Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | February 19, 2015

Good choices conditioned on signs and wisdom? Or, God’s unconditional choice?

Today’s devotion comes from Judges Chapter 6.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges+6&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“11 Then the angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite as his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press in order to save it from the Midianites.  12 The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.”  13 Then Gideon said to him, “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?  And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’  But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”  14 The Lord looked at him and said, “Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian.  Have I not sent you?”  15 He said to Him, “O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel?  Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.”  16 But the Lord said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man.”  17 So Gideon said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who speak with me.

36 Then Gideon said to God, “If You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken, 37 behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor.  If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken.”  38 And it was so.  When he arose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece, he drained the dew from the fleece, a bowl full of water.  39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not let Your anger burn against me that I may speak once more;  please let me make a test once more with the fleece, let it now be dry only on the fleece, and let there be dew on all the ground.”  40 God did so that night; for it was dry only on the fleece, and dew was on all the ground.”  Judges Chapter 6:  Verses 11-17 and 36-40.

———–

Other doctrine boasts in man’s good choices based on signs and wisdom. 

Reformed Doctrine boasts in God’s choice as in “Unconditional Election”, the “U” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom;  but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;  but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.  But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”  1 Corinthians 1:22-31.

“For you are a holy people to the Lord your God;  the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.  “The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the Lord loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the Lord brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.   Deuteronomy 7:6-8.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.”  Psalm 33:12.

And He brought forth His people with joy, His chosen ones with a joyful shout.”  Psalm 105:43.

For the Lord has chosen Jacob for Himself, Israel for His own possession.”  Psalm 135:4.

“8 “But you, Israel, My servant,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
Descendant of Abraham My friend,
9 You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth,
And called from its remotest parts
And said to you, ‘You are My servant,
I have chosen you and not rejected you.
10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’”  Isaiah 41:8-10.

“10 “You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord,
And My servant whom I have chosen,
So that you may know and believe Me
And understand that I am He.
Before Me there was no God formed,
And there will be none after Me.
11 “I, even I, am the Lord,
And there is no savior besides Me.
12 “It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed,
And there was no strange god among you;
So you are My witnesses,” declares the Lord,
“And I am God.
13 “Even from eternity I am He,
And there is none who can deliver out of My hand;
I act and who can reverse it?”  Isaiah 43:10-13.

“1 “But now listen, O Jacob, My servant,
And Israel, whom I have chosen:
2 Thus says the Lord who made you
And formed you from the womb, who will help you,
‘Do not fear, O Jacob My servant;
And you Jeshurun whom I have chosen.
3 ‘For I will pour out water on the thirsty land
And streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring
And My blessing on your descendants;
4 And they will spring up among the grass
Like poplars by streams of water.’
5 “This one will say, ‘I am the Lord’s’;
And that one will call on the name of Jacob;
And another will write on his hand, ‘Belonging to the Lord,’
And will name Israel’s name with honor.”  Isaiah 44:1-4.

“I will bring forth offspring from Jacob, And an heir of My mountains from Judah;  Even My chosen ones shall inherit it, And My servants will dwell there.”  Isaiah 65:9.

“‘On that day,’ declares the Lord of hosts, ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, My servant,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you,’” declares the Lord of hosts.”  Haggai 2:23.

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.”  Luke 12:32.

“But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.”  2 Thessalonians 2:13.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;’  1 Peter 2:9.


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