I forgot completely about the barley bread story found within the Gideon story.
When Gideon arrived, he heard a man telling a friend about a dream. He was saying, “I dreamed that a loaf of barley bread rolled into our camp and hit a tent. The tent collapsed and lay flat on the ground.”
His friend replied, “It’s the sword of the Israelite, Gideon son of Joash! It can’t mean anything else! God has given him victory over Midian and our whole army!”
When Gideon heard about the man’s dream and what it meant, he fell to his knees and worshiped the Lord. Then he went back to the Israelite camp and said, “Get up! The Lord is giving you victory over the Midianite army!” – Judges 7:13-15 GNT
I love how Spurgeon comments on this story – just reading it revived me and reminded me of the power of prayer.
But, then, God ever uses effectual means. Even if He works by barley-cakes, He makes a clean overthrow of His enemy. A cannon-ball could not have done its work better than did this barley cake. Wherefore, be not afraid, ye servants of God, but commit yourselves into the hands of Him who, out of weakness, can bring forth strength. Do you not think that this smiting of the tent of Midian by the barley cake, and afterwards the actual overthrow of the Midianite hordes by the breaking of the pitchers, the blazing of the torches, and the blowing of the trumpets, all tends to comfort us as to those powers of evil which now cover the world? When we are thinned out, and made to see how few we are, we shall be hurled upon the foe with a power not our own. Were things worse than they are, we should still cry, “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon!” and stand each man in his place till the Lord appeared in strength. Another lesson would I draw from the text as to our inward conflicts. You are feeling in your heart the great power of sin. The Midianites are encamped in your soil; in the little valley of Esdrelon which lies within your bosom there are countless evils, and these, like the locusts, eat up every growing thing, and cause comfort, strength, and joy to cease from your experience. You sigh because of these invaders. I counsel you to try what faith can do. This seems a very poor means of getting the victory, as poor as the barley cake baked on the coals; but God has chosen it, and He will bless it, and it will overthrow the throne of Satan within your heart, and work in you holiness and peace. Once again, still in the same vein, let us try continually the power of prayer for the success of the gospel, and the winning of men’s souls. Prayer will do anything–will do everything. It fills the valleys and levels the mountains. By its power men are raised from the door of hell to the gate of heaven. – C. H. Spurgeon
Another reminder as to why revenge never works – it belongs with God.
But, Almighty Lord, you test people justly;
you know what is in their hearts and minds.
So let me see you take revenge on my enemies,
for I have placed my cause in your hands. – Jeremiah 20:12 GNT
I am committed to making time to be alone with God in my prayer time.
At once Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to Bethsaida, on the other side of the lake, while he sent the crowd away. After saying good-bye to the people, he went away to a hill to pray. – Mark 6:45-46 GNT
It keeps me centred and keeps me in a place where my trust is not in me but in God.
“Oh Lord when I fall into coldness and irritability with people I remember this, that in the garden just before you died you were so gentle and affirming of us when we went to sleep on you. On the cross you were giving yourself to people who abandoned you and mocked you and the more I thank and rejoice that you did that for me it melts away my hardness heart and makes me able to be patient and attentive to the people around me.” – Timothy Keller