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March 17 Today’s Reading: — Judges 8-9
“Faint, Yet Pursuing”
These words describing Gideon’s little army well describe me. Do they not describe you, my fellow pilgrim? I know that in and by Christ Jesus victory is sure. Yet, it is equally sure that we shall have battles all the days of our lives. Our pilgrimage is a relentless warfare. From the moment that God called me out of darkness into his marvelous light, my whole life has been a state of constant warfare. I feel what Paul felt and groan as he groaned in this body of sin and death, sorrowful though rejoicing, dying though I live, in turmoil though kept in perfect peace! Yes, my Lord, I am faint, faint under the many heavy assaults of the world and the devil, and more than anything else the assaults of my own sinful flesh! Still, sustained by your grace, “ I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” As it was with Gideon and his army, so it is with God’s saints in all ages in this world. There can be no truce in this war. May God give us grace that we may be found faithful unto death.
Indeed, our dear Savior has promised, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” His strength is made perfect in our weakness. That is to say, he displays the perfection of his strength in saving and sustaining such weak and sinful things as we are! While the world, the flesh, and the devil assault us relentlessly, though without are foes and within fears, still “in the Lord we have strength.” Though we have nothing, though we are nothing, our Savior promises, “in me is thy help.” He promises, “the righteous shall hold on his way; and he that hath clean hands shall wax stronger and stronger.” And so it shall be! The worm Jacob will thresh the mountains. — “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:29-31).
Jotham’s curse upon Abimelech and his ultimate, shameful death as he and Shechem mutually destroyed one another reminds us that our God shall at last bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Whatever it takes, my God, to do that in me, do it I pray, according to your own wisdom and grace.
How very sad it is to see that all this strife, all this misery, all this trouble, all this destruction came upon Gideon’s house and upon Israel because Gideon made an ephod of gold and all Israel went a whoring after it (Judges 8:27). Aaron fell into a similar transgression with the same results (Exodus 32:1-4). Take care, take great care, O my soul, to influence others for good and not for evil. God make me a blessing to those I influence and not a curse, for Christ’s sake!