I’m preaching through the entire Bible on Sundays at Bethel and we’ve entered the book of Judges. It’s a roller coaster as we watch the Jewish people’s cycle of rebellion > discipline > repentance > revival > deliverance, then rebellion again. Sound familiar? I think it’s a lot like the average life of many believers.
Arising from the decadence of those days were a few great heroes, like Gideon. God spoke to him at a time when the children of Israel were suffering under the heavy hand of the Midianites, who would come and destroy their crops for the sole purpose of reminding Israel of their own pitiful condition. The Israelites hid in caves and threshed what little wheat they could raise on the backsides of the mountains.
It was there, in one of those places of hiding, that God found and called Gideon into service. Gideon had some big questions for God – the kinds of questions that are on the minds of a lot of people in our own times, such as “God, if you’re with us, why then is all of this befallen us?”
The Bible describes the people of Israel as “impoverished” during the time of Midianite tyranny, and I see a valuable picture for each one of us. When oppressed, when hungry, when threatened, are you hungry enough to cry out for deliverance? for revival?
Jesus said that the “poor in spirit” would be blessed (joy-filled). What? The poor blessed? You see, when you’re poor enough, pride fades and our desperate cry for deliverance bursts forth. Until then, we sit quietly enduring spiritual hardship so that no one sees and no one knows our pitiful situation.
Christianity in America needs to cry out for God’s deliverance and for a fresh wind of His power and presence. You and I on an individual level need the same. And lost people in every corner of the world need to confess their spiritual poverty and cry out to the Deliverer!
But are we hungry enough? God knows.