False Strongholds

Judges 6:11-14, 25-32
Build an altar to the Lord your God here on this
hilltop sanctuary. . . . Sacrifice the bull as a
burnt offering . . . , using as fuel the wood
of the Asherah pole you cut down (v.26).

Four-months pregnant with our second child, I was
surprised one day when a co-worker unexpectedly
shared that she had experienced a miscarriage
years prior at the 4-month mark. Pregnancy is a walk
of faith in itself, but her words sent what ifs racing
through my mind faster than my surging hormones. God,
however, was not taken by surprise. A few days later,
someone said to me, “I was praying for you and the
Lord told me to give you Psalm 8:2 as a Scripture for this
baby.” Those words were truly welcomed!

Before choosing his small but mighty band of men by
the river (Judges 7:8), sneaking to the enemy’s camp at
night (v.13), and winning the battle with clay pots on the
hill of Moreh (v.19), Gideon came up against the powers
of darkness in a formidable venue—the familiar.
When the angel of the Lord addressed Gideon by
calling him “mighty hero” (6:12), Gideon’s first question
was neither how nor when. Rather, he asked, “If the
Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?”
(v.13). Eventually he came to realize that God had not
abandoned them. He had been true to His Word. God
simply wouldn’t be their stronghold if others took His
place (Deuteronomy 11:16-17).

Before they could ever be free from their oppressors,
the false places of protection had to be destroyed. After
pulling down the gods made by human hands, Gideon
signified the supremacy of Yahweh by building an altar to the Lord “on the top of
[the] stronghold” (6:26 NASB).

In our distress, God sends His Word. We can either worship at the places
of false protection (for me, trying to control by imagining every “what if . . .”),
or we can acknowledge that He alone is our strength and stronghold.
—Regina Franklin

Read Psalm 9:1-10 to see
how David celebrated
God as his stronghold.

What strongholds do
you find yourself running
to for protection? What
steps will you need to
take in order to tear
down any false idols?

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The Comeback