Gideon, An Unlikely Hero – 8

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gs - c.h. mackintosh

Charles Henry Mackintosh (October 1820 – November 2, 1896) was a nineteenth-century Christian preacher, dispensationalist, writer of Bible commentaries, magazine editor and member of the Plymouth Brethren. In 1843, Mackintosh wrote his first tract entitled Peace with God. When he was 24, he opened a private school where he developed a special method of teaching classical languages. Mackintosh went around preaching the gospel to the poor during school holidays. He wrote to John Nelson Darby on August 31, 1853 that the Lord had “called me into larger service than ever,” and he soon concluded that he must give himself entirely to preaching, writing, and public speaking.

Gideon, An Unlikely Hero Part 8

From last lesson: Here lies the grand secret of power. It is abiding in the living Vine. “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:7-8.

All this is intensely personal. We must each, for himself and herself, cling by faith to Christ. It is of the very first importance for Christians to bear in mind that Christianity is a thoroughly individual thing. We are individual in our repentance, in our faith, in our salvation, in our communion, in our service, and in our reward. Look at the addresses to the seven churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. Hearken to those pointed words, He that hath an ear,”—“To him that overcometh.” What do they mean? Do they not set forth, in the most distinct and forcible manner, that blessed individuality of which we speak? Unquestionably. But do they touch unity? Not in the smallest degree. They leave its sacred domain wholly untouched. “There is one body and one Spirit.” This must ever hold good, spite of all the ruin and failure of the professing Church. Nevertheless, the writings of John are pre-eminently individual. From the opening lines of his Gospel to the closing sentence of his Apocalypse, we trace this feature. He shows us the Philips, the Simons, the Andrews, and the Nathanaels coming, in their individuality, to Jesus. He tells us of a Jewish ruler here, and a Samaritan sinner there, who were drawn by the Father to Jesus. He tells us of the good Shepherd who calls His sheep by name. He tells us of the branches clinging to the living Vine. Thus it is in John’s Gospel; and when we turn to his Epistles, we find the same principle running through them all. He writes to an elect lady, and to his beloved Gaius; and if he once speaks of “the Church,” it is but to weep over its departed glory, and to raise amid its ruins that warning note for individual ears, “Look to yourselves” (2 John 1:8). And as to the Revelation, it ends as it begins, with a solemn appeal “to him that heareth” (Revelation 22:17).

The more closely we study the narrative of the Lord’s dealings with Gideon, the more we must be struck with the marvelous way in which He prepares him for his after course. Like all God’s servants, in all ages, Gideon had to undergo a course of secret training and discipline, before he was fit to appear in public. The space of time occupied in this training may vary, as may also the character of the discipline; but of this we may rest assured that all who will be used of God in public must be taught of God in private. It is a fatal mistake for anyone to rush into prominence without proper equipment, and that equipment can only be attained in the secret of the divine presence. It is in profound and hallowed retirement with God that vessels are filled, and instruments fitted for His work.

Let us never forget this. Moses had to spend forty years at “the back side of the desert” before he was fit to enter upon his public career. David had to feed his father’s flock, before he was called to rule the nation of Israel. He slew a lion and a bear in secret, before he was called to slay Goliath in public. The great apostle to the Gentiles spent three years in Arabia, notwithstanding his very remarkable conversion and call. The apostles spent three years and a half in companionship with their Master, and then had to tarry until they were endued with power from on high. Thus it has been with all those who have ever been called to occupy a prominent place in the Lord’s work; and even the blessed Master Himself—though surely needing no training or discipline, inasmuch as He was ever perfect,—to set us an example, spent thirty years in retirement before He came forth in public.

To Be Continued

gs gideon unlikely hero

Minor adaptation of excerpts from C. H Mackintosh, Gideon and His Companions. Public Domain.
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from The Holy Bible: King James Version (KJV) Public Domain.

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of teaching, encouragement and intercessory prayer from the Holy Bible, the written Word of God and author of the ministry website, For The Love of God. He lives in Delta, Colorado with his beautiful wife of 50+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom they affectionately call Bella.
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