Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Broken Pitchers: Victory over Midian (Judges 6-7)

by Wayne W. Livesay, June 2008

We live in a world of broken things. A child can display much joy over a toy he or she received at Christmas, but a few days later they will express sadness when that Christmas toy is broken. A youth’s dreams can reach the realm of much joy because of a pledge they have received from a member of the opposite sex, but later they discover that the pledge has been broken. A young man in the military leaves for overseas service with a vow from a loved one that they will remain true to him, but later he learns that this vow has been broken.

In all these examples, we learn a valuable lesson – that there is no making without first there is the breaking process. For example, before a field can yield its product, the ground must be broken, seed must be planted, and then we must wait for the time of harvest. This will be true in every instance, as in God’s time nothing can transpire without this process taking place. In every instance we see that this premise holds true.

The book of Judges records the battle between Israel and the Midianites. Gideon, the leader of Israel’s army was outnumbered, but God told Gideon that his army was too large. God then gave Gideon instruction on how to reduce his army. Of the 32,000 men available, God reduced them to 10,000.

“And the lord said unto Gideon, ‘The people are yet too many’” (Judges 7:4). He then reduced the size of Gideon’s army to a mere 300 men. Imagine the reaction Gideon felt at this number. Nevertheless, he followed the Lord’s instruction which was to give each of the 300 men clay pitchers with each pitcher containing a lamp and each man to carry a trumpet. The men were divided into three companies surrounding the camp of the Midianites.

At the appropriate instant, Gideon blew on his trumpet, and the 300 men did likewise, they broke the clay pitchers and the 300 lamps shined forth. They all cried, “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.”

The Midianites thought they were surrounded and awakened out of sleep began to fight among themselves. They then fled out of the valley. In this battle, not one of the 300 was injured, but the victory was of the Lord. The example for us today is that we have the lamp (HOLY SPIRIT) within us, and these vessels of clay must not be regarded but broken so that the Holy Spirit can direct our lives.

There is no making without breaking, and everyone who has experienced the new birth has come to the realization that he or she is a vile sinner, and as the Apostle Paul says, “There is none righteous, no not one.” Through the eye of faith, one must look to Calvary and what the Lord did there and must realize that it was his sin that nailed Christ to the cross.

Have you been broken because of your sin? Remember the Lord is now looking at your heart. Does HE see a self-righteous person or a repentant one???

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