Judges 6:1-10 (JDV)
Judges 6:1 The Israelites did what was evil in the eyes of Yahveh. So Yahveh gave them to Midian’s hands seven years,
Judges 6:2 and they overpowered Israel. Because of Midian, the Israelites made hiding places for themselves in the mountains, caves, and strongholds.
Judges 6:3 Whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites, Amalekites, and the Qedemites came and attacked them.
Judges 6:4 They encamped against them and ruined the produce of the land, even as far as Gaza. They left nothing for Israel to eat, not a sheep, ox, or donkey.
Judges 6:5 You see, the Midianites came up with their cattle and their tents like a great swarm of locusts. They and their camels were without number, and they entered the land to ruin it.
Judges 6:6 So Israel became poverty-stricken because of Midian, and the Israelites cried out to Yahveh.
Judges 6:7 When the Israelites cried out to Yahveh because of Midian,
Judges 6:8 Yahveh sent a prophet to them. He said to them, “This is what Yahveh God of Israel says: ‘I brought you out of Egypt and out of the place of slavery.
Judges 6:9 I rescued you from the hand of Egypt and the hand of all who oppressed you. I drove them out before you and gave you their land.
Judges 6:10 I said to you: I am Yahveh your God. Do not fear the gods of the Amorites whose land you live in. But you did not obey me.'”
The prophet identified the root cause of the Israelites’ failure, which led to their being dominated by their enemies. The root cause was fear of false gods, and the fear was caused by sin. God had given them over to their enemies because they had done evil in the eyes of Yahveh. Fear, in this case, was caused by sin.
The gospel tells us to fear not, but the only way to obey that command is to remove the condemnation of sin. So, if we want to overcome our fear, we must first acknowledge that we are sinners, in need of God’s help.
It is so easy to create hiding places instead of dealing with our own sinfulness. We run to the mountains and seek refuge, while the enemy destroys our crops time after time. That’s okay, we say, because we are safe in our hiding places.
But we know that is not true. The hiding places are not the answer. God’s intervention is always the way out.
LORD, give us courage to face our fear, repent of our sin, and seek your deliverance.