Fear The Solution

“Get up!” said Gideon. “The Lord has given the Midianite camp into your hands.”

 

There is something that has changed. The change is found in Gideon. His words were divinely inspired. The stronghold in his heart had been destroyed! Gideon divides his men into three companies. Each man is given a trumpet and a jar with only a torch inside for the other. The army of God goes to war without weapons. They will fight an army of 135,00! They will stand in the strength of God alone.

 

Gideon tells his men to watch him, and follow his lead. It should be noted that these are not the words nor actions of Gideon when he was faced in the winepress. Gideon has become a courageous man. He is operating the strength and power of Almighty God Himself.

 

The men surround the Midian camp in the dark of night. They do as Gideon tells them.

 

When I and all who are with me blow our trumpets, then from all around the camp blow yours and shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon.” Judges 7:18.

 

The blast of the trumpets startle the enemy, and the smash of jars expose blazing torches that encircle the Midianites in a ring of fire. Absolute chaos breaks out in the camp. God the Father is the mastermind behind this attack. The battle is the Lord’s, and the victory is seen.

 

Whenever you find yourself in a fearful situation, remember Gideon. You are not alone. Rely upon the Lord’s presence in your life. Focus on His strength in your life. Claim and memorize the promise in Isaiah 41:10. Make this part of your life.

 

There is a key passage that you should read and reread. In the blackness of the night, the Midianites attack each other. Note Judges 7:22. Brother against brother, and friend against friend. What would you do if you were terrorized? What would you do if there were no “Gideon” around? He relied upon the Lord totally. The Lord was Gideon’s shepherd. Gideon was told from the beginning that the Lord was with him. When you are stricken with fear, read Psalm 23. Follow the steps presented with each verse. This Psalm is full of truths we need to focus on in order to have the victory.

 

Certain situations make it possible for you to only read the beginning verses of Psalm 23. Other situations call for us to read the entire psalm. Become familiar with this psalm, and listen to the voice of God when you refer to it.

Move to an undistracted place. When fear begins to fester in your heart and mind, exchange panic for peace by focusing on this psalm.

Find out if this imagined fear or real fear. Pray for God’s guidance in this area. He will speak to you, and tell you what to do.

 

Finally, trust God to give you the victory. Ask God to reveal the source of your fear. Allow Him to help you deal with the matter. When God reveals this to you, pray Psalm 23.

 

You must remember that you have the victory through the Father. He will never leave you alone. He will guide you through the tough times.

 

The Responses to the Resurrection

Mary and Martha were happy that their brother came back from the dead. There were those in the midst who were not so elated. In this lesson, we will study the positive responses along with the negative responses. I would like to point out that Jesus’ words and actions always elicited some kind of response from the people.

Scriptural Passage

http://ref.ly/Jn11.45-57

http://ref.ly/Jn11.45-47

For many Jews, this miracle was clear proof of Jesus’ claim. This caused them to trust Him. Others were hardened against Him. They walked in sin or confusion. With this attitude, they went to His enemies, and they told the religious leaders what He had done. This was a significant sign to the chief priests and the Pharisees. These individuals decided to call an emergency session of the Sanhedrin. They could not allow Jesus to continue His ministry. His influence was spreading too far, and too many people were turning to Him. They may have thought Jesus was some kind of magician who dealt in secret arts which deceived the people.

http://ref.ly/Jn11.47-48

The council could not do what they were doing to deal with Jesus. Such actions as

 

-official disapproval

-excommunication

-counter teaching

were not working. The feared outcome would bring insurrection. The threat from the Roman government would manifest in the crushing of the Jewish revolt. Note that this is mentioned in verse 48. The temple and the nation would suffer lose.

http://ref.ly/Jn11.49-50

Caiaphas was the high priest at the time of this meeting. Originally, the high priest held his position for a lifetime. The Romans were afraid to allow this. They were afraid that if they allowed this, the man would gain too much power. Men were appointed to this position by the Romans. Caiaphas had the office from A.D. 18 to 36. His contempt is expressed in his words. He accused them of knowing nothing. He spoke without fear. His judgment revealed that this man (Jesus Christ) must be sacrificed if the nation was to continue in Rome’s favor. The alternative to this judgment was destruction of the Jewish nation in war. See John 11:48. Their rejection of Jesus solved nothing. The Jewish people followed false shepherds into a war against Rome. This took place from A.D. 66 to 70. Their nation was destroyed.

 

Lazarus Rise!

John 11:38-39 (KJV)


(38) “Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. (39) Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.”

Jesus was disturbed emotionally. Such showing of emotion told of His great love for these three people. Jesus came to the tomb. Tombs were made of limestone. People made caves in the side of a wall of rock. Once the person’s body was placed in the tomb, a stone was placed over the entrance. Jesus told them to move the stone. Such action would result in defilement. Obedience was demanded if Jesus’ miracle was to be revealed. The crowd, having heard Jesus’ words, looked on and listened. Mary was weeping, and Martha objected saying that her brother had been dead four days.

 

John 11:40-42 (KJV)


(40)”Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? (41) Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. (42) And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.”

 

If Martha believed His Word concerning Him being the resurrection and the Life, then all would be well. She had to trust Him, and God would be glorified. The sisters’ faith had shown. They gave their permission to move the stone.

 

Tension mounted. What would Jesus do now that the stone had been removed? Jesus thanked His Father for granting His request. The Father’s will is being manifested in His love and power. Jesus gave a public prayer of thanksgiving. Jesus did not want to be honored as a Wonder-Worker. He wanted them to know He was the Father’s obedient Son. The granting of the Jesus’ prayer would give clear evidence to the people that He had been sent by the Father. (Note Elijah’s prayer in I Kings 18:37.

 

Jesus spoke three words: Lazarus come out! It should be noted that if Jesus had not called Lazarus’ name, all the dead would have come forth. Immediately, the dead man came out. He was wrapped in strips of linen. Jesus gives a directive to the people. Remove his grave clothes. This enabled Lazarus to move on his own. This was evidence that he was alive.

 

The Bible Knowledge Commentary makes the following statement concerning this miracle:

“This event is a marvelous picture of God’s Son bringing life to people. He will do this physically at the Rapture for church saints. I Thess. 4:16, and at His return for Old Testament saints Daniel 12:2, and the Tribulation saints (Rev. 20:4, 6).”

 

Today Jesus speaks and calls the spiritually dead to spiritual life. Many people are dead in trespasses and sins. They have the opportunity to believe and come to life by the power of God. http://ref.ly/Ep2.1-10

 

 

Jesus wept

http://ref.ly/Jn11.33-37

 

The Greeks believed that God could not feel anger, love, pain, disappointment, hope, or any of the other emotions that humanity experienced. If God could feel emotions, then someone could have an effect upon Him. Someone else causes such emotions. In order to have an effect upon God the Father, the person must have control of the Father. This is not true. God is in control of all things. Since nobody can control God, then it means that He cannot have feelings. How do we reconcile this fact with what we are seeing here? It can be said that God the Father is lonely, isolated and compassionless. He can only be approached through reason–if that is possible. He cannot be reached based on His love or pity.

 

In great contrast with the Greek gods’ apathy or lack of emotion, Jesus’ emotional life attests the reality of His union with people. He had a deep emotional connection with these three individuals. In John 11:33-34, Jesus “groaned” which can be more likely translated “angered.” The Greek word enebrimesato (from embrimaomai) seems to connote anger or sternness. This Greek word is used five times in the New Testament. Each time it expresses the Lord’s words or feelings. Note the following verses:

 

http://ref.ly/Mt9.30

http://ref.ly/Mk1.43

http://ref.ly/Mk14.5

http://ref.ly/Jn11.33

http://ref.ly/Jn11.38

 

Why would Jesus be angry? He may have been angry because of the people’s unbelief. This may have been His response to the hypocritical wailing by the mourners. This is not true to the text though. This makes us have to look at why Jesus groaned in the spirit. Jesus may have been angry at the tyranny of Satan who had brought sorrow and death to people through sin. Compare http://ref.ly/Jn8.44, http://ref.ly/He2.14-15 . Jesus was troubled (etaraxen, lit., “stirred” or “agitated,” like the pool water in http://ref.ly/Jn5.7. Compare http://ref.ly/Jn12.27, http://ref.ly/Jn13.21, http://ref.ly/Jn14.1, http://ref.ly/Jn14.27. This disturbance was because of His conflict with sin, death, and Satan.

 

http://ref.ly/Jn11.35-37

Jesus’ weeping differed from that of the people. His quiet shedding tears (edakrysen) differed from their loud wailing (klaiontas v. 33). His weeping was over the tragic consequence of sin. The crowd interpreted Jesus’ tears as an expression of love, or frustration at not being there to heal Lazarus.

 

Jesus and Mary

http://ref.ly/Jn11.33-37

 

After the conversation with Jesus, Martha tells Mary that Jesus has arrived. When Mary hears that the Christ has come, she arises from her place and heads for the grave of her brother. The mourners arise thinking she is going to the sepulcher to mourn her brother’s death. Mary falls at Jesus’ feet saying almost the same thing her sister said. When Jesus sees her weeping, He groans in His spirit, and He was troubled. Jesus asks her where is the place where Lazarus’ body was lain.

Jesus wept. Why did He weep? Was He moved by the deep sorrow of Martha and Mary? This verse will be discussed in the next lesson.

 

Rejoice!

Isaiah 61:10-11 (KJV)
(10) I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. (11) For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.