When Israel planted its crops, Midian and Amalek, the easterners, would invade them, camp in their fields, and destroy their crops all the way down to Gaza. They left nothing for them to live on, neither sheep nor ox nor donkey. (Judges 6:3-4, MSG)
There are a couple of things in this passage that really struck me. The Hebrew for Midian means “strife and contention”. Both Midian and Amalek were distant cousins of Israel. Notice that the Israelites themselves were not attacked, but their produce, their fruitfulness was destroyed. Hence we can say that strife and contention between relatives can destroy our fruitfulness!
It is SO easy for me as an intercessor to see where we should be in the Lord and try desperately to convince others that they are going in the wrong direction, and that they need to make the shift into the Lord’s kingdom. I just KNOW that they will all be so much more fulfilled if they would just follow God. No matter how I present the information, they just… don’t… get it! Then frustration and irritation come in bringing with it strife and contention. Poof! Fruitfulness is gone.
What caused this “open door” for the enemy to bring forth strife and contention? In a word- fear. Note that the Lord Himself said “And I said to you, ‘I am GOD, your God. Don’t for a minute be afraid of the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living.’ But you didn’t listen to me.” (Judges 6:10, MSG)
So, the next logical step is to allow compromise in order to bring peace. Ancient Israel erected altars to Baal and Asherah poles. You would think that the distant cousins would be happy with this turn of events. After all, they are in charge. They could collect tax money, run Israel’s lives, etc. The devil, however, always over-plays his hand. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy, and he can’t help himself! Given the opportunity, he will steal, kill, and destroy!
How does this apply to us today? I’m glad you asked! Many in my generation are dismayed at the direction we see our young people going in. They live together before marriage if they even get married at all. More and more children are being raised in single parent households. They are taught by both government and education that homosexuality is simply an alternate lifestyle, not a sinful lifestyle that keeps its adherents in bondage. For 42 years, society has taught that women have the right to choose what to do with their own bodies when they find themselves with an unexpected pregnancy. The aftermath leaves society with 55 MILLION less children, some of whom would have made major breakthroughs in cancer and other societal ills. It also leaves a wake of broken women who KNOW deep down inside that they killed their children. Many of these were so physically damaged that they were never able to have children again.
What are God’s people doing about all this? Not much. We attempt to serve God in fear, and in the dark (Judges 6:11), or we attempt to convince others in our own strength that they are going in the wrong direction. Judges 6:34 says that the Spirit of the Lord came upon, or covered Gideon. He was anointed to do what the Lord called him to do. He was afraid, but he did it anyway.
What is God anointing you to do? Are you willing to allow our nation, our youth to go to destruction? Are you willing to ask the Lord for wisdom and courage to do what you are called to do? As for me, I love my family and friends far too much to pretend everything is OK, but I also choose to trust the Lord to work through me by perfecting His love in me.