Summary: Regardless of the situation or circumstance we all have this tendency to fight first and hope we win. Unfortunately, what ends up happening is we all have had to come to others asking for help on the bad side of a good old-fashioned defeat. We come out li
Who here has ever watched an action flick and felt like you were involved in the fight scene? You know, like when you’re watching Jackie Chan and it’s so intense that you start sweating. You finish watching the movie and you feel like, “watch out anyone who tries to get in my way, I could take on anyone right now.” I think in the back of our minds we all think we know how to fight. Regardless of the situation or circumstance we all have this tendency to fight first and hope we win. Unfortunately, what ends up happening is we all have had to come to others asking for help on the bad side of a good old-fashioned defeat. We come out licking our wounds, tail between our legs and say, ‘help.’ How many of you have had a battle this week? Christianity involves us fighting for things and it’s really hard sometimes, so the question I have for you this morning is are you fighting your way or God’s way?
This period of history was very interesting for the Israelites because whenever they were in trouble God would raise up a Judge, and they came in all shapes and sizes. Gideon was no different. He was certainly no military genius, God took the advantage of numbers away from him, and at the apex of the battle he gave his warriors jars, torches and horns. Not your typical battle strategy. What was God trying to prove?
1. God doesn’t send military geniuses into the fight (Chapter 6)
Gideon was an average Israelite whom God called for a specific time and purpose. After being assured by God through a number of supernatural signs, Gideon sets forth on going to battle against the enemy, which were the Mideanites and those who had joined with them. Gideon was a farmer and wasn’t really convinced that God should use him, so he asked God to prove it, which he did 3 times, once with fire (vs.21), with a wet fleece (vs.38), and lastly with a dry fleece (vs.40). God revealed to him, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he had been chosen. God picked a farmer to lead a nation into battle!
One of the comments I have heard over and over in ministry life why people are not winning more is this, “I don’t know the scriptures like you do.” Let me tell you this morning, I’ve never studied the bible either; just kidding. Seriously though, if there is one thing that the bible proves over and over again is that God does call the qualified, He qualifies those he calls. I’m not where I am today because of my qualifications, it’s because I was obedient. Look at the disciples, they were a rag-tag bunch of fishermen, tax collectors and nobodies, but God knew he could use them to win people for the kingdom. It isn’t your credential, it’s obedience he’s looking for and if you go into battle because of obedience then you’ll win!
2. God doesn’t need numbers (vs.2-4)
So you have farmer Gideon, now convinced this is what he needs to do, heading out into battle with 32,000 men. Some of you may be saying, “32,000, not bad.” What you don’t know is that the army that they were heading out to destroy was described by Gideon as, “a swarm of locusts, with camels like the sands of the seashore.” Historians believe that it was between 120 to 135,000 man army. 32,000 ain’t lookin’ so hot anymore, but God isn’t finished yet. He says that Gideon has too many men and thins the group out twice, telling those who were scared to go home (vs.3) and those who drank like dogs from the river to leave as well (vs.5). Now with 300 men, .2%, God sends them into battle!
We live in a time where bigger is always better. There is a line of thinking in the church that when we get bigger then we’ll really start doing some damage, then we’ll see something great happen in our city. Well I have a news flash for you this morning, “God does not need numbers to WIN!” In fact everything we read about in the bible speaks to the fact that God uses the little to destroy and frustrate the many. Look at what He did with 12 disciples, changed the world. God is looking for people to believe in His plan and that all things are possible, believe and we will win!
3. God doesn’t need weapons (vs.16-17)
Imagine Gideon and his 300 guys getting ready for battle and he’s trying to pump them up. God speaks to Gideon and tells him to go and hear what’s going on in the enemy’s camp. Upon hearing how God had put in their minds that Gideon’s army is going to beat them, he sends the boys out with these orders, “When you hear us blow our horns you do the same and break your clay pots and raise your torches up and shout ‘A sword for the Lord and for Gideon.’” Now how is that for some military tactics! In any other war it would have been laughable, but in this case, a way having been made by the Lord, it invoked terror in the army and they started killing each other and running. God wanted to be sure that the Israelites could not boast in the victory. They went into battle with pots, torches and horns!