TOPIC: Punishing The Wicked (DCLM Daily Manna 11 March 2021)
TEXT: Judges 8:4-21 (KJV)
4 And Gideon came to Jordan, and passed over, he, and the three hundred men that were with him, faint, yet pursuing them.
5 And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they be faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian.
6 And the princes of Succoth said, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thine army?
7 And Gideon said, Therefore when the LORD hath delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into mine hand, then I will tear your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers.
8 And he went up thence to Penuel, and spake unto them likewise: and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered him.
9 And he spake also unto the men of Penuel, saying, When I come again in peace, I will break down this tower.
10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword.
11 And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the host: for the host was secure.
12 And when Zebah and Zalmunna fled, he pursued after them, and took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and discomfited all the host.
13 And Gideon the son of Joash returned from battle before the sun was up,
14 And caught a young man of the men of Succoth, and enquired of him: and he described unto him the princes of Succoth, and the elders thereof, even threescore and seventeen men.
15 And he came unto the men of Succoth, and said, Behold Zebah and Zalmunna, with whom ye did upbraid me, saying, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thy men that are weary?
16 And he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth.
17 And he beat down the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city.
18 Then said he unto Zebah and Zalmunna, What manner of men were they whom ye slew at Tabor? And they answered, As thou art, so were they; each one resembled the children of a king.
19 And he said, They were my brethren, even the sons of my mother: as the LORD liveth, if ye had saved them alive, I would not slay you.
20 And he said unto Jether his firstborn, Up, and slay them. But the youth drew not his sword: for he feared, because he was yet a youth.
21 Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Rise thou, and fall upon us: for as the man is, so is his strength. And Gideon arose, and slew Zebah and Zalmunna, and took away the ornaments that were on their camels’ necks.
KEY VERSE: “And he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth. And he beat down the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city.” – (Judges 8:16,17)
Succoth and Penuel allowed the fear of man to prevent them from participating in a just and reasonable cause. God appointed Gideon to fight the Midianites – the common enemy of His people. However, the people of Succoth and Penuel were too concerned about their safety and welfare that they refused to join forces with God’s chosen vessel to do His work. They had to suffer the consequences of their self-love and faithlessness.
It was right, moral and ethical to help Gideon but they refused because they did not see any personal benefits in doing so. More so, they showed no faith in God’s cause and disrespected the man He had appointed to do His work. They knew how to do good but did it not and were punished for their callous behaviour.
No one is excused from the work of the Lord. When we deliberately refuse to contribute our quota – time, money and talent – to help in the work of the Lord, we cannot escape God’s punishment. “And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes” (Luke 12:47). All who know what to do to be saved but refuse to repent shall be punished. Those who have the privileges to be warned often through the gospel, but do not repent and believe, cannot escape severe punishment. All the believers who know about the Great Commission but refuse to warn sinners by calling them to repentance shall not escape divine punishment.
We will fail to recognise God’s call to duty if we are blinded by selfish ambitions and interests. But certainly, we must face bitter consequences and receive severe punishment for failing to respond to the call of God.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Those preoccupied with self-will miss God’s call.
THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
Numbers 11 – 13
DCLM Daily Manna was written by Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi; is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church situated at KM 42 on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Nigeria.