The Difference!

Gideon’s test

 

Israelites were captives in the hands of Midianites and Amalakites; they had no king yet.   It just emerged as a free young nation by the mighty hand of God through Moses, God’s servant.  During this time, God raised up judges to lead Israel. Gideon was God’s chosen judge; a very timid and coward freak. He was threshing wheat by hiding from the Midianites when God called him (Judges 6:11). In his own words, he hailed from a family that was least in the tribe of Manasseh, and he himself was last in the family (Judges 6:15). If God chose a person like him, so coward and timid, then it gives me hope that He can pick me too. If you are a kind of rejected, forsaken, mocked-upon, laughed-at, chicken-in-the-curry and lamb-in-the-bush fellow, then God has His eyes on you. He calls the weak and the timid to show forth His power and strength to the world through them.

God asked Gideon to deliver His people from the hand of the Midianites (Judges 6:14).  Unable to believe that it was really God who is talking to him, he gives a test to God; a fleece of wool is laid on the ground and the dew is to wet only the fleece whereas the ground surrounding it must be dry. The following day it happens as he said.  Again Gideon gives God another test, this time asking God to make it happen in the reverse – the ground alone must be wet whereas the fleece of wool should be dry. It happens exactly as Gideon said (Judges 6:37-40).  So Gideon attacks the Midianites in the name of the Lord and conquers an army as large as the sand on the sea shore with just 300 chosen men of Israel.  Mighty act of God indeed!

If we carefully observe this test in the light of God’s wisdom, Gideon represents an on-looker,   an observer, a passerby, a man who would believe God because of what he sees. He, in a sense, represents a category of people in the world today who would believe God because of their sight – what they see – not of faith.  Fleece of wool is the object of Gideon’s observation. It represents the church – the body of Christ, a separated, sanctified, purchased, possession of God. The ground, on which the fleece is placed, represents the neighborhood – the immediate world surrounding the church. All that Gideon asked for was a glaring difference between the fleece of wool and the ground on which it is placed.  If the fleece was wet, the ground must be dry and vice versa.

Here is what God’s Word is talking to us; does a passerby, an on-looker, an observer, a man living nearby your church find a difference between the church and the world today? Does somebody in your locality find a difference between you and the world surrounding you? Do you really belong to that category of separated, sanctified, purchased-possession of God – the church?  The difference in Gideon’s test led him to believe that it is indeed God calling him. Does the difference between you and the world lead others to Christ?  Are we compromised too much with the world to lose the difference that God wants the world to see in us? Are we, as Christians, showing any difference to the world? Or are we meant to be a part of the world? Never!

God called us out of this world, but never to be a part of the world (John 17:16). If you are a friend of the world, you cannot be a friend of God (James 4:4). You cannot please God if you love the world and its systems (1 John 2:15). The Bible sternly rebukes the compromise of God’s people with the world and its systems. We are set apart, separated and sanctified (Deuteronomy 7:6).  The difference ought to be a mandate for every child of God.  Has the blood of the Lamb of God shed in vain? Has the price of His blood so demeaned?  God forbid that we should become identified with the world and its systems. It is time God’s children open their eyes to this correction and rebuke of God’s Word by taking it seriously in their lives.

World systems have become a part of today’s church services. From instant coffee and quick magi noodles, we have quick services for people who have busy schedules. We try our level best to make services look pleasing, appealing and short to the convenience of those who are busy. We entertain them in the church. To satisfy their appetite, we preach and teach what they want to hear.  We organize programmes to keep the church busy. We do everything for people but nothing for God! We decorate our churches, but inside us there is filth. Does this strike a chord with your church? Have we let the world in our church? It is time that we think about it more seriously than ever before, for God is looking for a bride – His church – which is separated, sanctified, purchased, does not mingle with the world and does everything to please Him and not the world. Are you truly a part of the true church of God today? If so, show the difference of being a true child of God in the world you are in, because somebody may be observing your life and may believe God by seeing your life – someone’s calling may be depending on you.  So, show the difference!!!

For Restoration,

Joel Suchith