Monday Feb 18, 2018
Sometimes we can miss what the problem really is. Welcome to The Word with Pastor David. In the time of Gideon, Midianite/Amorite raiders have made life miserable for the Israelites. It appears they are the problem. Judges 6:4-5, 8, 10 reads:
“They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys. They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts…they invaded the land to ravage it...he sent them a prophet, who said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says…I am the Lord your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live. But you have not listened to me.””
It appears the raiders are the problem for Israel, but when we look closer, we see that it is the Israelite’s worship of the raider’s gods that was the real problem. Israel experienced the power of the raiding peoples and they decided to adopt their gods as their own. Why? Because they were obviously powerful, or the raiders would not be so successful!
We may congratulate ourselves that we do not bow to blocks of wood or golden statues, but our actions are eerily similar to Israel’s. We give our attention to what we think is the most powerful in our world—whether that be money-earning power or athletic power or the power of sexual attraction or political power. The real problem for the Israelites was their bowing to human power—and the same is our problem today. We must recognize that God is the only ultimate power that matters. And when we do, we are getting to the heart of the problem.
And that’s the Word from Deer Lodge Assembly on the corner of 5th and Montana.
Tuesday Feb 19, 2018
Are we open to God correcting some of our false conclusions? Welcome to the Word with Pastor David. Gideon has reached a false conclusion about the troubles he is experiencing in Judges 6:12-13:
“When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”
…Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.””
Gideon sees the troubles brought by the Midianite raiders and he concludes that God has bailed on them all. God had abandoned them. But God explained he is with Gideon. He will repeat that in verse 16. In fact, the Word is crystal-clear that God will never leave us or forsake us. Troubles come and go and they can have various causes in our life, but they never mean that God bailed. He is with us right in the middle of our troubles. He is always with us. We are never alone if we have begun a relationship with God.
When troubles come your way watch out for the false conclusion that God has run out on you. Nothing could be further from the truth!
And that’s the Word from David Baker of Deer Lodge Assembly on the corner of 5th and Montana.
Wednesday Feb 20, 2018
Are we open to God correcting some of our false conclusions? Welcome to the Word with Pastor David. Gideon has reached a false conclusion in Judges 6:14-15:
“The Lord…said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”
“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.””
Gideon is quite certain that he is the runt of the litter in his family and his family is the runt of the litter in the tribe of Manasseh. He has drawn the false conclusion that he is unqualified to make a difference in the world. But God makes it clear that he has strength. He even calls him a mighty warrior in verse 12! God can see more in Gideon than Gideon can! He is calling out qualities and capabilities that Gideon is blind to.
And the same is true for us. God sees more in you than you do! Except for the few among us with over-inflated egos, most of the time humans see their shortcomings in technicolor and their assets in fuzzy black and white. If God has a task for you, you can go in the strength you have. God will supply what else you need. You are qualified to make a difference in the world. Otherwise he wouldn’t have called your name!
And that’s the Word from Pastor David of Deer Lodge Assembly. Join our Wednesday adult Bible Study at 6:30 for more of the Word.
Thursday Feb 21, 2018
What was Gideon’s most important action? Welcome to the Word with Pastor David. Most of us would be quick to answer that Gideon’s defeat of the Midianites in a great battle directed by God would be the most important, but Judges 6:25-26:
“…the Lord said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd…Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. Then build a proper kind of altar to the Lord your God on top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering.””
Before Gideon could defeat the army, he needed to clean his house first. His family was the one promoting heathen worship in their town. He needed to make a clear break from the gods of power that he had been worshipping.
The same can be true for you and I. Often God will call us to clean our house and declare a clean break from other power-brokers and commit fully to God’s power before he can work through us or use us to make a difference in the world. That step might be the most important one we ever make!
And that is the Word from Deer Lodge Assembly on the corner of 5th and Montana.
Friday Feb 22, 2018
What is ‘real power’? Welcome to the Word with Pastor David. When God gets Gideon ready to attack the Midianite raiders, he acts opposite to our expectations. God whittles down Gideon’s volunteer army from 32,000 fighting men to a mere 300. Why does the Lord do this? In Judges 7:2:
“The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’”
God wants to teach his people that ‘real power’ rests with the Lord and not with how many camel-mounted soldiers the opposition has. Isaiah 31:3 reads concerning another superpower of Isaiah’s time:
“But the Egyptians are mere mortals and not God; their horses are flesh and not spirit. When the Lord stretches out his hand…all will perish together.”
We, like Gideon, tend to think that powers that we can see and touch are the real ones and spiritual power is kind of wispy and uncertain. But the opposite is true, and God brought victory by a mere handful of men to make that point:
God’s power is the ultimate ‘real power.’ All other powers are playing with nursery room blocks in comparison.
So, align yourself with real power if you want to make a difference in the world.
And that’s the Word. You can enjoy more of the Word this Sunday at 10:45 at Deer Lodge Assembly on the corner of 5th and Montana.