WHAT SACRIFICE ARE YOU WITHHOLDING FROM GOD?
(Rom 12:1,2) I beseech you therefore, brethren [saved brothers and sisters], by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice [i.e., wholly dedicated and devoted to God], holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service [as “a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Tim 2:3) in the Army of God]. And be not conformed to [Gk: to the same pattern of] this world [Gk: aion] [meaning literally, this world only, versus “kosmos” Mark 16:15 = the universe]: but be ye transformed [Gk: ("metamorphosed"): changed, transfigured] by the renewing [Gk: renovation: restoration] of your mind [“and see him that was possessed with the devil… in his right mind” Mark 5:15], that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
(Judg 8:4,5) And Gideon [Heb: feller (warrior) /// to fell a tree: to cut asunder, hew down] [a type and shadow of Jesus Christ] came to Jordan, and passed over, he, and the three hundred men that were with him [who had not “bowed down upon their knees to drink water” Judg 7:6, thereby blinding themselves to the threat of the Midianite army presence across the way], faint [Heb: thirsty, weary], yet pursuing them [the remaining fifteen thousand Midianite warriors]. And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they be faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah [Heb: sacrifice] and Zalmunna [Heb: withheld], kings [reigning monarchs] of Midian [Heb: quarreling: brawling, contentious, discord, strife].
1. Commentary: The remainder of the Midianite army who had in fear thrust “every man’s sword against his fellow” (Judg 7:22) were fleeing from the Promised Land west of Jordan. They had crossed eastward over the Jordan River into the adjacent territory belonging to the tribe of Gad. Historically, to comfortably accommodate their large herds of cattle, the people of Gad had chosen to settle in the spacious land east of Jordan, east of The promised Land, in a region generally called the land of Gilead, as did also the tribe of Reuben and half of the tribe of Manasseh.
2. (Num 32:1) Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle [Heb: flocks, herds]: and when they saw the land of Jazer [Heb: fortified] [Bible Dict: a fortified city east of the Jordan River, in or near the region of Gilead], and the land of Gilead, that, behold, the place was a place for cattle; [they asked for and received this land for their part of the distribution]
a. Gilead = Heb: mound of stones, rocky region, strong, rocky, heap of testimony, the mass of testimony, heap of witness: rolling forever.
b. Commentary: Mount Gilead symbolizes the OT brazen altar of sacrifice and the NT cross, where we are a people living primarily on stony ground who have been given the opportunity to sacrifice to God the stony strongholds in our heart that we are withholding from God.
(Judg 8:6,7) And the princes of Succoth said, Are the hands [Heb: powers] of Zebah [Heb: sacrifice] and Zalmunna [Heb: withheld] now in thine hand [your dominion and control], that we should give bread unto thine army [and thereby greatly endanger ourselves]? And Gideon said, Therefore when the LORD hath delivered Zebah [Heb: sacrifice] and Zalmunna [Heb: withheld] into mine hand, then I will tear your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers [possible indicator of a people “among thorns” Mat 13:7].
1. Succoth = Heb: booths /// a hut or lair: tabernacle, tent.
2. tabernacle = Heb: a residence (includ. a shepherd's hut, the lair of animals, fig. the grave; spec. the Tabernacle: dwelleth, dwelling (place), habitation, tabernacle, tent.
(Judg 8:8-12) And he went up thence [farther eastward] to Penuel [Heb: the Face of God], and spake unto them likewise: and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered him. And he spake also unto the men of Penuel, saying, When I come again in peace, I will break down [Heb: destroy] this tower [Heb: tower, rostrum: pulpit]. Now Zebah [Heb: sacrifice] and Zalmunna [Heb: withheld] were in Karkor [Heb: foundation /// to wall up, trench], and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east [“they were Ishmaelites” Judg 8:24]: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword. And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the host [unexpectedly]: for the host was [thought itself] secure [Heb: feeling safe]. And when Zebah [Heb: sacrifice] and Zalmunna [Heb: withheld] fled, he pursued after them, and took [Heb: captured] the two kings [reigning monarchs] of Midian [Heb: quarreling: brawling, contentious, discord, strife], Zebah [Heb: sacrifice] and Zalmunna [Heb: withheld], and discomfited all the host [“and routed the whole army” New American Standard Bible].
1. Commentary: “this tower” = It was a tower of stones constructed by men and representing the stones of their heart, set one up upon another in ascending and increasing pride, alike the tower of Babel.
(1 Pet 4:17,18) For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
(Judg 8:13-17) And Gideon [Heb: feller (warrior) /// to fell a tree: cut asunder, hew down] [a type and shadow of Jesus Christ] the son of Joash returned from battle before the sun was up, And caught a young man of the men of Succoth, and inquired of him: and he described unto him the princes of Succoth, and the elders thereof, even threescore and seventeen men [77 men]. And he came unto the men of Succoth [presumably as the sun was rising, i.e., a type and shadow of His Second Coming], and said, Behold Zebah [Heb: sacrifice] and Zalmunna [Heb: withheld] with whom ye did upbraid [Heb: defy] me, saying, Are the hands of Zebah [Heb: sacrifice] and Zalmunna [Heb: withheld] now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thy men that are weary? And he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught [Heb: caused to know, made submissive] the men of Succoth. And he beat down [Heb: destroyed] the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city.
1. Commentary: Upon Gideon’s “second coming,” rather than directly return westward on the same path that he had traversed eastward, Gideon first, in effect, went around or circled Penuel and came to Succoth where he “taught the men of Succoth” who were uncooperative and refused (symbolically) to sacrifice any of their material goods. These men were descendants of the tribe of Gad who thought that the well-being of their cattle (material things) was more important to them than living in The Promised Land (a type of Heaven), i.e., they loved the world and refused to sacrifice any part of it.
2. (1 John 2:15-17) Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
3. (Mark 4:18,19) And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful [Gk: barren].