Scripture Read: Judges 6:11-12 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. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.”
Application: Sometimes in an effort to appear fresh, teachers of the Scriptures try too hard to come up with new ideas that they hope will make their message unique. This passage is one that has really been abused. We should take the time to consider how this happens so we can: 1. Identify when someone is doing it, so we do not fall prey to perversion of scripture: and 2. Make sure that we ourselves never overstep this boundary. We must let the Scripture say what it says, and not try and adapt it’s message, or expand it’s message to fit some desire we have. Notice, I said “message”. There is no problem with adapting the method of presentation of the message. Jesus did that. To fishermen He shared His message using the sea, boats and fishing. To shepherds He shared His message using sheep and handling a flock. It would be wrong to preach a message to a group of elementary kids the same way you would preach it to an adult audience. The message would remain the same but the presentation would adapt.
Many times I have heard messages on the life of Gideon, and quite a few of them take a direction that is clearly not in the passage, and if you're honest, does not make sense. What some speakers do is first share how a person would thresh wheat normally. That would be in the open, perhaps on a hill where a breeze would be blowing. You would throw the grain into the air, the grain, being heavier would drop to the ground while the chaff would be blown away by the breeze. Based on what the “norm” is many speakers try to make Gideon appear to be a coward because he is threshing wheat in a wine press.
Meditation Questions: What do you do when you approach studying the Scripture? Do you read it trying to find something new? What does that say? What does it mean to search the Scriptures? What happens if you go to Scripture looking for something you want to find? Is that good or bad? Why do you think that way? What makes a Scripture lesson great to you? If a teacher brings a solid Scripture message, but it has nothing new in it, how do you react to it? What does that show you?