Summary: To be a mighty warrior for God, Gideon needs to overcome his disappointment with God and his doubts in God.
Judges 6:1-24, 33-40
Israel did evil in the sight of God, again. They worshipped the false gods of the Amorites (6:10) and were greatly oppressed by their enemies.
• The Midianites, the Amalekites and other Eastern nations came against Israel in big numbers, like swarms of locusts.
• They ruined their crops and spared no living thing for Israel, destroying all their livestock. The people were forced to hide in mountain clefts and caves.
This went on for 7 years and in their suffering, they cried out to God.
• God responded. God always does, because of His grace. God always responds, always delivers and always wins.
• He is going to raise one man for the task – Gideon, a farmer who feels that he is the least in the family and from the smallest clan in the tribe (Manasseh).
• He felt disqualified. That’s good. God does not call the qualified; He qualifies the called. Don’t focus on your DIS-abilities; look to HIS-abilities.
The angel of the Lord declared: “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.” (Jud 6:12)
• Frankly, under such circumstances, these words sounded jarring. Gideon was threshing wheat indoors, in a winepress, hiding from his enemies.
• It was an act of fear and cowardice, and God called him, “mighty warrior”.
• God sees something that Gideon could not. God sees what Gideon could become. God sees us differently from the way we see ourselves.
God tells him to “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” (Jud 6:14)
• God did not demand from him what Gideon does not have. Go in the strength you have, and that’s enough because I AM SENDING you.
• God will see to it that Gideon becomes Israel’s mighty warrior!
But to be mightily use of God, two things must happen for Gideon, and for us too.
• Two things Gideon needs to overcome, reflected in his words – the two BUTs he said in verse 13 and verse 15.
Jud 6:13 “BUT sir, if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, `Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?' But now the LORD has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian."”
Gideon has to OVERCOME HIS DISAPPOINTMENT WITH GOD
If we are disappointed with God, we will not serve Him. And if you allow that disappointment to stay, it will affect your relationship with Him.
Gideon wasn’t happy with the current state of affairs. For 7 years they had been struggling with the most basic needs.
• God had abandoned them, he concluded. Where are you when we are suffering? If you love us so much, why didn’t you intervene? Why are we treated so unfairly?
• But these are the questions we ask God when we are suffering, when things are not going right. We expect God to do more.
THE TRUTH IS - Jud 6:7-10 7When the Israelites cried to the LORD because of Midian, 8he sent them a prophet, who said, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 9I snatched you from the power of Egypt and from the hand of all your oppressors. I drove them from before you and gave you their land. 10I said to you, `I am the LORD your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.' But you have not listened to me."
• It was Israel who abandoned God!
Many find it hard to tell God that they are disappointed and unhappy with Him. We keep it in our heart for years, like Gideon.
• We blame God but we do not want to say it out loud. We hide those feelings because we do not want to look irreligious. We may complain to close friends but not to God.
• But the compulsion to say only the “right thing” actually keeps us spiritually sick. We are not telling God the things that really matters.
• We are spiritually sick because we are not utterly honest with God.
Gideon poured out his true feelings, and God led him out of his discontent.
• Jud 6:14 “The LORD turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?"
Then came his 2nd BUT in verse 15:
Jud 6:15 "BUT Lord," Gideon asked, "how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family."
Gideon has to OVERCOME HIS DOUBTS IN GOD