I often submit my blog posts to Helium, a web site for wannabe writers (like yours truly). You can write an article under a topic that’s already on the Helium site, and that will get it published immediately.
Well, I was searching to see if anyone had started a topic on Gideon, the subject of my last post. I noticed that someone wrote an article entitled, Bible study: Judges 8:4-17. And so I cut and pasted my Gideon post under that article.
The person who started the topic was Mary Walker, and her article is beautiful. She begins by greeting her readers warmly, and then she launches into her Scripture lesson:
“When God had delivered Midian into Gideon’s hand, Gideon and his three hundred men were faint, but still pursuing them when they came to the Jordan and passed over. And, also the men of Succoth and Penuel were unhospitable when Gideon and his men asked for bread. (JUDGES 8:4-17)
“What can we learn as Christians today from Gideon’s example? Well, Just like Gideon in the battle against Midian, We all get faint on our quest to pursue our spirituality, but we must keep pursuing. And like the men of Succoth and Penuel, The devil will throw unhospitable agents your way to upbraid you, but you must be strong like Gideon and his three hundred men, and with God’s help win the battle. (JUDGES 8:4-17)”
Finally, she tells us that she enjoyed writing her article, and she wishes her readers love and peace.
Many things intrigue me: the humility that I see in her article, my sense that she is communicating a message of encouragement that she received from the Lord, etc., etc. But what catches my eye is that she applies the text in a way that’s totally different from my application, and yet we’re both right.
She portrays Gideon as the good guy–as someone who keeps pursuing even though he is hungry and encounters inhospitable people along the way. By contrast, I said that Gideon was on the path to the dark side in that particular episode. He forgot where he came from, and he failed to show mercy to people with flaws that he once had (i.e., fear, lack of faith).
Yet, despite our differences, our messages are both valid. I can understand why she sees what she sees in the chapter, even though I organize its details in a different way. And both of our interpretations encourage faith, hope, and love, and that’s what’s truly important.
Isn’t the Bible awesome? You can have two different interpretations, each of which contains an edifying truth.