Sunday, March 13, 2016

DJD313 - Being Called

Read More Daily Jesus

Ephesians 4:1-6

Starting Question:

Have you ever felt completely alone and believed no one cared about you? Describe that feeling. What did it take to make you feel differently?

Being Called

The sun beat down on Gideon’s neck as he threw the final bushel of wheat into the winepress. Carefully he climbed down the dry walls of the old pit and began threshing the wheat.

Threshing wheat in a winepress, he mumbled to himself as he worked, what if the Midianites find me? I think the embarrassment of being caught hiding would be worse than any punishment they could give. But, we need this wheat.

The Midianites had been tormenting the Israelites for seven years—not letting them keep any of their harvest. Every cluster of grapes, every bushel of wheat, every olive picked from the trees was taken by raiding parties from Midian. You had to hide like a coward just to survive, or die of starvation.

Gideon paused from his work to study the sun. It was high in the sky, nearly time for lunch. He turned back to his work and picked up another armload of wheat. I’ll thresh this lot, and then I’ll go home and eat.

Moments later, focused on his task, a voice nearly gave Gideon a heart attack: “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior!” Gideon didn’t look up. He knew a joke when he heard one. He was no warrior. He was a coward, if anything.

“Yeah?” Gideon shouted over his shoulder. “If God is with us, why am I in a winepress instead of on the threshing floor? If God is with us, why are we being decimated and humiliated by the Midianites? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’?”

The voice above him took a stern tone, “I am sending you, Gideon. I want you to rescue Israel from their oppressors.”

Gideon stopped what he was doing and looked up. The sun brilliantly backlit the head and shoulders of a man. Slowly, Gideon climbed out of the winepress. When he stood, facing the unknown visitor, he noticed the man was still glowing. It hadn’t been the sun. Realising he was in the presence of a spiritual being, Gideon began to shake and stammer.

“But Lord,” Gideon said. “How can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!”

“I will be with you,” the man said. “And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.”

Gideon replied, “If you are truly going to help me, show me a sign to prove that it is really the Lord speaking to me. Don’t go away until I come back and bring my offering to you.”

The man answered, “I will stay here until you return.”

** Gideon's Story continues in Building an Army tomorrow **

Reflection Question:
How does todays Bible text challenge you in your actions toward the people in your world and beyond?

Prayer time:
Before you pray together, ask: What would you like to say to Jesus today?

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