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I grew up reading comic books about superheroes. I liked Superman, Batman, The Hulk, The Green Hornet, Aquaman and Spiderman. I always dreamed about being a superhero and would often run through the house wearing a cape (I think it was my way of escaping from having four sisters!). I was always intrigued by how the nerd was transformed into macho man and somehow the geek always ended up with the gorgeous girl.
Superheroes are still popular today. I haven’t kept up with the new action figures (because I have four daughters), but I’m happy that the old standbys are hitting the big screen. The recently released “Spiderman” has become the fastest grossing movie ever.
Let me see how you do with this superhero quiz.
Q: Why do the Hulk’s tulips look so healthy?
A: Because he has a green thumb.
Q: Why won’t Captain America use the metric system?
A: He refuses to support a foreign ruler.
Q: Why was Aquaman angry with Aqualad?
A: His grades were below “C” level.
Q: Why didn’t the Joker join the Penguin’s club?
A: He thought it was for the birds.
Q: Where does Spiderman go for information?
A: The web.
This morning we’re going to look at a guy named Gideon who could be classified as a geek when we’re first introduced to him. He goes through a significant metamorphosis, but instead of getting bit by a genetically altered spider, his life is transformed by an encounter with the Almighty.
In Hebrews 11, we find the “Hallowed Hall of Faith,” a listing of God’s spiritual superheroes. Gideon’s name is found there, along with people like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Samuel, Samson, and David. While God greatly used these individuals, it wasn’t because they were strong and without faults. Verse 34 reminds us that their “…weakness was turned to strength…”
God loves to use ordinary people like Gideon to accomplish extraordinary things. That means He wants to use people just like you and me.
Gideon’s Good News
I invite you to turn in your Bibles to the older testament book of Judges. We’re going to work our way through Judges 6-8, as we focus on Gideon’s “Top Ten Ways to Trust God.”
1. God uses tough times to get our attention (Judges 6:1-10). When we come to Judges 6, we find the nation of Israel, in typical fashion, having turned their backs on God once again. This would often happen after a period in which things went well. The bills were paid, the kids were obeying, and the camels were not in the shop. But then they became self-sufficient and pushed God away. Before long, an enemy would come in, and tough times spilled over into everyone’s life.
Verse 1 tells us that because they did evil in the eyes of the Lord, God’s people were given into the hands of the mighty Midianites. They were extremely powerful and oppressed the Israelites mercilessly. Because things were so bad, the Israelites had left their homes and were living in caves and strongholds, fearing for their lives. With few fortified cities, their only protection was to hide out in the hills. The Midianites were nomadic people, and would invade Israel every year at harvest time. Verse 5 mentions that they would come in like locusts and would ravage the land. What they couldn’t carry with them they destroyed.
Finally, after seven long years, the Israelites cried out to the Lord
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