the feeling that Gideonís the sort of person who when challenged to speak to someone about Christ does it by dropping a gospel tract in their letterbox?
But despite the timidity of his actions, look at the effect it has on his father. Itís as though his father has been waiting for someone to do something about these idols. Perhaps timidity was a family trait! When the men of the town protest to Joash, he tells them that if Baal really is a god he can look after himself. But if anyone wants to take Baalís side theyíll be put to death. Gideonís action has reawakened Joashís devotion to the LORD.
So God tells Gideon to start at home, for a number of reasons. One is to clean up their own act before they start fighting their enemies. Another is to show him that he isnít alone. There are others who care about serving God. Thirdly it shows him in a small way that when he acts God will bring him success.
3. A Gift from God.
Here we discover the secret of the great heroes of the Bible. What is it that made them great? Was it their natural ability? Was it expertise they learned from good teachers or mentors? Was it their training? These are the sorts of things the leadership gurus will tell you today and some of them may be true up to a point. But none of them is the critical factor. No, in every case, the real secret is that God chooses to equip people in special ways for his work.
"33Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East came together, and crossing the Jordan they encamped in the Valley of Jezreel. 34But the spirit of the LORD took possession of Gideon; and he sounded the trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called out to follow him." Suddenly, this timid, scared little man becomes a powerful leader of his people. He blows the trumpet and 32,000 men come out to fight with him. So what is it thatís made the difference? The Spirit of the LORD came upon him. The Spirit of the LORD took possession of him, empowered him. Now letís not miss the fact that this is the same Spirit who empowers us today as well. Jesus told his disciples: (John 16:7-11 NRSV) "Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9about sin, because they do not believe in me; 10about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; 11about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned." And he said: "Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father." (Jn 14:12) He said: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."" (Acts 1:8 NRSV) If youíre worried