A Soft Answer Turns Away Wrath

How often is our own anger provoked by someone else that makes us feel insignificant – that our worth counts for nothing?  We would do well to remember this when we encounter someone whose wrath is obvious in both their demeanor and tone.  Consider Gideon’s response to the men of Ephraim in Judges 8:1-3 when they complained that he had only called them out belatedly.  But Gideon’s praise of their accomplishments turned away they wrath.

David and Jonathan were best friends, but Jonathan's crippled son Mephibosheth could have claimed his grandfather Saul's throne. Despite that, David was kind to him, and brought him into the palace to live (2 Samuel 9).

David and Jonathan were best friends, but Jonathan’s crippled son Mephibosheth could have claimed his grandfather Saul’s throne. Despite that, David was kind to him, and brought him into the palace to live (2 Samuel 9).

Now look instead to David’s encounter with Nabal in 1 Samuel 25:10-13, where he insulted David and his mighty men.  It was only Abigail’s soft and wise words in 1 Samuel 25:23-30 that quieted David’s anger, and kept him from doing what he would surely come to regret.

Sometimes the soft answer that is needed in such situations is simply that of kindness.  Everyone wants and deserves to feel that they are important – that what they need, and what they feel matters.  It does matter to God.  It mattered to Jesus (Matthew 7:12).  Shouldn’t it matter to us?

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

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Judges 7 – Gideon’s Three Hundred Men

Spring of Harod, where Gideon’s men drank

As Gideon prepares for his first battle, he has 32,000 camped at the spring of Harod, while the Midianites are north by the hill of Moreh in the valley.  But God decides there are too many of them.  He wants the number reduced, so that the people know without a doubt that the victory does not come from their own might, but from the one true God. 22,000 leave at first in verse 3, but God has them “tested” by the manner that they drink from the spring to further reduce the force to 300 (verses 4-6).

To again boost the confidence of the timid warrior, God sends him to the outskirts of their camp to overhear one of the foes relating his dream to a comrade, which foretells the victory (verses 13-14).  Though their number is “as the sand that is on the seashore,” Gideon is convinced; and separates the 300 into three groups on each side.  They charge armed with 300 trumpets and glass jars with torches inside.  The sound of the breaking glass, trumpets, and shouting  (verse 19-20) had the desired effect in verse 21, and the victory was complete in verses 24-25.

(Side note: An brief article on this chapter with great modern photographs of the landmarks of this scene can be found at the following link to Ferrell’s Travel Blog)

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Robert
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Judges 6 – Midian Oppresses Israel

Chapter 6 is the story of Gideon, the reluctant and rather timid judge.  This time, the Israelites are overpowered by the Midianites.  Verses 3-4 tell us that whenever they planted crops, the Midianites and Amalekites would come and “devour” the land, leaving no sustenance – not even livestock.  They hid in caves and were terrified.  But this time when they cried out to the Lord, He sent a prophet to rebuke them for their apostasy (verses 7-10).  And we soon learn the depths that their apostasy and idol worship have reached are great.  It is no wonder the anger of God is burning against them!

Gideon tears down the Baal altars and the
wooden Asherah idols (Judges 6:25-27)

The angel of the Lord then appears to Gideon, the son of Joash the Abiezrite.  Abiezer was part of the tribe of Manasseh that settled west of the Jordan River (Joshua 17:1-2).  Gideon shows a low opinion of himself in verse 15, but asks for “a sign that it is you who speak with me.”  The angel of the Lord gives him one in verse 21, and vanishes.  Afterward, the Lord commands him to take his father’s bulls and pull down the altar of Baal that his father has, and the Asherah beside it.   The Asherah probably refers to sacred wooden poles erected to worship the goddess Asherah.  He was too afraid of his family and the others to do in the daytime, so he took 10 servants and destroyed it by night.

When the men of the town found what he had done the next day, they wanted to kill him.  This is a chilling illustration of how low they have gone.  But Joash intervenes in verse 31 and tells them that they should let the “powerful ” Baal contend for himself.  Gideon, clothed with the spirit of the Lord (verse 34) called out the Abiezrites, sent messengers throughout Manasseh, Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali.  But he asks for another sign – the sign of the fleece in verses 36-40 – not once, but twice, clearly knowing he was wrong in testing the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:16).  But God lets him have it anyway, maybe from knowing the boy was weak and needed confidence to perform such a great task.  The task was for God to save Israel by his hand.

Is he ready now?

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Robert
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.