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THORNS and THISTLES

April 1, 2016

Friday

 

Judges 8:16

 

He took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and he disciplined the men of Succoth with them.

 

 

LESSON

 

It was, in fact, Gideon’s duty as a judge in Israel to punish these compromising and selfish cities. The severity of his punishment doubtless impressed the other Israelites with the seriousness of their offense. However, one cannot miss the contrast between Gideon’s impatience and ruthlessness with his fellow-Israelites, and Yahweh’s longsuffering patience and grace with His people.

Gideon’s behavior could be justified if Penuel were a Canaanite city, but these were fellow Israelites! His character has been transformed again and he acted like a general out of control, no longer bound by rules of civility, let alone national loyalty. Gideon shunned position but kept power, his son Abimelech had position but not power as both were ruled by the flesh and from the flesh reaped corruption.

 

Memory Verse: Ecclesiastes 7:6

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