Bible reading for July 23.
"Now all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East came together, and they crossed the Jordan and encamped in the Valley of Jezreel. But the Spirit of the LORD clothed Gideon, and he sounded the trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called out to follow him." (Judges 6:33-34)
DESERT RAIDERS. The next cycle of unfaithfulness, followed by oppression, involved the regular seasonal invasions by the Midianites and Amalekites from the east (c. 1210 BC). Gideon does not seem to be a good candidate for hero of valor, but the Lord calls him and is very patient in building up Gideon's faith for what will follow. His first step is to challenge the idols of his day. Though fearful, he takes a stand for true worship of the true and living God. Gideon was nicknamed "Jerubbaal", which paraphrased means, "if Baal doesn't like it, let him do something about it."
"'To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.' While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word." (Acts 10:43-44)
TO THE GENTILES. We have seen the Holy Spirit come in remarkable manner upon the believing Jews in Jerusalem (ch 2) and among the Samaritans (ch 8). The third people-group to experience this (at least as recorded by Luke) are the Gentiles, specifically, Romans (ch 10). The Apostle Peter was present all three times. Peter learns by revelation that God is declaring clean all people who believe in Christ. Ethnicity is no longer a barrier in God's family. One difference in this story is that the Holy Spirit comes upon the people in the middle of the message rather than following baptism and the laying on of hands by the Apostles. This seems to be the new order. The Apostle Paul also speaks of this: "In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit..." (Eph 1:13).
We are following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne (RMM) two-year reading schedule, as arranged by D. A. Carson.
Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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