain ones in order to save the rest. Gideon lived in a time when those around him became entrenched in the culture that surrounded them and they adopted pagan thinking and mixed it with their own beliefs. Problems plagued them as a result. That still happens today.

What is different today is that the spirit as a gift from God is available to everyone that accepts the good news of what Jesus Christ accomplished for us. It is a gift, not a  something we can strive for by our works. The only works we have to do is to believe and accept the gift. Because of the pride of man, this may be tough for some. Pride in accomplishments, power and control can be serious impediments.

I love reading about the heart of Gideon.  He seems pretty humble.  I know some theologians have described him a weak, because he asked for assurance that God was reaching out and empowering him. It is pretty clear that he respected God when others around him were not.

22 And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the Lord, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord God! for because I have seen an angel of the Lord face to face. 23 And the Lord said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die. 24 Then Gideon built an altar there unto the Lord, and called it Jehovah shalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. Judges 6:22-24

It seems to me that most men are weak in some way or another. It is pretty evident throughout the Old Testament. God challenges people in stunning ways. In the Gideon record, a nice size army accumulated to take care of the enemy.  God had other plans:

2 And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.
3 Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.
4 And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. Judges 7:2-4

The army was whittled down to 300 from 32,000! Actually, when you think about it, that is pretty exciting. It is even more exciting today in light of the power that God has given to each one of us. We have access to God anytime we want. We should not be afraid to lay whatever is confronting us out before him with an honest heart and rest in that! The Lord ‘does not forsake us’ (Judges 6:13) when we approach him for even the smallest detail of our lives. The answer that comes may not involve a huge, showy explosion of might, but rather a sure peaceful perfect resolution that is so awesomely right!

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