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A Great Man of Weakness - November 2012

Inheritance of Hope co-founder Kristen Milligan died on October 26. The following is part of a Bible study series she wrote. If your church, Bible study, team, or group has interest in experiencing together this study from Kristen's unique perspective as a nine-year cancer survivor, simply contact aaron@InheritanceOfHope.org.

We will continue our study of strength in weakness by focusing on the character Gideon, the fifth judge chosen by God to defeat the enemies of Israel in the Book of Judges. Gideon was a man of undisputed weakness. He was the youngest, or weakest, member of the weakest family in the weakest tribe of Israel. It could be argued that he was indeed the weakest man in all of Israel. But it is this man that God chose to

deliver his people, once again, from persecution. We will begin by reading the start of his story as shared with us through Judges 6:1-6 in the NIV translation.

1 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. 2 Because the power of Midian was so oppresive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. 3 Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country. 4 They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys. 5 They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts.  It was impossible to count the men and their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it. 6 Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried to the LORD for help.

This is the passage we will focus on this week. Read it over once again, carefully. Pray that the Holy Spirit will speak to you personally through our study of this passage this week. Meditate today on this passage and really consider the life of the Israelites during this time. After all God had blessed them with, including the promised land, they are now living in whatever they can build on the mountain clefts and in the caves. They are trying to survive by planting crops, but each time they do, the Midianites appear and destroy everything. I imagine there is great starvation, overwhelming numbers of deaths, and epidemic disease. They have no crops, no livestock, and no donkeys to carry their belongings. They have nothing.

And what hope do they have? The Midianites are invading their land simply to ravage it, simply to make it unlivable by the Israelites. And how could they ever change their circumstances? The Midianites are so numerous their tents and livestock are like a swarm of locusts. The situation seems impossible. But God has a plan of deliverance. He needs just one thing to put His plan into action. A man of great weakness.

This devotional is part of a Bible study series titled Allowing His Power to be Perfect in Weakness written by Inheritance of Hope co-founder Kristen Milligan. The study consists of messages like this sent via email each morning for five days a week. The full series lasts sixteen weeks, though it can be tailored to shorter periods. The study also includes weekly questions, making it ideal for group discussion.

If your church, Bible study, team, or group has interest in experiencing together this study from the unique perspective of a nine-year cancer survivor, simply contact aaron@InheritanceOfHope.org.

 

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