JUDGES 8:4-5 – And Gideon came to the Jordan and crossed over, he and the 300 men who were with him, exhausted yet pursuing. 5 So he said to the men of Succoth, “Please give loaves of bread to the people who follow me, for they are exhausted, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.”
THEME OF THE DAY: EXHAUSTED YET PURSUING. It must happen. It is inevitable. It was so for the Lord Jesus when He ministered to the woman at the well – Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour (John 4:1-6). The Apostle Paul reminds us not to let it happen – And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9). In today’s scripture, Gideon and his soldiers faced and overcame it.
The “it” is weariness or fatigue in following Jesus both in our battles for holiness and service for Him. Howard Hendricks once said, “The service that counts is the service that costs.” In Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well, the Apostle John states of our Lord, “So Jesus, wearied as He was from His journey”. The word “wearied” means “great strain, labor, toil, struggle” and doesn’t point to Jesus being just a little tired in need of a nap. He was spent, even exhausted, yet, we find Him mustering up the strength to minister to a woman in desperate need of His truth and touch. Jesus did not allow fatigue to keep Him from His mission. The same principle applies to Gideon and his men in today’s scripture. They, too, were spent. The war raged. The conflict was tiring and the scripture reads of them “exhausted yet pursuing.” And it will be so for each of us as well . . . if we want to make a difference for Jesus Christ in our families, churches, communities, and world. Lazy Christians, undisciplined Christians, and those Christians who let feelings, not faith and perseverance, direct their walks and labors for Jesus will have little if any impact for Christ in life. But the ones who are “exhausted yet pursuing” will leave a rich spiritual legacy which will follow them at their departure to heaven.
American’s greatest philosopher and theologian, Jonathan Edwards, summarizes well what is to be our view of a life of exhausting service for the Lord Jesus, “God has appointed this whole life to be all as a race or battle; the state of rest, wherein we shall be so out of danger as to have no need of watching and fighting, is for another world.”
Friends, God has called us to labor, exhausting labor, for the Gospel, for personal holiness, for the good of His people, and for a life reflecting Him. The call is noble. The call is hard. The call demands all we are, all the time. The call is a serious call to die to ease and comfort. And the call is so worthy, so rewarding that to heed it is the greatest of privileges in all of life.
PRAYER: “Father, may I understand exhaustion, like Your Son, is the price I to pay to make a difference in life for You.”
QUOTE: “The joy of the Lord will be our strength to accomplish all He would have of us in this life.”
Because of Him,