Kelly and I just spent a week with family at Black Butte Ranch in eastern Oregon. I’ve been going there for twenty-five years. This year we had four generations together and it was rich with blessings. We ride bikes, swim, play tennis, walk, hike around nearby Suttle Lake, play games, and watch movies. Last year we added golf, and this year our granddaughter Jolie went horseback riding. And did I mention how great the food was? I have to say, however, my favorite part of all is our family devotions.

 Everyone who is willing takes a turn. Each person brings something unique to the table. Since my dad and I are teacher types, we have fun preparing handouts and discussion questions. His lessons this year were on The Glory of the Lord and Standing in the Gap. Kelly threw out hard questions for us to discuss, which challenged us to dig in and find answers. Grae shared how God is challenging his trust in the middle of a job transition. Marlie-jo gave a lesson on Faith from the Bible Study she’s in and how God has stretched her understanding. Tara asked pertinent questions about submission in marriage and how it works in everyday life. Blessings, challenges, inspiration, and encouragement from three generations of God-followers.

 When I told a couple friends about this one, said, “I wish I could do that with my family!” So, just for fun, I’d like to invite you to grab your Bible and curl up on the couch. It’s time for family devotions. Today’s lesson is on Gideon, the reluctant warrior. I identify with his story so well.

Mighty Warrior! Who Me?

Read Judges 6:1-10:
Notice the Israelites didn’t cry out to God until they became impoverishedby their enemies. Why did they wait so long? In what ways does sin impoverish us?

As soon as they asked for His help, God responded, after a reminder of how they ended up where they were – disobedience.

The ratio of oppression to deliverance was 7/10 – oppressed by their enemies for 7 years, but by God’s characteristic mercy, 40 years of peace under Gideon’s leadership.

Verses 11-12:

The angel of the LORD came to a man quaking with fear, hiding from the enemy, and  in a hurry to get a bite to eat, and calls him a mighty warrior. That is so God! He sees what we can be with His help, not what we are now.

Verse 13:

It’s funny that even though God just sent a prophet explain the situation, Gideon still asked: Why is this happening? Where has God been? Seems like the same things we ask, even when God’s already given the answer.

Verse 14:
But, like Jesus so often did, the angel didn’t answer his questions. Instead, he told him to go against the enemy with the strength that he had (which wasn’t much!).

Verse 15-16:
Gideon’s classic response: Who me? I’m unqualified! Do you ever feel inadequate for what God asks you to do? I know I do. That’s why I love Gideon’s story so much. God loves to use the puny to accomplish the impossible.

God’s answer to Gideon is the same one He gives us, “I will be with you.” When we fight against our spiritual enemies of doubt, fear, anger, impatience, unforgiveness, selfishness, lack of self-control and all the others, God’s Holy Spirit is with us in the fight.

Verses 17-24:
This is especially amazing. The angel of the LORD was willing to sit and wait while Gideon made an entire meal for Him. Then He revealed who He really was with a blaze of fire and smoke. Whoa!

Verses 25-26:
The first step to victory over the enemy was getting rid of his father’s idols and replacing them with God-worship. God will not coexist with any other god in our lives.

Verse 27:
Timid obedience – Gideon did what God asked, but he made 10 of his servants go with him, and they went at night. I love this. It was a beginning anyway.

Verse 28-32:
What prompted Gideon’s dad to stand up for him after he tore down his idols?
a.       He didn’t want his son to die
b.      A growing dissatisfaction with his gods
c.       He wanted to see the gods fight it out
d.      Something else

Verses 33-40:
In a spurt of confidence Gideon rallies an army, but is immediately filled with self-doubt. I’m glad God is so patient with us! God was willing to answer his specific requests.

Have you ever set out a fleece because you needed reassurance? What was the result?

What speaks to you most from this chapter?
a.       God’s patience
b.      Gideon’s insecurity
c.       That people would support such a timid leader
d.      God’s repeated encouragement and proofs

I’m glad you came for family devotions. I would love to hear your comments. And I hope you will carry on the tradition at your house.