Mighty Men Of Valor, Pt. 2

(Part 2 of 2)

Saints with faith win victories. One man under control of the Spirit can influence a remnant who then can carry out great achievements. God is not bound by conventional methods. Victory does not depend upon numbers; it’s the hand of God that counts. Was Gideon’s three hundred men the first “special ops force”? Victory is not dependent on how much equipment you may have. The 300 had pitchers, lamps, and trumpets. In the natural way of looking at things these were not adequate weapons. The battle is the Lord’s; it’s His power, not ours. We are just instruments in His hand.

The men of Succoth and Penuel were non-supporters. Chapter 8 tells the story, and this is the object of this message: Gideon and the 300 had just killed 120,000 men of Midian, but there were yet 15,000 left alive. Gideon asked the men of Succoth and Penuel for bread and water. “We are faint, but pursuing” (chapter 8:4-5). The men of Succoth and Penuel closed their hands and hearts to Gideon’s request because they wanted proof. The Lord has many mighty men of valor today who are “faint, yet pursuing,” “tired, yet pursuing,” “lacking in finances, yet pursuing,” “old, yet pursuing.” The men of Succoth and Penuel saw no sign of complete victory, so they asked for more evidence. They withheld support. They said “no” to God’s vision and to God’s mighty men. Someone has said, People who have no vision beyond their own selves believe in nothing, they change nothing, they renew nothing, they support nothing and they end up with nothing.”

When God raises mighty warriors, don’t withhold from them if they “faint” for lack of finances. We live in a world where finances are essential. Even Christians need finances to preach the gospel and to chase the devil. It was the leaders of Succoth and Penuel that opposed God’s mighty warriors. They may have not liked this obscure farmer whom God had raised up. “He isn’t in our camp, you know.” The Lord whispered a prophecy in Gideon’s ear, “Keep pursuing, we’ll be back. The flesh and self-preservation that they hid under will be torn off them and their towers will fall.” Gideon and his warriors pursued on, killed the enemy, and captured alive the two kings of Midian. The Lord may have said, “Gideon, let’s go back to Succoth and Penuel with the evidence they asked to see” (chapter 8:11-13). They caught a young man who happened to know the names of all the leaders and where they lived (chapter 8:14). Gideon came and presented the evidence, then fulfilled the word he had said earlier. The men of Succoth hid behind their flesh and because of their lack of support for the mighty men, they had their flesh torn by thorns and briars. It was in their power to help but they said “no” to the Lord’s vision to deliver. The men of Penuel had the tower (personal kingdom) that they had built for their protection torn down, and the leaders were slain. God knows everyone’s address. Withhold support from God’s mighty men whom He has called and commissioned, and God will come back and visit you. You can count on it.

We are in the last days; it’s harvest time. There is no shortage of mighty men pursuing the vision God has called them to. There are also men of “Succoth and Penuel” in our day. The word “Succoth” means, “a lair, a den, a booth, a cottage, a covert, a tabernacle.” The men of Succoth hid behind their works of flesh, and they lost their lives.  The word “Penuel” means “the face of God, to face God.” The men of Penuel turned away from God and trusted in their own security, and they saw their security crumble. Oppression today is very heavy for many people. Nations are calling for the gospel, for Bibles, for help with food and medicine and technology. Withhold, and God may say, “Let’s go back there and visit them and deal with their flesh.” Brothers and sisters in Christ… if you withhold in time of harvest you can expect a visit from the Lord who still keeps account. In our day, as in Gideon’s day, there is lack of national and spiritual unity. People are doing their own thing. They have their own agenda. Many people have great potential to help reap in the harvest, but they face catastrophe because of withholding. It’s time to do what is right in God’s eyes. Get behind the mighty warriors that God has raised up in this generation. You can pray. God can change things and do the impossible. Ask God to lead you to the mighty warriors that He wants you to help. The harvest is ripe all over the world. Keep pursuing in your giving. The men of Succoth and Penuel tried to gain the world but they lost everything.

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Mighty Men Of Valor, Pt. 1

Joshua 1:14… “But ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour, and help them” (KJV). Proverbs 3:27… “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.”

There is a very interesting incident in the book of Judges (chapters 6-8) that speaks about the men of Succoth and Penuel, who withheld food and water from Gideon and three hundred warriors in the time of battle. Catastrophe came upon them. First, let me give you a little background about the calling of Gideon and the Midian oppression.

The Midian oppression came at a time when the people of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord. In the book of Judges, the story is told of how the people did what they felt was right in their own eyes and how they fell away from doing what was right in God’s eyes. The book of Judges is filled with people very much like us, people with potential greatness, yet wide open for catastrophe. When they trusted God and obeyed His laws, they made a strong godly impact upon society, and God’s glory was proclaimed. When they depended upon their own flesh, they sealed themselves in isolation for fear of their enemies. The marauders of Midian (and of the devil) came and tore their lives to pieces. Israel began to compromise with the enemy, and in doing so, they cut themselves off from the biblical roots of divine protection.

The Midian oppression came in time of harvest. 9/11 happened in a time of prosperity. The people of the U.S. watched as their hard work was torn down. The Midianites succeeded because there was no national or spiritual unity. We are seeing this same thing in our nation today. One motto today is “United we stand,” but at this time there is more division than ever. The book of Judges presents us with living examples of people who fell under oppression, and also of people who survived and flourished in times of adversity. When people draw back from God, God is not pleased (Hebrews 10:38-39). In spite of the hard times in our land, we still live in exciting and challenging times. What a day to serve the Lord and to help the mighty men of valor in our day who are serving the Lord in a fivefold faith project by subduing kingdoms, sowing righteousness, obtaining promises, stopping the mouths of lions, and quenching the fires of violence (Hebrews 11:33-34). There are violent fires burning in our society, such as the drug wars, AIDS, child abuse, murders, corporate stealing, homeless people, and much more. The devil is marching too.

In this Midian oppression, God called a mighty man of valor to be a deliverer. Judges 6 tells of his call and his commission. The name “Gideon” means “to cut down.” He was called to cut down the oppression caused by the Midianites. Isn’t this what Jesus came to do? He came “healing all who were oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:38, NASB). Isn’t this what we are to do? (Mark 16:15-20) Despite the nation’s persistent unbelief and disobedience, they cried unto the Lord, and He responded by calling a mighty man… an obscure farmer who nervously threshed wheat in hiding to escape detection. He didn’t look like a man of valor, yet the angel of the Lord called him exactly that because of the qualities of leadership that lay dormant in him (Judges 6:12). I strongly believe that the next great revivalist will not be found behind some pulpit. He will be found at home, sitting at the feet of Jesus and worshipping. Jesus called out Peter and said, “Thou art . . . Thou shalt be.” (John 1:42) Gideon was at first timid and fearful (Judges 6:13-15), but soon built an altar (6:24). The altar speaks of renewal, dedication, and consecration to do the will of God. Gideon had met the Lord and he worshipped. After this came Gideon’s first challenge, which was to tear down the altars of Baal (6:28). He did it at night, but he did it. He was fearful, but he did it. The Midianites were angry and gathered to do battle (6:33).

The Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon. “The Spirit of the LORD clothed Gideon” (Judges 6:34, ESV). Gideon was now a God-ruled man and anointed, a man selected by God. He blew the trumpet and the people sensed the presence of God with him. 32,000 made a spontaneous emotional response to help this mighty man of valor. People recognize anointed men. God eventually reduced this army to three hundred men (7:1-7). God looks for quality help more than He looks for quantity. God is not impressed with numbers. It’s not numbers that move God’s hand; it’s the quality of the saints. He looks for saints with faith who are disciplined and committed to obey, and who are not afraid to face great odds that war against them. Napoleon said, “In war, men are nothing; the man is everything.” In chapter 7:3, the 32,000 were asked to test their own hearts. What is in there? Is it faith or fear? Fear broke down their faith and 22,000 went home. Emotional people do not make good warriors if their faith breaks down. In chapter 7:4, 10,000 men were asked to drink from a stream of water. The Lord was weeding out the careless and reckless. Most drank without concern of a possible ambush. Many people never watch out for their souls. 9,700 more went home. That left only 300 warriors.

(To be continued…)

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved