Jud 7:14-The Blindness Of Unbelief
Question: “How could the Midianites know God would deliver Midian’s army into Gideon’s hand, and yet, still not be believers?”
Answer: Unbelief is rarely just a matter of ignorance. If it were, just educating people about Who God is, about what Christ did would bring the world to Christ in a way that’s never happened before. But it isn’t just about ignorance; and education is not the same thing as evangelism. Yes, evangelism may require some education, but it’s a mistake to assume that simply informing the unbeliever will turn him into a believer.
I imagine, a kind of dread came over the Midianites, as they contemplated going to battle against Israel. That by itself is curious, given Israel’s lack of a winning streak against the enemy. In the time of the judges, it wasn’t like years before when the people of Canaan were terrified by the amassing Hebrew army on the west bank. The people of Jericho, heard what happened to the kings east side of Jordan, about what God had done to the Egyptians. They had good reason to fear: Israel’s reputation, more importantly, God’s reputation preceded their arrival.
Such is not the case with Gideon’s band; you could hardly argue that the percentages would catch up with them eventually. Israel was an oppressed people, and it looked for all the world that it would stay just that way. That is, until God began to move. And that’s what made all the difference.
It’s always been a puzzle to me that more of the Canaanites didn’t try to make peace with the nation of Israel when the land was under siege; likewise, that the Midianites, if they really thought God was going to deliver Midian into Gideon’s hand. But this is the nature of unbelief.
There is a measure of unbelief that amounts to willful ignorance of God’s revelations: choosing not to know, not to accept, not to embrace what God’s has declared. Who hasn’t wondered at the resistance to the gospel by some troubled soul? But unbelief is its own kind of blindness. It wraps the heart, mind and spirit in a veil of drowsiness and convinces the recipient of truth that it isn’t true, isn’t important, isn’t urgent. Both by nature and by devilish distraction, we are condemned to wander in darkness apart from the illuminating ministry of God’s Spirit. Thank God for the light that shines in the darkness.
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