Truth, Trumpets and Cracked Pots

So the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the jars, holding in their left hands the torches, and in their right hands the trumpets to blow; and they cried, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” Every man stood in his place all around the camp, and all the men in camp ran; they cried out and fled.
Judges 7:20-21 (NRSV)

It’s amazing how our perceptions and perspectives affect us. God didn’t need 10,000 men to defeat the Midians. He needed 300 men with trumpets and jars to make the Midianites think there were 10,000 men. Once they were given to fear, they were easy to defeat.

The question I am asking myself this morning is this: How is the enemy trying to use this same tactic today against the people of God?

Wendy and I have begun to notice something each morning we sit down with the newspaper and every time we watch a news program on television. We hear the subtextual message “BE AFRAID! BE VERY, VERY AFRAID!” being trumpeted in the headlines and news stories until we feel surrounded by a giant unseen army in the cacophony of crack pot events and statistics misconstrued in the torchlight of political agendas. When headlines trumpet “God Isn’t Fixing This,” the spiritual assault has moved from subtle to frontal.

The resulting fear and anxiety gets absorbed by ourselves, our friends and loved ones. It seeps out on social media, in conversation, and in our behavior. We feel defeated, discouraged, pessimistic, fearful, defeated, and on the run. Which, I realized as I read the chapter this morning, is right where the enemy wants us. I perceive the prince of this world, who cannot make but only mar, using God’s playbook against us.

Today I am determined to find rest in knowing that “greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world.” A spirit of timidity and fear does not come from God. That is a by-product of our enemy’s design preying on our own shame and doubt. God, however, provides power of which the enemy is ignorant, love that overcomes hatred, and self-discipline to perceive and believe Truth amidst the din.

 

3 thoughts on “Truth, Trumpets and Cracked Pots”

  1. Thanks, Tom. Good work. As the angels say to about everyone this time of year, “Be not afraid!”
    I wonder if the “God isn’t fixing this!” statement isn’t an assault on us or a slam on God. It is more like Jesus telling the people “Do not presume to say ‘We have Abraham for our father.'” Or Jeremiah condemning the true, but by then trifling comfort “The temple of the Lord.” The criticism is aimed at empty gestures and hollow words, not God.

    1. Thanks for the comment and for adding to the conversation, Steve. I think that you may have truly captured the intent of the publisher’s message. It’s interesting that the headline wasn’t pointed at us with a “Your Prayers are Worthless” or “Stop Praying and Do Something,” but rather the headline taken at face value is casting doubt on God. There’s definitely a message in that for those of us who follow. Exactly what James was getting at… faith without works … prayer/words without action.

  2. A SWORD FOR THE LORD AND FOR GIDEON!!!

    This is one of my favorite Bible stories as a child. I appreciate your commentary today Tom. Today, I will walk a bit taller and more confidently knowing God is on my side. Get behind me, FEAR!

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