Cover to Cover
Judges 7, 8
Gideon is a man who is mentioned in God’s Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11:32-34. A man who grew in his faith and relationship with God. Gideon grew from a man who lived in fear of the Midianites and who wondered if God was even with Israel, to a man who following God’s leading defeated an army that when all the slain were counted numbered well over a hundred thousand soldiers. The battlecry being, “The sword of the LORD and of Gideon”. Praise God. Let us follow God as Gideon did and he will lead us to victory and give us peace.
In our reading today Jesus and his disciples arrive in the country of the Gadarenes. Who were the Gadarenes? These were the descendants of the tribe of Gad who settled on the east side of the Jordan River up around the Sea of Galilee (Numbers 32:1-5; 32:33). Over the centuries they had degenerated into pig farmers, an occupation that would not be blessed by God in Jewish culture. Within this area was a guy who was demon possessed who terrorized the whole area. The people in response would catch the guy and chain him down. This happened many times but in his demonic strength he would break the chains and escape. Jesus, through the power of the Spirit of God graciously delivered the man, for which he was extremely grateful and went and spread the good news of what God had done for him. The Gaderene community though, even after Jesus had removed the demonic terrorist, did not feel so appreciative and asked Jesus to leave the area. Sad. In their spiritual blindness perhaps the economic loss of the two thousand pigs outweighed the relief from demonic oppression.