The "Keys of the Kingdom" for those who have de spirit of Gideon
by Gerald Fruhinsholz
Is there anyone who does not know the story of Gideon?... A man chosen by God, one of the least of men, to fight against the Midianite army allied to Amalek and the sons of the East – the occupying power of that time in Israel. Gideon was the youngest of his family and like all the Israelites, he feared for his life and was in hiding…
A family of Israel, a son of Israel…
Gideon is the son of Joas – "the Lord has given": a man of the tribe of Manasseh, of the family of Abiezar (Judges 6:11,15). Established at Ophra, Joas was a leader in his community. He set up an altar to Baal and erected a sacred stake, symbol of the Canaanite Astarte. God ordered Gideon to tear it down, which he did.
Gideon (Guid’on - from the Hebrew gad’a) means "to knock down”, "to cut down". The Gideon is a man of God who causes fortresses to fall. God uses him when he is only a son of Manasseh undergoing the persecution of terrible enemies. Nothing disposed Gideon to become a hero (gibor), a "Messiah" who would deliver Israel. Jewish tradition says that the Messiah (Mashiah) manifests himself to every generation to protect the people. Today’s rabbis know, however, that the Messiah who is coming (El Gibor) will be of the tribe of Judah, and that He will be a descendant of King David.
Gideon was threshing wheat to protect it from Midian. An angel of the lord appeared to him, and said: "The Lord is with you, valiant hero!". Gideon seeing in him a man, complained of the sufferings that the Midianites were making them live through, recalling God’s promise with respect to His people. And the angel said to him: "Go with your force, and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian: am I not the one who is sending you?"
Wow! And Gideon, like Moses and each one of us who does not possess the stuff of heroes, will say: "Ah! My Lord, with what shall I deliver Israel? See, my family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house. The Lord will say to him: But I will be with you, and you will beat Midian as one single man" (Judges 6:15). Let us be aware that it is the Lord who is speaking… like the One we know today as our Emmanuel, having said: "I am with you always" (Matthew 28:20).
The sacrifice and the fleece
We know what follows: Gideon wants proof that it is God who is speaking, and he prepares a sacrifice on the rock. The angel of the Lord causes fire to fall on the offering, consuming the sacrifice and disappears. And Gideon cries out: "Woe is me, I have seen God face to face!". Gideon understood that this man was coming from God. Later, before leaving for war, Gideon "will put down a fleece" – that it may be dry when there is dew and that it may be wet when the grass around is dry. We have the right to test God when He asks of us a particular mission.
Tearing down sacred pillars, spiritual strongholds
The Lord asks the young Gideon as a first priority to tear down the idol of his village, the sacred pillar. It was a challenge and a real proof of courage, for Gideon knew that he was going to bring down upon himself the fury of the whole community. His father will support him eventually, when the population want to lynch him, saying: "Let Baal defend himself!", from which comes his new name Yerubaal (Judges 6:32).
We are called as Christians, to pull down strongholds: "For the weapons with which we fight are not carnal; but they are powerful through God, for the tearing down of strongholds" (2 Corinthians 10:4).
In the last days that we are living through and as the coming of the great King approaches, there is a stronghold to be torn down (which will not make friends for us), it is replacement theology, which encompasses two other doctrines poisoning the Body of Christ: Humanism and A-millenarian theology.
The Gideon, a prophetic Christian
Gideon uses three elements, insignificant in appearance but prophetic in his war against the Enemy of the time:
1. the trumpet (the shofar),
2. the flaming torch,
3. the vessel enclosing the torch, before being broken.
That corresponds to three qualities of the Christian for the last generation:
An elite for the Lord
Of the 32,000 men who came to fight the enemy and after God’s selection, there remained 300 men. God wants to glorify Himself in this small number; it is the quality that is important. The Lord is looking for people of faith who have vision. The men chosen simply placed one knee on the ground to be able to drink, keeping their hand on their sword. That speaks of extreme vigilance. Christians are to be constantly listening (on the alert) for signs from God in the Word and in events. They are ready to stand up and act rapidly.
Today we must be aware of the urgency of things – events are moving quickly. Christians are often caught up in seeking comfort or simply concerned with their own lives. The Gideon looks out for the interests of God, he is ready to follow Him.
This story of Gideon has something to do with the End Times! The Enemy is the Midianites and Amalek, allied with the Arab people. Isn’t this current?... Yes, for Israel has been struggling since the beginning of its creation with fierce enemies, the Islamists in general, whether they are Arabs or not, denying the legitimacy of Israel and wishing to take its place in the land. They too are practising Replacement theology! For Islam’s vocation is to conquer the world, not only Israel.
A love for Israel that is alive
Gideon had a longing for the liberation of Israel from the occupation of the Midianites who were ravaging the fields of the Israelites and terrorising the people: "the Lord turned towards him and said: Go with this force that you have, and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian: is it not I who am sending you?" (Judges 6:14). The "Christian Gideon" embraces the cause of SION and makes of this cause, the cause of God.
He has a heart for the Truth of the Word and for the salvation of Israel: "For love of Sion, I will not be silent. For love of Jerusalem, I will take no rest at all until her salvation appears, and her deliverance, like a torch which is lit…" (Isaiah 62:1).
His sword is "for the Lord", in the service of the cause of God. But let us be aware that our actions, however heroic they may be, will have no merit. God alone gives the victory! The glory is due to Him alone!... And, however, God said: "Go with your force!". May the Lord give us this boldness, in the same way as He inspired the young Gideon to faith and courage to confront the Enemy. With this elite, God is going to open up His Kingdom… He has placed the keys in our hands.