Read the Bible in 2011 ◊ Week 6: Tuesday
In The God Who Is There, Francis Schaeffer issued a call to arms for my generation with this quote:
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”1
Today’s Bible reading is Judges 1–6, and in chapter 6 we’re introduced to Gideon, a soldier who fought where and how God commanded him. One of my pastors, Mike Braun, has fought fiercely many times at the precise point of attack on the church by the world and by the devil. Not only he, but his family, bear the scars of those battles. But Mike has proved his loyalty to Jesus Christ, and as my pastor in two different churches I knew he would stand for God without compromise. He has been both a shepherd who protected the flock under his care and an example of courage and love for Jesus Christ despite personal cost.
As I sat in his office one day, recounting the end of one of my most arduous and longest spiritual battles, he gave me a copy of this poem he had written during one of his fiercest and most difficult times of defending God’s truth at a point of vicious attack.
But the LORD said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid.
You are not going to die.” Judges 6:23
Sing of the glories of Gideon
Mighty in Israel’s lore
Who pulled down the altars of Midian
And summoned his people to war.
The Angel by Gideon’s wine press
Confirmed this wonder of God,
Consuming a youth’s sacrifices
With simply the touch of his rod.
And though Satan sought to inflict him
With penalties rightly come by,
These fell on an innocent victim
So that Gideon would never die.
The shackles of death were broken
Like the spear in Midian’s hand.
The Word Jehovah had spoken
Enabled Israel to stand.
And Gideon saw in that instant
The Promise of Eden pass by.
Through his Savior whose coming was distant,
He believed that he would not die.
At an Abiezerite altar
Under aging Joash’s oak,
Gideon vowed no longer to falter
Oppressed by an alien yoke.
Like Gideon then to battle!
Mind not the enemy’s cry.
Shout above his meaningless prattle,
God’s promise that we shall not die.
For the sacrifice has been accepted!
God’s wrath in the death of His Son
Is turned back through grace unexpected;
Behold what Jehovah has done!
Face the struggles before you,
Though all your hopes run awry,
Though angel or man should abhor you,
Take heart, Christian, you will not die.
Mike, thank you for giving those whom you taught an example to follow—to fight the good fight and to keep the faith.
Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
1Francis Schaeffer, The God Who Is There, 1968, p. 18.
Schaeffer wrote that the quote was attributed to Martin Luther. Dr. Carl Wieland reported in 2010, that research indicates the author was actually Elizabeth Rundle Charles.
Sword, Britton LaRoche: Public Domain.
Jehovah Shalom: Copyright ©2011 Michael A. Braun, used by permission.
Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter