In Judges 6-8, we learn about Gideon. God chooses Gideon to deliver his people from the Midianites. Gideon calls the Israelites to war against the Midianites. Thirty two thousand men respond to his call. Twenty two thousand go home because they are afraid to fight. God tells Gideon that there are still too many men.
God does not want the Israelites to believe that they defeated the Midianites. He wants them to know that they defeat the Midianites only because God is on their side.
Gideon is told to have the men go to the water and drink. Those who drink from the water by lapping water from their hand will be the ones who fight. Only 300 men drink water this way. Gideon takes these 300 men and divides them into 3 companies. The three companiess then surround the Midianite camp in the middle of the night. Each man has a trumpet, an empty pitcher and a torch light.
At the appointed time each blows his trumpet and breaks the pitcher. And each shouts “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.”
The Midianites are surprised and end up fighting among themselves. Many kill each other. The rest run for their lives. It is a huge victory for the Israelites. They won the battle without having to use swords.
It is interesting that in chapter 7, verse 21, we read, “And they stood every man in his place round about the camp…” Each of the 300 men had their appointed place to stand. Each had his job to do. Their success depended on each staying in his place.
Those in the church have a place. Each person is needed if the church is to be successful in the community. God expects us to all work together to evangelize our community. God is the one who wins the battle but each of us must do our part.
There is a need for team work in preaching the gospel. Some individuals can read the Bible out loud. Others are good at explaining what the text says. Others are good encouragers. There is a need for those who plan the work of teaching and preaching.
Just like in the days of Nehemiah and Ezra. After the wall of Jerusalem was rebuilt by Nehemiah and the Israelites, the people gathered to hear the law of God read.
Nehemiah 7:66-67, tells us that the population of Israel at this time was about 50,000.
On the first day of the seventh month, the people all gathered in Jerusalem They asked Ezra to bring the book of the law of Moses and instruct them in what they were to do.
Ezra stood on a pulpit of wood which had been made especially for the occasion.
He opened the book and read from it in front of all the people. In Nehemiah 8:7, we read, “Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place.” Nehemiah had led the people in completing the wall of Jerusalem and in encouraging the people to follow God. Ezra was able to read the law well. He also had encouraged the people to rebuild the Temple. The men named in our verse above were talented in explaining the text. The chief of the fathers andthe Levites and priests led the people in a desire to know more about God’s word (Neh. 8:13).
Every member of the Lord’s church is important in playing a part to encourage one another to serve the Lord and remain faithful to Him. May you find a place of service to the Lord in His church in 2015 and resolve to serve Him diligently throughout the year. (1 Cor 12:14-27)
Verse 14 For the body is not one member, but many.
Verse 25 That there should be no schism in the body;but that the members should have the same care one for another.
Verse 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.