Purah: A Servant of Gideon
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Do you have a “PURAH” in your life? For the sake of this article, a “PURAH” is the one person who is always loyal to you, who shows up just when you need them, and always wants the best for you.
As I was reading Judges 7:10, I ran across a man named Purah. He is mentioned only one time in the entire Bible, so most people would think of him as an insignificant person. I decided to read more about this man. I have three reference books that are packed with tons of entries about fascinating people in the Bible. I looked through all three books and there were NO ENTRIES for Purah. So much for my conclusion that he was an insignificant figure in the Scriptures. But, when I re-read about Purah, he was significant — significant to Gideon and significant to obtaining God’s desired outcome.
The Midianites were oppressing Israel while Israel was doing what was evil in the sight of the LORD. An angel of the LORD came to Gideon and told him that the LORD was with him. Then, after Gideon asked why all these bad things have happened to the Israelites, the LORD said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” God called Gideon into the ministry of saving Israel. Gideon destroyed the altar of Baal; then he asked for signs from God to be sure of his calling. Shortly when Gideon’s army of 22,000 men was reduced to only 300, the LORD said to Gideon, “With the 300 men who lapped the water, I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand, and let all the others go every man to his home.” “That same night the LORD said to him, ‘Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hand. But if you are afraid to go down, go down to the camp with Purah your servant.’ Gideon went down with Purah. Gideon ends up defeating the Midianites. [Judges 7]
Have you ever had a tough situation? Have you ever been fearful? Has God ever put that one special person in your path just to help you? This is what happened with Gideon.
Not only was Gideon called to do a work for the LORD, Purah was also called to be instrumental in getting God’s work done by being an encourager to Gideon. Both were essential to the task at hand.
God knew Gideon was encountering fear. How would you feel if you only had 300 men to defeat an entire army? However, God loved Gideon and provided him with a strong wonderful man called Purah to provide encouragement, comfort, and protection. Purah was there for Gideon. Many times those ministering for the LORD become discouraged, fearful, depressed, weak, and needy and they need a PURAH. Are you available and in the right spiritual mindset to be used in that capacity? Maybe you are the PURAH someone else needs. Maybe you are the one called to work alongside someone going through a difficult or challenging situation.
Or maybe you need a PURAH today. God has called you to do an insurmountable task — one that seems too overwhelming to tackle on your own. Keep your eyes open for God to provide the encouragement to pursue. God may provide help through a person who will comfort and encourage you to be all God wants you to be.
I have a friend whom it seems I find myself there only during major crossroads in her life. We keep in touch occasionally, but I always seem to be around when she needs major help. Her beloved dog was being put to sleep one day – I felt so impressed to go with her and be with her through the ordeal. Another time, this same friend had surgery, and I was there to bring food to her and comfort her. I was her PURAH in those circumstances. A PURAH bears one another’s burdens.
The LORD knew Gideon needed strength to fulfill God’s calling in his life. And God provided it through Purah.
But, why Purah?
In The Wisdom of Purah: Gideon’s Mentor ,¹ Writersfield states . . .
- Purah was more experienced, older in age and more mature than Gideon;
- Purah was loyal to Gideon; and
- Purah took pleasure in seeing Gideon get credit for what he had done.
When we find a friend like that, we have found a treasure.
How to be a PURAH
- Keep yourself in God’s Word;
- Pray for opportunities to be used by your Heavenly Father;
- Ask God to let you recognize the signs to fulfill His will;
- Be a loyal friend, family member, church member, and employee;
- Be a confidant;
- Be humble;
- Don’t harbor jealousy;
- Be available;
- Be grateful;
- Think of others before yourself.
Read Judges 7: 1-18 ESV
Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the spring of Harod. And the camp of Midian was north of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.
The Lord said to Gideon, “The people with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel boast over me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return home and hurry away from Mount Gilead.’” Then 22,000 of the people returned, and 10,000 remained.
And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many. Take them down to the water, and I will test them for you there, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ shall go with you, and anyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ shall not go.” So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “Every one who laps the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set by himself. Likewise, every one who kneels down to drink.” And the number of those who lapped, putting their hands to their mouths, was 300 men, but all the rest of the people knelt down to drink water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “With the 300 men who lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand, and let all the others go every man to his home.” So the people took provisions in their hands, and their trumpets. And he sent all the rest of Israel every man to his tent, but retained the 300 men. And the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.
That same night the Lord said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hand. But if you are afraid to go down, go down to the camp with Purah your servant. And you shall hear what they say, and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp.” Then he went down with Purah his servant to the outposts of the armed men who were in the camp. And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the people of the East lay along the valley like locusts in abundance, and their camels were without number, as the sand that is on the seashore in abundance. When Gideon came, behold, a man was telling a dream to his comrade. And he said, “Behold, I dreamed a dream, and behold, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian and came to the tent and struck it so that it fell and turned it upside down, so that the tent lay flat.” And his comrade answered, “This is no other than the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel; God has given into his hand Midian and all the camp.”
As soon as Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped. And he returned to the camp of Israel and said, “Arise, for the Lord has given the host of Midian into your hand.” And he divided the 300 men into three companies and put trumpets into the hands of all of them and empty jars, with torches inside the jars. And he said to them, “Look at me, and do likewise. When I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do. When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then blow the trumpets also on every side of all the camp and shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon.’”
Oh Lord, make me an instrument to be used by You. Prepare me to be someone’s PURAH. The depths you can use me are enormous. I am scared. I feel unable. I feel unworthy. You can make my heart secure enough in what you want me to be and do, so I lay my trust upon you to make me everything you desire. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
¹ ¹ https://writersfield.wordpress.com/2011/10/16/the-wisdom-of-purah/
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