Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Purah Factor

"If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp" (Judges 7:11). For seven years the Children of Israel had done evil in the sight of the Lord. For seven years He gave them into the hands of the Midianites. Bondage to the Midianites was so terrible they held up in shelters made in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. In absolute desperation they began to cry out to God. He heard their prayers and sent a man to deliver them from their oppression. The man he choose was an unknown farmer named Gideon. An angel sent from the Lord showed up and called Gideon "Mighty Warrior" which was by any means a real stretch of characterization from Gideon's perspective. Gideon is not the Lone Ranger in this experience. We all can relate to his insecurity concerning an assignment from God. To add to his bewilderment the Lord reduced his troop size from 22,000 to 300 men. The Lord left no doubt where the victory would come from. Because Gideon was not convinced of victory in this battle God did a couple of things to help ease his anxiety. He told Gideon to go to the enemy camp and listen to what their soldiers were saying. What Gideon will hear will be an encouragement to him. Naturally Gideon is terrified by this idea. Thus the Lord takes another step and sends a trusted friend and soldier named Purah with him. Purah was a trusted person that Gideon could confide in. Purah would prove to be the needed witness of what Gideon would hear the Midianites say. He would be the second witness to what they hear and report to the troops. Several things stand out about Purah. He was older than Gideon. He was more experienced. He was loyal. And He was comfortable with Gideon taking all the credit. Purah was willing to turn success into a legacy to Gideon instead of a monument to himself. We all need "Purahs" in our lives. We need people who will take risks and who can be used by God to bring our faith up to a level of being able to do mighty things in God's Kingdom. Has God called you to such an assignment? Perhaps He has also placed a "Purah" in your life to encourage you. Maybe He is calling you to be a "Purah" in someones life. Don't miss His opportunity to be a "Purah" to another. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.

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