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Montgomery, AL – Today, in an 8-1 decision authored by Justice Tom Parker, the Alabama Supreme Court held that the word “child” in Alabama’s chemical-endangerment statute applies to the born and unborn in Ex parte Sarah Janie Hicks. This decision follows a similar one handed down last year by the Alabama Supreme Court in Ankrom v.
Montgomery, AL – Today, in an 8-1 decision authored by Justice Tom Parker, the Alabama Supreme Court held that the word “child” in Alabama’s chemical-endangerment statute applies to the born and unborn in Ex parte Sarah Janie Hicks. This decision follows a similar one handed down last year by the Alabama Supreme Court in Ankrom v. State, where Alabama’s highest court also ruled that the word “child” includes the “unborn child.” In that case, Liberty Counsel’s amicus brief arguing that the protection of the unborn is in keeping with the protections afforded the born in various areas of the law.
“In an age where some judges do not know the difference between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, or do not even care, finally the Alabama Supreme Court springs forth with a ray of light,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The opinions by Chief Justice Roy Moore and Tom Parker are well-reasoned, grounded in history and natural law, and completely demolish the fallacies of the U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion decisions. One day soon the United States Supreme Court’s abortion opinions will come toppling down like a house of cards. Then we will look back at history like we now do with Nazi Germany and wonder why our generation was so blind to the personhood of the preborn child,” said Staver.
Ex parte Sarah Janie Hicks involved the conviction, following a guilty plea, for chemical endangerment of a child. Hicks ingested cocaine while pregnant with “J.D.,” which resulted in J.D. testing positive for cocaine at the time of his birth. Hicks argued that the word “child” in the chemical-endangerment statute did not apply to an unborn child. The trial court rejected the argument presented by Hicks. Relying on the Alabama Supreme Court’s decision in Ankrom. v. State, the Criminal Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court.
The Alabama Supreme Court ruled that “the plain meaning of the word ‘child,’ as that word is used in the chemical-endangerment statute, includes an unborn child.” The opinion goes on to state that “the State has a legitimate interest in protecting the life of children from the earliest stages of their development and has done so by enacting the chemical-endangerment statute.”
The concurring opinions by Chief Justice Roy Moore and Justice Tom Parker are particularly significant because they reveal the flaws in the U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion decisions, beginning with the 1973 case of Roe. v. Wade.
Read excerpts of the Judge's opinions at: http://www.themoralliberal.com/2014/04/1......
I don't always quote scripture, (even though I personally trust it wholeheartedly), but in this case my point requires it. [Romans 2:14]
…13for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. 14For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,…
It occurred to me that there is a big difference between knowing someone who has differing beliefs, caring for them enough to let them hold those beliefs and letting someone hold their own beliefs and just not caring.
The latter, you will notice, is just plain selfish. The former is an expression of respect.
It also occurred to me that the former implies knowing the individual, somewhat, and treating them as another individual, such as yourself. Recognizing that they are a fellow traveler, facing the same obstacles in life as you. Also recognizing that, to try and change them denies them the opportunity to be themselves and to gain the wisdom that will come from experience. To deny them this 'prize' is also selfish, whether or not 'you' succeed.
My son proposed to me, one day, that there must be naturally open-minded people and (naturally) not. People who will always love you for who you are and not try to (use) force you to change. These people must have a bigger view of the world and can accept more into it.
I say that God expects those people to exist, of course, because he respects them. He grants them justification and allows them to live free of force. Free of the laws that must bind other people, or open their heart to see those around them
This will not turn out well. The FED want blood and will not stop until they do.
Will this be the trigger to Martial Law? Revolution or Civil war?
Bunkerville, NEVADA, April 14, 2014– As reported yesterday, hundreds of federal agents are still at the Bundy Ranch and the area continues its status as a no-fly zone. Despite major media reports that the Nevada Bureau of Land Management is retreating, the remaining activity that still surrounds the ranch illustrates a different scenario.
Not only is the BLM not actually backing off of Cliven Bundy, Sheriff Richard Mack of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association has revealed stunning information: on Ben Swann’s radio program, Mack said that he has received intelligence from multiple, credible sources inside the BLM and the Las Vegas Metro that there is “no question” that the federal government is planning a raid on the Bundy home and the homes of their children who live on the property.
According to Mack, the so-called retreat was nothing more than theatrics. “It was a ploy to get people to back off, to get people out of the way. They weren’t expecting us to get this amount of people here. They were surprised by the numbers and so they wanted a way to get us out of here. This was a ploy to get us out of here and then they’re going after the Bundys.” Mack said that when he was at the Bundy ranch on Saturday there were an estimated 600 to 800 protesters present when federal agents were releasing the cattle.
“If they do that kind of raid, I don’t believe there’s any way that could happen without bloodshed,” Mack told Swann.
Mack spoke about the tactic that protesters used by putting women at the front of the line facing the federal agents to make them think carefully before opening fire.
“I would’ve gone next. I would’ve been the next one to be killed. I’m not afraid to die here. I’m willing to die here,” said Mack.
Mack said that he had been told by Bundy that the federal government is actively shutting down the ranching industry, specifically in Clark County. He also revealed that there used to be 53 ranches in Clark County. All of those ranchers have been put out of business, except for Bundy who is still trying to hold on. “Every American should be outraged by it,” said Mack. The ranch has been in Bundy’s family since 1877.
Mack decried Nevada governor Brian Sandoval for declaring this situation unconstutional while doing nothing to stop it. “He could have called in the state’s national guard, could have called in the sheriff’s office, could have called in highway patrol, and he’s done nothing except assail what’s going on. That’s easy, that’s cowardly.”
Sheriff Mack also called out media including radio host Glenn Beck who he says is siding with the BLM on this issue.
“I can’t believe that there are some Americans, and some media like Glenn Beck, that are supporting the BLM in this and it’s absolutely disgraceful.”
You can listen to the full interview, including Sheriff Mack’s stunning statement, above
Read more: http://benswann.com/exclusive-sources-in...
Follow us: @BenSwann_ on Twitter
"Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are there upon absolved from any further obedience" John Locke - 1690
sent to me by a saint and American Patriot, Marilyn Boersma... It will make your day...lol
I just received my tax return for 2013 back from the IRS. It puzzles me! They are questioning how many dependents I claimed. I guess it was because of my response to the question: "List all dependents?" I replied: 12 million illegal immigrants; 3 million crack heads; 42 million people on food stamps, 2 million people in over 243 prisons; Half of Mex ico; and 535 persons in the U.S. House and Senate." They said this was NOT an acceptable answer.
I KEEP ASKING MYSELF, WHO THE HELL DID I MISS?
This week we covered two key stories that I’m quite certain aren’t getting much play: the rejection of Muslim women’s advocate Ayaan Hirsi Ali by Brandeis University and the Muslim Brotherhood forming a political bloc in America.
We are indeed witnessing the rise of Islamists in America. How has it come to this, that such a small minority has gained such a powerful political voice and influence? How is it that an organization like the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is even allowed to exist in our Republic?
It’s simple, we have become so damn politically correct that a vile organization that was an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest Islamic terrorist funding case in America can thumb its nose and by intimidation and coercion deny free speech and freedom of expression in our country. We have fallen under the spell of the bumper sticker “coexist” and have failed to heed the lessons of history.
What is even worse, we have failed to even take this enemy — yep, I mean it –enemy to heart for what they have openly stated their objective to be. Just read the Strategic Memorandum discovered in 1991 if you still have any doubts.
However, most importantly, we have seen a class of political cowards who castigate those of us who recognize this enemy as “Islamophobes” and “extremists.”
And why is that possible? Because we refuse to develop our own energy independence so that we can tell OPEC and the 56 nations of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to get bent. Instead, they use our petrodollars to hold us hostage, fund their Islamic terrorism, export their materiel propaganda, and worst of all, buy off American political cowards.
We need to follow the money in America from these Islamist organizations to any politician and defeat them. We then need to find courageous men and women who will be relentless in identifying these Islamist infiltrators and their enablers, and ban them from operating in our country. If the Egyptians can categorize the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, so should the United States of America. And in turn, classify those groups associated and listed in the Strategic Memorandum of the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist organizations and cease their operations in America.
This is no laughing matter. It is not about “freedom of religion” — as a matter of fact, Islam stopped being a religion in 622 when Muhammad decided to undertake the “”hejira” (migration) and departed Mecca for Medina.
When he returned to Mecca in 628 iit was after breaking the Treaty of Hudaibiya and massacring the occupants of Mecca in the Battle of the Trenches. Thus began the violent march of the theocratic-political totalitarian system, a global scourge for the past 1400 years known as Islam. America battled this enemy in the Barbary Wars, first from1801-1805, and then in 1815. The specter of the past has returned, but do we have a Jefferson and Madison who will give the order to crush this enemy — or will we continue down the path with feckless, accommodating, and acquiescing leadership which offers the throat of our Republic to this rabid barbaric foe?
If there is one thing that is bipartisan it is the failure of Democrat and Republican senior elected officials to confront this enemy — and therefore they exploit this weakness.
I cannot say this often and enough: When tolerance becomes a one-way street, it leads to cultural suicide.
Sorry, I ain’t going down this way, and to Nihad Awad, Ibrahim Hooper, and all the other Muslim Brotherhood facilitators and Islamists in America — enjoy it for now, but your dawg don’t hunt!
Read more at http://allenbwest.com/2014/04/islamists-...
The Cliven Bundy Standoff: Wounded Knee Revisited?
By William Norman Grigg
We took away their country and their means of support, broke up their mode of living, their habits of life, introduced disease and decay among them, and it was for this and against this they made war. Could anyone expect less? – General Philip Sheridan, who presided over the expropriation of the Plains Indians, in the 1878 Annual Report of the General of the U.S. Army
Following the War Between the States, as the formerly independent South was being re-assimilated into the Soyuz, the US military took up the task of driving the Plains Indians off of land that had been promised to them through solemn treaty obligations – but was now coveted by the corporatist railroad combine
In 1867, William Sherman wrote a letter to General Grant insisting that “we are not going to let thieving, ragged Indians check and stop the progress” of the railroad. About a year earlier, Sherman had urged Grant to “act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux, even to their extermination, men, women, and children.” Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo points out that Sherman set out to make the Sioux “feel the superior power of the Government,” even if “the final solution to the Indian problem” required that they be physically annihilated.
Writing in Smithsonian magazine, historian Gilbert King observes that the post-war US military wasn’t adequate to carry out that ambitious campaign. General Philip Sheridan, who succeeded Sherman as Commander of the Military Division of the Mississippi, complained that he had only 14,000 troops with which to carry out “the reduction of these wild tribes and occupation of their country.”
Note that Sheridan didn’t equivocate in describing his army’s role as the occupier of a “country” that belonged, by right, to other people. He had no moral scruples against being an occupier; his objections were limited to practical concerns.
The Plains Indians were canny, elusive, and motivated. However, their dependence on the buffalo provided the aggressors with an exploitable vulnerability. Hunting the Indians was difficult and risky; slaughtering buffalo was neither.
The railroads, acting as a military force multiplier, began ferrying tourists to the West for the specific purpose of “sport-hunting” buffalo.
Unlike the Indians, who never threatened to hunt the buffalo to extinction, or Bill Cody, who was restrained in his efforts to harvest them to feed construction crews for the Kansas Pacific Railroad, the Eastern tourists had no property interest in the continued existence of the species, and didn’t have to pay any price for the profligate destruction they wrought.
“Massive hunting parties began to arrive in the West by train, with thousands of men packing .50 caliber rifles, and leaving a trail of buffalo carnage in their wake,” recalls King. “Hunters began killing buffalo by the hundreds of thousands,” leaving their ravaged bodies to bloat and fester.
When legislatures in some states attempted to enact measures to conserve the buffalo, their objections were overruled by the Feds. The higher “national
purpose”required a “total war” strategy that included the destruction of the buffalo in order to break the resistance of the Plains Indians.
“These men have done more in the last two years, and will do more in the next year, to settle the vexed Indian question, than the entire regular army has done in the last forty years,” wrote General Sheridan with satisfaction. “They are destroying the Indians’ commissary. And it is a well-known fact that an army losing its base of supplies is placed at a great disadvantage. Send them [the private buffalo hunters] powder and lead, if you will; but for a lasting peace, let them kill, skin and sell until the buffaloes are exterminated. Then your prairies can be covered with speckled cattle.”
Cattle became the successor to buffalo in the late 1860s and early 1870s. That was the era when the ancestors of Cliven Bundy settled in what was to become the State of Nevada, and began to graze cattle in what would later be called the Bunkerville Grazing Allotment. The Bundy family made peaceful and productive use of that allotment for more than 120 years, mixing their labor with the land to create original wealth.
Unfortunately, the Bundy family — like the American Indians – had been living on a reservation: They were never allowed to exercise ownership of their grazing “allotment,” in much the same way that Indians were not permitted to have clear title to their lands. The land on which the Bundy family raised cattle was “owned” by the government, and the Bundys were required to pay rent – in the form of grazing fees – for the “privilege” of making productive use of it. The public-land grazing system has been described as “the nation’s most conspicuous and extensive flirtation with socialism” – except, perhaps, for the Indian Reservation System.
Indians whose lands were supposedly protected through treaties invariably discovered that the phrase “in perpetuity” means “pending the discovery of something valuable on the land that is desired by a politically favored constituency.” The desired commodity could be gold – as the Nez Perce learned after their homeland in the luxuriant Wallowa Valley, having been reduced to a tiny, barren tract, was seized from them by General O.O. Howard. It could be fertile farm lands on the banks of the Niobrara River, as the Poncas discovered when they were forcibly relocated to Oklahoma.
Similar “adjustments” were made to practically every Indian band or tribe that signed a treaty in good faith with Washington – only to find themselves reduced to destitution when Washington withheld promised annuities and rations, and then evicted from their lands when it suited Leviathan’s interests. The high and holy purpose of Manifest Destiny nullified the property rights of Indians and any treaty obligations that would inhibit Washington’s drive for continental expansion.
In 1993, the same federal Leviathan State that unilaterally “modified” binding treaty agreements with Indian tribes and bands decided to “modify” the terms of the Bundy family’s grazing permit. This was done in the service of a doctrine even more insidious than Manifest Destiny: A new religion in which all human property rights – including, some adherents insist, the right to live itself – are to be sacrificed on the altar of “biocentrism.” The central tenet of that religion is that “Human beings are not inherently superior to other living things.”
However, there are certain superior specimens within the ranks of humanity who possess a gift of seership that permits them to discern the true needs of nature. On occasion, these infinitely wise and limitlessly benevolent beings – most of whom have found a niche in some foundation-funded eco-radical lobby – will identify “endangered” or “threatened” species whose supposed claim to a “habitat” outweighs property rights and all human needs.
Since none of those non-human creatures can speak on their own behalf, we should consider ourselves extravagantly blessed by the presence of eco-seers capable of discerning their needs, bureaucrats willing to harken to their inspired counsel, and judges who dutifully ratify bureaucratic decisions without being unduly burdened by respect for property rights.
In 1993, acting on an infallible ecocentric pronouncement, the Bureau of Land Management decreed that the land on which Cliven Bundy and his neighbors had long grazed their cattle was actually the “habitat” of the desert tortoise.
Although the BLM – like other agencies involved in administering Washington’s illegal colonial occupation of western lands – has been influenced by biocentrism, it’s not likely that its upper echelons are filled with True Believers in anything other than the Bureaucratic Prime Directive: “Maintain what we have, and expand where we can.”
The BLM’s revisions were imposed during the reign of Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, who in a letter two years earlier (written while he was head of the League of Conservation Voters) declared: “We must identify our enemies and drive them into oblivion.” Babbitt and his comrades have acted with what Sherman described as “vindictive earnestness” in pursuing that objective: In the past twenty years they have all but eradicated cattle ranching in the southwestern United States.
In his book War on the West, William Pendley of the Mountain States Legal Foundation observes that “the enormous might of the federal government has always meant that the life of the West was in the hands of strangers living thousands of miles away. Like the weather that can sweep down upon Westerners and change their lives in an instant, the federal government has always loomed as a distant threat.” During Babbitt’s tenure at the Department of the Interior, the federal eco-jihad specifically targeted “the most enduring symbol of the American West – the cowboy – seeking to price and regulate the rancher off federal grazing lands and out of business, destroying the economy of rural areas.” One of the first initiatives undertaken by Secretary Babbitt in pursuit of his vision of a “New West” was to seek a 230 percent increase in grazing fees charged to ranchers on federally administered lands. Although the proposed fee increase was thwarted by a Senate filibuster, the effort to destroy the ranching industry continued. After the fee increase was proposed, an Interior Department memo surfaced which revealed that Babbitt wanted “to use price increases as a straw man to draw attention from management issues.” While ranchers fought the grazing fee increase, Babbitt and company created “Range Reform ’94,” a cluster of proposed federal land use and environmental regulations which Pendley describes as “A Thousand and One Ways to Get Ranchers off Federal Land.”During the late 1990s – a period in which Babbitt, appropriately, was mired in a scandal involving decades of federal fraud, embezzlement, and graft in the Indian Trust Fund System – ranchers rallied to hold off the federal assault. But like the Plains Indians, the ranchers were facing an implacable enemy unburdened with respect for the law and blessed with access to limitless resources. Of the 52 ranchers in his section of Nevada, Cliven Bundy is the only one who has refused to go back to the reservation. So the heirs to Sherman and Sheridan have mobilized an army to protect hired thieves who have come to steal the Bundy family’s cattle with the ultimate purpose of driving him from the land.
Their objective is not to protect the desert tortoise, but to punish a defiant property owner and entrepreneur. This potentially murderous aggression is being celebrated by Progressives as a worthy effort to make dangerous radicals “feel the superior power of the Government.”
For more than two decades, Bundy has defied the federal land management bureaucracy, and his continued resistance could catalyze a general revolt against their designs for the western United States.
Their intent, as described by Pendley, is to transform the West into “a land nearly devoid of people and economic activity, a land devoted almost entirely to the preservation of scenery and wildlife habitat. In their vision, everything from the 100th meridian to the Cascade Range becomes a vast park through which they might drive, drinking their Perrier and munching their organic chips, staying occasionally in the bed-and-breakfast operations into which the homes of Westerners have been turned, with those Westerners who remain fluffing duvets and pouring cappuccino.”
The high priests of biocentrism and their bureaucratic allies aren’t going to let a handful of ragged but resolute ranchers “check and stop the progress” of Manifest Destiny.
In 1875, amid an entirely contrived Indian Scare in Corrine, Utah, Indian Agent William H. Danilson sent a telegram to Washington complaining about the dangerous “extremism” that had seized the restive Shoshones. “They are taught to hate the government, and look with distrust upon their Agents,” complained the bureaucrat. The Indians impudently maintained that “Bear River Valley belonged to them” and were preparing to resist efforts to evict them from their property.
“Their whole teachings [are] fraught with evil,” concluded Danilson, scandalized that Indians would believe in the sanctity of property, and thus expected the federal government to keep its promises.
Historian Brigham D. Madsen records that an Army investigation of that 1875 Indian Scare found that the Shoshones – who were, as usual, starving because of the government’s failure to deliver promised rations – posed no threat. Nonetheless, the military “issued an ultimatum that all reservation Indians were to return to their reservations at once or [the local commander] would use military force to compel them to do so.”
It didn’t matter that the Indians had done nothing wrong, and that the government had acted illegally: The cause of “law and order” meant that the government simply had to prevail. That was the central theme in Washington’s dealings with the Indians – and in its conduct toward western landowners as well.
Fifteen years after the Corinne Indian Scare, the final flickers of Indian resistance were extinguished by Leviathan in the bloody snows of Wounded Knee. Our rulers clearly intend to use the standoff in Clark County to suffocate remaining resistance to the western states land grab. The only matter left unresolved is the question of how much violence they are willing to employ to accomplish that end.
Parents in El Paso, Texas, want answers after fourth-grade students at Pasodale Elementary School were reportedly given an adult-themed assignment on topics like infidelity and a mother losing her son to war. See examples of the "inappropriate reading assignment" HERE.
Parents in El Paso, Texas, want answers after fourth-grade students at Pasodale Elementary School were reportedly given an adult-themed assignment on topics like infidelity and a mother losing her son to war. See examples of the "inappropriate reading assignment" HERE.
Jerry is the leader of a large 9/12 Project group in New Hampshire, in fact his is the largest 9/12 Project group in the State. What Beck inspired in Jerry years ago is still alive and well in Jerry now, as Jerry made his way from New Hampshire to Bunkerville, Nevada to stand for Cliven Bundy's rights, States rights, and all Americans' rights.
Jerry DeLemus is a U.S. Marine Veteran with a great clear mind and an enviable conscience. He is the sort of man whom Glenn Beck would want to run a 9/12 Project group. So that is where an irony comes into play. Stewart Rhodes told me I could play with this one a bit, so please indulge me a bit of reflective Beck-bashing.
I have been observing Glenn Beck for a goodly number of years, beginning with seven years of his radio show at my place of work five days per week. I've watched him weave and wriggle, waver and wrangle in his fusion of entertainment and enlightenment. I witnessed in horror as he trashed Ron Paul pitifully, over and over again when America most needed Ron Paul's presence. Glenn came back around later and lamented that he was wrong to do that to Ron Paul, but of course the damage had been done and millions of Americans did not vote for Ron because Glenn had told them that Ron was "un-electable".
Over the years I've watched Glenn Beck be "wrong" many times. But in recent times I've noticed that Glenn is learning. He is slow, to be sure, and has shown that he is not really "there" yet by his treatment of the Bundy family's fight with the Feds. But Glenn is moving toward the true spirit of our Founders. And while that is good, it also leaves the window open through which might fly yet another damaging "wrong" from Glenn's corner of the ring. This Bundy Ranch thing. Beck is wrong, again, about that. But he's listening better than he used to and maybe before long he'll become as wise about the planks in his own platform as his people across the land are. Jerry is our example.
Glenn Beck, Son! If you would just ask, we'd help you keep up to speed on this business of saving America. First rule of life is: Centralized power in government is bad, cannot be good, and bites the hand of all who empowered it. That is why our Founders did not require in the Constitution that we natural-born citizens swear an Oath to the Constitution - because We The People reserved to ourselves the Right to Revolution. That is a prerogative given us by the Founders, and when any government becomes as oppressive and authoritarian in its nature as our present Federal government has grown to be, it is our right and our duty to throw off that government.... yes? That is why we reserved to ourselves, always, the Right to Revolution. Glenn Beck, while you think on that, please always remember that there is no signature on the Constitution by or on behalf of the Federal (General) government. The only signatories on the document which created the Federal government are those of the States in compact. Glenn, the States created it. They own it, and they can shut it down any time they wish.
Everything in your gut, Glenn, tells you that Cliven Bundy is a righteous man, with a good American family. And we who study the Constitution are screaming it out to you if you would just listen. But perhaps when your own people rise up publicly as Jerry has done here, and show you by example how to correct your perception to allow you to take proper action, you'll get the picture and make that last leap of faith into the world of true liberty fighters.
Jerry, as editor for Oath Keepers I'd like to offer you my sincere Salute. Thank you for an outstanding example for all Americans to admire. As for Glenn Beck, we love him, we forgive him, we encourage him to continue the opening of his mind as the past couple of years have shown he is capable, and we encourage him to follow your lead
for the good of America.
Semper Fi, Bro!
Elias Alias, editor
The Book of Judges Bible Study Outline: Chapter 6
Gideon and the Power of Weakness (Part 1)
By I Gordon
1 Cor 1:27-29 God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
God loves to do the Gideon. Sounds like a dance I know but in actual fact, it’s not. It is something that He has done throughout human history and will continue to do until the very day that He returns to sort this whole mess out! ‘The Gideon’ is where God takes weak, humble, sometimes fearful people and uses them to do wonderful things. He loves doing it! And the story of Gideon has been repeated (in each persons own way) through the lives of millions throughout history.
This study will be on Judges Chapter 6 where we are introduced to our hero Gideon, and learn a little about this man that God chose to deliver Israel. The second study will be on Chapter 7, the defeat of Midian, and its strikingly accurate portrayal of New Testament truth.
Enter the Midianites!
Judges 6:1-5 …Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country. They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys. They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts. It was impossible to count the men and their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it.
Kinda sounds like Nevada and the Bundy ranch. Doesn’t it!
How low can you go! The NASB says ‘so Israel was brought very low because of Midian.’ The lowest they had ever been I would say. Instead of the ‘land flowing with milk and honey’ they lived in the caves and clefts in the rocks, too scared to face their enemy. What they did get to plant was destroyed by the enemy. And I don’t want to even mention what happened to their livestock. This is as bad as it ever gets! Now the name Midian means ‘Strife’ and they were certainly being true to their name in their actions with God’s people Israel!
Midian speaks to us of the strife and trouble that comes to Christians while living in this world. Sometimes the strife is caused by the desires of our sinful nature; sometimes it is the strife and troubles that occur from simply living in a fallen world. Whatever the source of our strife, God uses all circumstances to teach us truth, and, as we shall soon see, the best victories often come when we are weakest.
Let’s get to the source of the problem!
Judges 6:6-10 …When the Israelites cried to the LORD because of Midian, he sent them a prophet, who said, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. I snatched you from the power of Egypt and from the hand of all your oppressors. I drove them from before you and gave you their land. I said to you, ‘I am the LORD your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.”
So Israel comes to the point of crying out to the Lord. About time too - only took seven years! Now In the past when Israel has cried out to the Lord, God has raised up a judge to deliver them… but not this time!
This time He sends them a prophet to do two things – Firstly to convict them some more of their sins and their need of Him; and secondly, to show them where they have gone wrong. God knows that He can and will deliver them, but He is firstly interested that they see what the root cause of their bondage is so that they don’t have to keep this cycle of sin and repentance going. Same goes for our lives. If we keep falling into the same trap then God will work so that we see the source of our problem.
It’s not always just a matter of ‘forgive me Lord’ and then carrying on… God would like us to take the time to think over why we keep failing in a particular area. For Israel it was simple – they had again forgotten God. It wasn’t so much a case of the Lord not being number one in their life anymore… it was a more a case of the Lord not being allowed to play any part in their life at all!
Why ‘strife’ if the Lord is with us?
Judges 6:11-13 ….The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” “But sir,” Gideon replied, “if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian.”
After the prophet had convicted Israel, God begins the deliverance. The angel of the Lord (not just an angel but the Lord Himself) comes and picks the vessel He will use to deliver Israel. It’s that mighty warrior Gideon! (Not that Gideon himself knows anything of the sort!) The first thing we see from Gideon is that he is a man that doesn’t give up easily, even in the midst of Midian’s ‘strife’. He is threshing wheat in a winepress so that the food won’t be destroyed. Determined this man!
But he asks a good question – ‘If the Lord is with Israel, how come all this bad stuff has happened?’ The obvious is that Israel left their God… It was their sin which lead to this difficulty. But the question is even more valid for the lives of those today that face incredible strife and difficulty while living good, obedient, Christian lives. The answer is what the ‘Gideon principle’ is all about and I will try to explain this in the study on Judges Chapter 7.
Attention all weaklings - God may choose you!
Judges 6:14-16… The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” “But Lord,” Gideon asked, “how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” The LORD answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together.”
The first thing to notice in the passage above is that the Lord doesn’t answer Gideon’s question about why these things have happened. Maybe because it was obvious in Israel’s case as God had already pointed out through the prophet He sent. But for us, if it is not our own desires and sinful tendencies that have lead us into ‘strife’, then the question of where the trouble comes from is often unanswered as it was with Job. In these cases, we should learn to leave these things with God and by faith, look for the good that will be worked out of it.
Now Gideon doesn’t exactly feel like the ‘valiant warrior’ that the Lord calls him. And as for him delivering Israel by himself… CRAZY TALK! In fact Gideon feels more like a weakling than a warrior or someone valiant. ‘You know the entire Manasseh tribe?’ he says to God… ‘Well my family is bottom of the barrel. Dead last! And in the most insignificant family in Manasseh, yep, I’m the youngest and weakest! You may have bet on the wrong horse I’m afraid!’ Ever felt like that? That you really don’t have anything much to offer God and probably can’t be used? Well if you have, welcome to the Gideon factor! It just well may be, (if you can get your eyes off yourself the very thing which propels you into being a likely candidate!
One God plus one weakling is always a majority in any fight. ‘I will be with you’ God tells Gideon, and that is all that we should ever need to know. (And it is what we should remind ourselves with!) Thankfully, this was enough for Gideon to know and his focus on his own inadequacies was not so deep rooted that it stopped him being obedient. But he certainly wanted this one thing confirmed (quite a few times actually!)
The request for a sign…
Judges 6:17-24…. Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me... The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread, place them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And Gideon did so. With the tip of the staff that was in his hand, the angel of the LORD touched the meat and the unleavened bread. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the LORD disappeared. When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the LORD, he exclaimed, “Ah, Sovereign LORD! I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!” But the LORD said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.” So Gideon built an altar to the LORD there and called it The LORD is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
Gideon asked for a sign that it really was God that was sending him. Probably fair enough too if you put yourself in his shoes… he was being asked to fight against and defeat the entire Midian army! You certainly would want to be sure wouldn’t you? Gideon will ask again for a sign before the chapter is out, and again God will graciously respond. We always need to remember that Gideon is not some extraordinary man. He was an ordinary man from an ordinary family in an ordinary tribe. Quite like you and me actually. He was weak enough to cause God to chose him, and obedient enough to follow God’s call even amidst doubt and uncertainty. With the divine fire of acceptance falling upon Gideon’s offering, it suddenly dawns upon Gideon that he is speaking, face to face, with God! The appearing of the angel of the Lord is not just any old angel but is the pre-incarnate ‘goings forth’ of the Lord Jesus Himself! The angel however tells Gideon that he can be at peace and should not fear. And God would say the same thing to you today if you have faith in Jesus and take the time to ask! (And listen of course…)
Judges 6:25-27…. That same night the LORD said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. Then build a proper kind of altar to the LORD your God on the top of this height… So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the LORD told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the men of the town, he did it at night rather than in the daytime.
Before saving the entire nation from the clutches of the enemy (it’s starting to sound like a superhero comic!) God has one small priority for young weak Gideon… put your family’s house in order! Give that Baal the chop and establish the Lord God of Israel as Lord over this home! It will prove to be the very first step in some extremely quick lessons in obedience. Now, again we see the weak and fearful side of our hero in that being afraid of what might happen; he secretly cuts down the Baal altar at night, under the cover of darkness! Does God scold Gideon for his fear and lack of faith? Not at all! God knows Gideon and you for that matter, better than you know yourself. He knows we are weak and fearful creatures at times and doesn’t expect perfection. The lesson and challenge for us however from this passage (especially if you are quite a fearful person) is to not allow your fear to prevent you from being obedient. Easily said I know. But God takes us and teaches us step by step if we will trust Him. Gideon, being weak like us, was fearful, but he still obeyed God’s command. You would do well to ask God about this.
Judges 6:36-40…. Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water. Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece. This time makes the fleece dry and the ground covered with dew.” That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.
Now lots have been said about this fleece in the past. In fact, think of Gideon and for a lot of people this is all they know! Bit sad really.. The only real thing I want to add is that it again highlights Gideon’s uncertainty and God’s gracious response in confirming what was being asked of Gideon. God is again kind and will meet us to in our weakness if it is for the purpose of being obedient.
This study is just the beginning… an introduction into who God loves to use. And that is often people that others may look down on as not being overly useful! God has committed a simple message to simple people so that others may come to know Him. And He will often use the ‘strife’ of Midian to bring people to the place of weakness where they will totally rely on Him and His grace. This is what we shall see in the second part of this study where Gideon, fresh from squeezing his fleece out, will have to come against the entire Midian army! Good luck Gideon!
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