Sandy Warner ~ ~ swauthor777@usa.net ~ ~ www.thequickenedword.com


2002: GODíS MESSAGE TO GIDEON
Turning the Threshing Wheel from Evil to Good


12/29/01

Hi Loved Ones,

A couple weeks of ago the Lord woke me in the middle of the night and I heard Him say that He had a message for Gideon. And so Ö in the middle of the night I read Gideonís story in Judges 6-8. It is quite a prophetic story of God choosing the humble and the weak to defeat demonic oppression for His glory, and for Israelís victory. Deeper inside the study is a prophetic glimpse of where we are today in overcoming the oppression of Islamic terror. The Lord is going to use weak vessels to turn the tide.


THE MIDIANITE OPPRESSORS

The backdrop to Gideonís story are the Midianites. The word Midianite means brawling, contention, discord, strife, quarrel, contest. It comes from a root word meaning to execute or minister judgment. (Strongs #4079, 4066, 1777) At the time of Gideon the Lord had given Israel over to the hand of the Midianites for 7 years because Israel had sinned and turned to foreign gods.


The Midianites came from the seed of Abraham, his 4th son through his concubine Keturah. They were the merchants who thought nothing of buying Joseph as a slave for 20 pieces of silver and selling him in Egypt to Potiphar. Later they joined with Moab to bribe the prophet Balaam (into attempting) to curse Israel. They also seduced Israel into worshipping their god Baal-Peor during the time of Moses. Sometimes the word Midianites and Ishmaelites are used interchangeably in scripture. These people were nomads wandering in the Arabian deserts with camels and golden plunders. These are like our modern day tribes in the same region, which are Islamic. (Gen 37:25,28,36 NLT, Num 22:7, 25:18 NLT, Jud 7:12)


MIDIANITES IN GIDEONíS TIME

By Gideonís time, as he looked out over the valley where they had settled, he saw the overwhelming odds. He said these oppressors were so numerous that they appeared like locusts on the valley floor and their camels were so numerous they were like the sands of the sea. They and their camels were so numerous, that like locusts they had successfully devoured all of Israelís crops and taken all of their animals. Israel was now hiding in caves and dens, in poverty and in hunger. Israel was greatly outnumbered, oppressed and under judgment. (Jud 6:1-5 NLT)


MIDIANITES ARE A PROPHETIC TYPE

In prophesy when Israel is surrounded by great darkness and death, they see the great light of the Lord during harvest time and He promises: "For God will break the chains that bind his people and the whip that scourges them, just as he did when he destroyed the army of Midian with Gideon's little band." (Isaiah 9:4 NLT) In this passage, Gideonís defeat of these oppressors is mentioned as a type: just as the Midianites had been destroyed by Gideon, so shall it be in the last days with Israelís yokes and oppressors. In like manner of prophetic type, we shall also see who the Lord uses in the last days to defeat the oppressors ó It is mighty Gideon. And where is this mighty man? He is hiding in the bottom of an empty winepress, attempting to thresh his harvest.


GIDEONíS BACKGROUND

Gideonís name means a tree cutter or hewer. I have had several dreams and visions of giant trees falling. In prophetic terms and in scripture, the cutting of a tree represents tearing down idols and/or generational strongholds. To hew means to chop, cut, hack, sever, fall. These are warrior terms. (I have also noticed these verbs are warrior movements through misc. prophetic intercessors when under the unction of the Holy Spirit!) According to his given name at birth, Gideon was called to be a warrior.


Gideon is on the family property called Ophrah, which means female deer. The foundation of the name Ophrah means pulverized dust, powder or ash, the deer being named for its color of such. (Strongs 6084, 6083) Gideonís fatherís name was Joash. The foundation of the name Joash means Jehovah is hot, fiery, burning, flaming. (Strongs 3101, 784) Joash came from the descendants of Abiezrites, which means to aid or to help. (Strongs 33, 5828) These Abiezrites were descendants of Manasseh, Josephís firstborn. Joseph named Manesseh "causing to forget", as his son was a joyful sign that the pain of his past was forgotten.


And so in prophetic language, Gideonís heritage comes from a family of those who have so panted after God, that they have become like dust and ashes while seeking His hot fiery Presence. With Godís help, they are the ones who seek to help or aid in releasing spiritual prisoners from their painful past. These Gideons will partner with God to accomplish this through cutting down the spiritual Midianites. (Psalm 42, Hab 3:7)


GIDEON AS A MAN

Gideon is a grown man because he has a son. He is physically fit enough to thresh his own harvest of wheat in the bottom of the winepress. He is mature enough to lead an army, and is fit enough to fight with weapons of war. He is determined enough to pursue even in the state of exhaustion without food. And he is strong enough and courageous enough to pull down the family altar to Baal, and cut down the tree/pole of Asherah (the goddess of fertility) standing next to it. (Jud 8:20, 7:15, 8:12, 8:5, 6:11, 6:25, I Kings 16:31) [FYI: Both Baal and Asherah were/are the powers behind Jezebel.]


CONDITIONS IN THE WINEPRESS

Gideon is in the bottom of the winepress. The vat is empty of wine and grapes. The walls are stained with use. The smell is pungent with vinegar like potency. The season to make fresh wine is yet to come in September. Gideon is threshing wheat sometime in the June heat. He is hiding his wheat and himself from the Midianites while working, so it is probably a deeper winepress and of course without windows. He probably has no visual sight outside his fermenting "tomb" except straight up.


THRESHING WHEAT - THE BAD AND THE GOOD

Threshing is beating or knocking off the head of a grain from the stalk. This was done by sharp metal toothed sledges drawn by oxen. It was also done by the wheels of a cart. Some grains like dill were more fragile and required beating with a stick. Since this was wheat at the bottom of the winepress, Gideon was either dragging a heavy sledge or cart himself, not being able to get an animal into the hole. It was tough work.

There are several places where threshing is mentioned in scripture. They are used in context to both the enemy threshing Godís people because of their sin and also God (and His people) threshing the enemy for enslaving them. There were times when the enemy had the upper hand and times when Godís people had the upper hand. (Isa 21:10, 28:27-28, 41:15, Jer 51:33, 1 Cor 9:9-10, 2 Kings 13:7, Amos 1:3)


Threshing literally means to trample out. (Strongs 1758) This is what the Midianites and their livestock had done to Israelís land and crops. There remains a warning for the church today through the word "trample out". Jesus said that if the church lost her salt, which is her ability to preserve the earth through her flavorful walk, then she is not good for anything but to be trodden under the foot of man. This theme of being trodden under foot runs into the book of Revelations and Daniel. This is painfully prophetic. (Matt 5:13, Rev 11:2, Dan 7:19)


However the Lord is not interested in destroying His crop, He is interested in nurturing and preserving it. He is our Sovereign Farmer Who is in complete control of each stage of His harvest. He is the Lord of the harvest. (Luke 10:2)


"The farmer knows just what to do, for God has given him understanding. He doesn't thresh all his crops the same way. A heavy sledge is never used on dill; rather, it is beaten with a light stick. A threshing wheel is never rolled on cumin; instead, it is beaten softly with a flail. Bread grain is easily crushed, so he doesn't keep on pounding it. He threshes it under the wheels of a cart, but he doesn't pulverize it. The LORD Almighty is a wonderful teacher, and he gives the farmer great wisdom." (Isa 28:26-29 NLT)


TURNING THE THRESHING WHEEL FROM BAD TO GOOD

Where Gideon is, and what he is doing is not the most pleasant of environments; and yet through Gideon, the Lord turns the threshing wheel from evil to good. Prophetically speaking, to summarize or interpret the conditions, he began threshing in a time where he had no vision or hope outside of looking straight up to heaven. He worked in an environment of gall with smelly and bitter difficulties. His people were hungry and impoverished, and enduring through a time of judgment from devourers and plunderers. Gideon was working against sobering odds.


The hope of Gideonís story is that it is time to turn the tide and begin threshing the enemy. For inspite of the fact that the Midianiteís threshing covers so great a plunder, Gideon is now threshing for himself. He has taken his little harvest on the land of his family inheritance and he begins to thresh. And he may be groaning under the weight on his shoulders and he may be smelling vinegar, but he has started to thresh. Here is the awesome promise and Word of God over Gideonís prophetic parable:


"See, all your angry enemies lie there, confused and ashamed. Anyone who opposes you will die. You will look for them in vain. They will all be gone! I am holding you by your right hand--I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, `Do not be afraid. I am here to help you. Despised though you are, O Israel, don't be afraid, for I will help you. I am the LORD, your Redeemer. I am the Holy One of Israel.' You will be a new threshing instrument with many sharp teeth. You will tear all your enemies apart, making chaff of mountains. You will toss them in the air, and the wind will blow them all away; a whirlwind will scatter them. And the joy of the LORD will fill you to overflowing. You will glory in the Holy One of Israel." (Isa 41:11-16 NLT)


DELIVERANCE COMES TO GIDEON

So in the midst of all this stress, where Gideon is both hiding from his enemies and threshing his family harvest, the angel of the Lord shows up inside the winepress to bring good cheer to Gideon: "The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said, "Mighty hero, the LORD is with you!" (Judg 6:12 NLT)


"The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!" (Judg 6:12 NKJV)


"The LORD is with you, O valiant warrior." (Judg 6:12 NAS)


I find Gideonís response particularly interesting. Gideon doesnít acknowledge that he even heard the angel call him a mighty, valiant, heroic warrior. He probably thought it was a weird greeting, but never considered that it might really be true. I donít think it even phased him, because he probably did not believe it. If he had believed even a smidgen and had memories of earning the title and favor, he might have said, "Me????? Are you SURE? Wow, thanks!" But Gideon had watched Israel be trodden under foot and he was as brow beaten as the wheat he was threshing. Here is his response:


"Sir," Gideon replied, "if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn't they say, `The LORD brought us up out of Egypt'? But now the LORD has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites." Then the LORD turned to him and said, "Go with the strength you have and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!" "But Lord," Gideon replied, "how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!" The LORD said to him, "I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man." (Judg 6:13-16 NLT)


A HUMBLE HEART

When I read that passage and the Lord opened my eyes to Gideonís response, I heard Him tell me that the keys to Gideonís heart were humility and weakness. These important factors are WHY the Lord chose Gideon. To the Lord they are the perfect ingredients for a successful campaign. Gideonís self esteem was very low. He did not feel qualified to be a leader, having come from the weakest clan and being the youngest in his family. This caused him to feel weak. And this too is the Word of the LordÖ do not let any man despise your youth, your gifts, your weakness, your position, your maturity, your placement in the greater body. If the Lord has called you, your gifts will make a way for you, and He will supernaturally place His leadership anointing upon you and turn the hearts of man. The key to being weak or feeling weak is to lean upon Him in our weakness, then we become strong in the Lord. (I Tim 4:12, Prov 18:16, 2 Cor 12:9)


There is another aspect of humility that I see in this story. When one is faced with or clearly sees, or experiences the demonic odds against him, it becomes very humbling, very quickly. If one has had a lengthy season of such (and the Lordís Gideons have) then humility is a natural byproduct of such a time. We learn that we are nothing without Him, have no possible hope to overcome such great odds without Him. This teaches us to LEAN, and lean strongly upon Him. It brings us onto our faces before Him. The best part about becoming weak in warfare is that it kicks presumption out the door and we learn to take everything we hear and see right back to Him, Who is our Source. This keeps us from striking out on our own and making messes!


The story continues as the angel begins to build Gideonís faith in several and unique ways. If you are not familiar with the story, be sure and read it. It is very encouraging to realize that the Lord is going to rescue His Gideons who are hiding from the enemy while attempting to feed their family. He is going to give them some awesome promises and then raise up their faith to meet the immediate challenge! Go God!


HOW GIDEON DEFEATS THE SWARMING ENEMY

The Lord is very interested in defending His ability to provide for Israel: "The LORD said to Gideon, "You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength." (Judg 7:2 NLT) And so the Lord eventually culls their armies down to 300 men. When facing the giant multitude of swarming enemies, He wants weak instruments. This is very encouraging!


Yet remember, that the angel told Gideon to "Go in the strength you have." The Lord did give him a portion of physical and emotional abilities, then equipped him with the faith to go forth. He always asks us to use what we have and not what we do not have. (I Pet 4:11, Acts 11:29, Matt 5:15)


"It was just after midnight, after the changing of the guard, when Gideon and the one hundred men with him reached the outer edge of the Midianite camp. Suddenly, they blew the horns and broke their clay jars. Then all three groups blew their horns and broke their jars. They held the blazing torches in their left hands and the horns in their right hands and shouted, "A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!" Each man stood at his position around the camp and watched as all the Midianites rushed around in a panic, shouting as they ran. When the three hundred Israelites blew their horns, the LORD caused the warriors in the camp to fight against each other with their swords." (Judg 7:19-22 NLT)


WEAK INSTRUMENT - A BROKEN CLAY JAR

The instruments that the Lord used to defeat these Midianites are amazing. They carried hidden fire inside clay jars which they brought into the enemyís camp. It was not until these jars were broken that their torches blazed. Of course the jars of clay are us and the light is Jesus Christ and His fiery passion within us. When we are broken and vulnerable before the Lord and before our enemies, we are in the place where God wants us to SHINE.


"And yet, LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We are all formed by your hand." (Isa 64:8-9 NLT)


"For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us." (2 Cor 4:5-7 NKJV)


Notice that it was night when they broke their jars of clay. They were laying themselves bare and vulnerable before the spirit world, but at the same instant, this revealed the light of Jesus Christ hidden inside. It is the light that caused confusion in the enemy camp, it is the light that caused alarm, and caused them to panic and fight among themselves. The enemy did not see the broken and weak people, rather heard the prophetic declaration and saw their light. Our humility and willingness for Him to use broken vessels is all that He asks.


WEAK INSTRUMENT - A HORN

And in the right hand they held not a sword, but a horn. Horns were used to blow like a trumpet, and they were also used to carry the anointing oil. Horns represented power in the scriptures. We blow our horns by declaring the Word of the Lord into the enemy camp. This declaration releases His power and His anointing into the spirit world.


"There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed." (Ps 132:17 KJV)


"In that day will I cause the horn of the house of Israel to bud forth, and I will give thee the opening of the mouth in the midst of them; and they shall know that I am the LORD." (Ezek 29:21 KJV)


FINISHED THE JOB

And we see in the rest of the story that some Midianites escaped and so additional Israelites joined Gideon and they pursued. The 300 were like forerunners to the war. Their brothers did not see the night the 300 revealed their light and declared the Word of the Lord. So Gideon, though already sent, had to overcome the challenge of his brothers and also their rejection. (Jud 8:1-8) He stayed focused and pursued until his job was completed.


TIME LINE

I perceive that this season, however long it may be, will be the time when: 1) the Lord turns the wheel from evil threshing to good threshing. 2) the Lord captures Gideonís attention and rebuilds his faith. Allegorically, Gideon has already had some strong training to build his spiritual muscles, (and that building comes through resistance.) Gideon is no puny man. But Gideon has been so browbeaten that HE thinks so. The Lord is about to rescue Gideon, but in so doing, He is also going to launch Gideon into the rest of the story. How that plays out in a timeline, I have no idea. For now, the Lordís message is, "The Lord is with you, Oh mighty man of valor!"


PRAYER

Abba Daddy we pray for Your Gideons. We ask that You begin to rescue them and rebuild their wounded hope and faith. We loose Your Word to go forth into their lives and deliver them, so that they may become deliverers. And Lord we stand on Your Word that You shall turn the threshing wheel from evil to good, so that Your army will become threshing instruments with sharp teeth. In Jesus Name.

 


 

~ THE CRACKED POT ~

 

2/2/02

 

Hi Loved Ones,

If you recall, in the Word the Lord gave me for 2002 about Gideon (12/29/01), there was a section about Him using weak instruments to defeat our enemies, and part of that was a broken clay jar. Here is a quote from that post for a reminder:

 

"WEAK INSTRUMENT - A BROKEN CLAY JAR

The instruments that the Lord used to defeat these Midianites are amazing. They carried hidden fire inside clay jars which they brought into the enemyís camp. It was not until these jars were broken that their torches blazed. Of course the jars of clay are us and the light is Jesus Christ and His fiery passion within us. When we are broken and vulnerable before the Lord and before our enemies, we are in the place where God wants us to SHINE. (Judg 7:19-22)

"And yet, LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We are all formed by your hand." (Isa 64:8-9 NLT)

{end quote}

 

I would like to share with you a story that was read at church a couple of weeks ago. On the way to church I was arguing with the Lord. I am sure the Lord was loving me with a twinkle in His eye, as I was busy pouring out my heart. I am sure He listened very carefully, but He said nothing. I told Him I was feeling weak and totally unqualified for something He had called me to do. I was reminding Him of all the mistakes I had made. As I found my place to sit in church, the following story was read the first thing, even prior to worship!

 

THE CRACKED POT

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole, which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it and the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

 

At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots of water to his house.

 

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments which was perfect for the task for which it was created. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

 

After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you. I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts."

 

The water bearer replied, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path. Do you notice that there are flowers only on your side of the path but not on the other pot's side?"

 

"That is because I have always known about your flaw. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you have watered them. For two years, I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without your being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."

{end of story}

 

A BRIEF PICTURE VISION

Have you ever had someone tell you a great story but you guessed the punch line ahead of time? At the beginning of the story above, just as I realized that the pot was only delivering a portion of its water, I had a word of knowledge and I saw all these flowers in its path. I think the Lord wanted to emphasize to me that He was answering all my complaints about how I was not measuring up. This story so hit me between the eyes, I am still thinking about it 2 weeks later and the Lord certainly had something to tell me.

 

When we have His calling upon our life, we forget that He is Sovereign and He perfectly lines up what we perceive as failings, with those who need to hear them. Once we really accept that, it releases us from all expectations except just to cling to Him.

 

I perceive that there are many, many people who have a calling upon their life and they have yet to understand it or receive it. They are actually running from their callings and a large portion of the reason is because of their weakness and failures. They feel unqualified or disqualified. We are all called to be His witnesses and He uses everything we give Him.

 

"For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us." (2 Cor 4:5-7 NKJV)

 

And so as the angel told Gideon, "Go in the strength you have." (Judges 6:14)

 

(I Pet 4:11, Acts 11:29, Matt 5:15-21)

 

 

 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Words from the The Quickened Word are excerpts from the journals of Sandy Warner.  To better understand how God speaks, read Sandyís book, ď101+ Ways God Speaks, And How to Hear Him.Ē  Website:
www.thequickenedword.com    Email:  swauthor777@usa.net  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

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