LOVE & SEPARATION from the Fearful and the Foolish
Scripture: Judges 7:1-8
BlogFam, You already know that I like to keep it real in this space and today is no different. So, I am going to make a statement and then we will go from there.
I know that I am, we are all, actually, commanded to LOVE our neighbor as we LOVE ourselves. Yet, I have learned that as I work hard to obey this command, I must love and keep some of my neighbors at a distance - geographically, philosophically, intellectually, ideologically, circumstantially, and even obediently.
I think you get my drift. I truly believe that if we all were to thoughtfully and intentionally obey the second of the greatest commandments - the first being LOVE the Lord your God with your ALL - we will discover a revolutionary and radical means to truly unify as one nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all. And the distance we create based on prejudices, biases, personal preferences, class, gender, orientation, race, or ethnicity might not seem as great.
This takes a lot of work that most of us, frankly, from milk drinking Christians to meat loving ones are just NOT willing to do and I believe God already knows this. God knows that in our feeble efforts to obey this particular command we will fall short. And so GOD will realign and redefine our relationships with our neighbors in order for God's will to be accomplished.
Thus, at certain times in our lives, we are called to love our neighbors in different ways, ways that might look like inclusion and/or separation for Holy reasons we may never understand.
Early in the morning, Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) and all his men camped at the spring of Harod. The camp of Midian was north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh. The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’
In our text for today, we read a story of love and separation. I know that you might have never looked at this pericope from this perspective so let me explain....
Friends, it is so important for you to learn and to know that there will come a day when selected men and women in your current company will not be eligible to accompany you as you walk into your future. There are several reasons why you might find this to be true and two of those reasons are in the text for today... FEARFULNESS & FOOLISHNESS.
Fearful is defined as a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.
Foolish is defined as resulting from or showing a lack of sense; ill-considered; unwise; lacking forethought or caution.
And you can only go so far with these type of neighbors at your side. God knows this and God has a plan for the separation that must now take place. The Lord tells Gideon -
Now announce to the army, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.
But the Lord said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.”
So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him,“Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.” Three hundred of them drank from cuppedhands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink.
The Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.”
BlogFam, I do not doubt or deny that this had to have been a hard decision for Gideon to make. Although, the text does not give us a very clear indication that he wrestled with this instruction at all. And considering his previous behavior in asking the Lord for sign after sign after sign after sign [please read previous blog posts], he may NOW have had the confidence to fully trust the Lord at His word.
Friends, I know this will NOT be easy but at different stages, in various seasons, in light of certain promotions, YOU too will have to let the OTHERS go home!
Those others may be FEARFUL and anyone who trembles with fear needs to turn back and leave now OR they will turn back and leave you later.
Those others may be FOOLISH and anyone who is not positioned in a posture to hear or to see in order to move forward quickly NOW, will more than likely
be inattentive and sluggish in your future.
Those others who may represent anything else that will hinder the work of God in and through you, you will have to tell your neighbor – family, friend, and foe –to GO HOME.
There will come a time or perhaps it is NOW the time for you to LOVE and SEPARATE yourself from anyone or anything that would cause you to boast against the Lord that your strength or their strength-support-presence-weapons-hook-ups have saved you. The Lord will NOT share His GLORY with another.
So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites home but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others.
BlogFam, from 22,000 plus down to 300, Gideon followed the Lord’s instructions to let the other fearful and foolish people, his neighbors, GO HOME! So you, too, must do the same and move forward in the strength and favor of the Most High!
My sisters and brothers, from which neighbors do you need to
LOVE and SEPARATE?
GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!!!
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