the First Week of Lent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
When the enemy moved, the Lord moved his chosen servant to meet them, and at his signal many of the downtrodden people plucked up courage and came forth from their hiding places to face the enemy.
The Lord’s people are willing in the day of his power.
See how tenderly the Lord condescends to the weakness of his servant’s faith, and doubly strengthens his confidence. The Lord gives to us similar signs to confirm our faith. Sometimes under the ordinances we are bedewed with grace when others are not, and at other times we feel our natural gracelessness in the very place where others rejoice in abundance of grace. If our religion were mechanical, we could arrange its force; if it were formal, we could maintain its sameness; but since it is of the Lord, it is dependent upon his sovereign grace, and we are made to feel that it is so.
Helpers with God are never too few, but we learn from this passage that they may be too many. This is a blow for those who boast their numbers, and an encouragement for the few and feeble.
This was a great trial for Gideon’s faith. If weak in some points, it was mighty in others.
The lappers were men in haste for action, full of passion for the war; men who could not rest till they had smitten their cruel oppressors. Such men the Lord will work with.
Judges 7:7 , Judges 7:8
The swordsmen melted away, and only a few trumpeters remained. Now were matters right for conflict, and ripe for victory. When we are weak, then are we strong. Stripped of all such strength as can be seen, we cast ourselves upon the power invisible.
“Show me a token for good.”
See how gently the Lord deals with his servant. He assures him that there is no room for fear, but lest a fear should remain, he removes it.
To certain sincere characters, God deigns to give signs and assurances which it might be sinful for others to desire. Because Gideon had so many tokens, we are by no means to expect them, but rather to remember that blessed are they who have not seen and yet have believed.
It was a singular providence that one soldier should dream such a dream, that another should give it such an interpretation, and that Gideon should be listening during their conversation. The wonders of providence deserve the careful and adoring eye of the observer. The dream was just what Gideon wanted. He was as despised as a poor barley cake, and yet he should overturn the pavilions of Midian.
Note his worshipping under such circumstances. Devotion causes no delay.
Seeing so many torch-bearers, and hearing so many trumpeters, they reckoned that the army itself must be immense, and being smitten with sudden panic they fled.
Those who cannot go first, may do good service if they will come in later and aid the good cause.
A wise leader is anxious to reap all the fruit he can from a victory. When we have overcome evil of any kind we must labour to make the success a permanent one.
Thus faith wins the day against unnumbered foes. Let us but believe and we shall be established. The Lord is our Captain still, and we shall be more than conquerors.