Purah Patience ...Gideon Week 4

This week's lesson about Gideon reveals one of God's most wonderful characteristics; His long-suffering; patience. God displays His patience with Gideon and with us to lead us to a place of bold faith and fearlessness to accomplish what He's called us to do.

Several times during Gideon's encounters with God before the battle at hand, Gideon needs reassurance that God is going to do what God said He would do - WIN!  The Midianite army, too numerous to count, will be delivered into the hands of Gideon and the Israelite army of only 300.

First, God's patience is displayed when Gideon asks for the fleece and dew test.

Read Judges 6:34-40.

Even though Gideon asks again for God to perform the fleece test in reverse, God demonstrates great patience with Gideon and fulfills his request. God reiterates that the Midianites will be delivered into his hands.

Again, as God gives Gideon instructions, He also offers Gideon more reassurance if he is still afraid.  That assurance comes in the form of a companion, a servant named Purah.

Read Judges 7:9-15.

Purah is another picture of God's patience. By allowing him to go with Gideon to spy on the enemy camp at night, just Purah's presence was encouragement for Gideon.  The most fascinating part of the story is that God has Gideon and Purah end up outside of a tent (out of 1000s of tents to come upon) where the enemy is talking about Gideon and what they are thinking.

A dream is being interpreted inside the tent. As one man interprets the dream told to him by the other man, God allows Gideon to hear his name, and the name of his father, spoken by the enemy. The soldier interpreting said the dream was a clear picture that they should be afraid of Gideon and his army because "God has delivered Midian and the whole camp." (Judges 7:14 NKJV)  God was already placing fear in the minds and hearts of the enemy even before the battle had begun, setting the stage for Gideon's defeat of the Midianites. This reassurance empowered Gideon!

Gideon's immediate act of fearless obedience was to bow and worship Yahweh. (7:15)

Then he heads back to camp. He shouts to his soldiers, "Get up!" He lays out the battle plan and they do as they are told.  God's long suffering patience has transformed a fearful leader into a fearless leader.  He now believes that God is God and will do as He says.  He's ready to move forward.

How has God shown patience with you?  Do you need some reassuring that God is who He says He is to follow Him whole heartedly in what He's asking you to do? 

We have so much more today to reassure us than those in the Bible. We have stories of heroes and heroines of the faith in God's complete, divine Word, and we have our own personal stories of faith to draw from. Gideon had only been taught the teachings of an idol named Baal.  He didn't know God like you and I can know Him.  He was learning about this fully engaged God from scratch, and God knew He needed lots of reassuring to move forward.

If we need something extra, God knows that too and will deliver that reassurance to us.  It may come in the form of a friend, like Purah, who has traveled our journey with us and has seen God work in powerful ways.  It may be in the form of a Scripture that God brings to mind, a sermon, or just His sweet voice in our ear to reveal a little more boldness to help us take the step of fearless faith.  He loves us too much to let us walk alone. He is patient!  He is compassionate!

Priscilla Shirer asks us to examine areas where we are fearful in something God has asked us to do. Take some time to evaluate what you need to take that next step in being fully obedient.  God may have already given you everything you need and you just need to do it.  Or, He may be waiting for you to ask Him to help you to have a fearless faith as He reassures you that He is with you every step of the way.

My Pleasure,