Reading: Gideon came to Jordan, and passed over, he, and the three hundred men that were with him, faint, yet pursuing them. Judges 8:4
For seven years the Midianites wrought havoc in the land of Israel. They came to steal the harvests, intimidate the people, and bring ruin to the nation. During those seven years the Israelites offered little or no resistance. Many of them fled to the caves and mountains.
At the end of that seven-year period God raised up Gideon to be the deliverer and saviour of His people. Gideon was a naturally timid man and often indicated his fear and doubt by asking for repeated signs of God’s leading in his life. Although weak and fearful, he demonstrated a willingness to obey God. Gideon was a reformer. He moved against the idolatry in his father’s house and then moved to resist the massed armies who had come against his people. In dramatic scenes he was told by the Lord that his own army was too large and after necessary changes were made, he was left with three hundred men. With that small band Gideon gained a notable victory, and, though faint, his men pursued the enemy to their death.
Spiritual fainting is common among the people of God. Discouragements, difficulties, disappointments, and defeats can lead to weary hearts and minds. There is always a temptation to give up in our service for God. At times Satan forces the thought that it would be easier to slack and easier still to stop. Every such fainting fit must be resisted. We have a work to do, a Christ to serve, a world to win, a goal to reach, a reward to obtain, and a God to glorify. Therefore we must not faint. There is only one answer to our weariness: considering Christ. Paul the great gospel servant said, “For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be faint and wearied in your minds” (Hebrews 12:3). Christ pursued His work without fainting; may we do the same.
“Reverent fear is the key to faithfulness.” Alan Redpath
Taken from A Word in Season edited by Alan Cairns, 2010. Used by permission.