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Summary: Gideon was able to overcome great obstacles and fear to be a great deliverer for God!

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INTRODUCTION

• VIDEO CLIP

• SLIDE #1

• What is the one thing that stops us in our tracks as we pursue life. FEAR!

• Truth is, some amount of fear is not always bad, it keeps us from doing things that would unnecessarily jeopardize our life, but fear run amuck, will keep us from ever achieving things in life.

• Fear will also keep our faith in a bottle.

• Think about how many things in your life you did not do because of the fear.

• Think about how many people you did not choose to share your faith with because of fear.

• Today we will begin a four-week series entitled The Great Deliverers. We will look at the lives Gideon, Samson, Moses, and Jesus to see what these great deliverers were able to for God.

• Some of them were able to do so great things despite some rather difficult obstacles.

• Today we will examine the Great Deliverer Gideon from the Old Testament. Gideon’s story can be found in Judges 6-8. If you have not read the story of Gideon, you should take some time to do so.

• Let me unfold the backdrop of the story of Gideon so you can better appreciate what he did for God.

• As I have discussed before, the book of Judges followed a cycle of sin, this is where the people would drift from God.

• Then the nation of Israel would go into servitude. God would finally have enough and He would allow a foreign nation to take control of the nation.

• Because of this servitude, the people would offer supplications (they were praying and sorry) to God.

• God would hear their cry and offer the nation salvation by sending in what was a Judge, one who would deliver the nation from their oppressor.

• As Judges 6 begins the story of Gideon, we see that they were beginning the supplication part of the cycle.

• God allowed the Midianites to oppress Israel for seven years.

• The Midian’s were a semi-nomadic people who lived in the Sinai Peninsula and western Arabia formed a loose confederation with the Amalekites and the Qedemites.

• The Midianites were Raiders. The bible tells us they swept in like locusts and would destroy the crops and would kill the livestock.

• This put the nation in a spot where they were starving.

• God told the people through an unnamed Prophet to let the nation know why they were suffering.

• Now enter Gideon.

• SLIDE #2

Judges 6:11–12 (CSB) The angel of the Lord came, and he sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, which belonged to Joash, the Ab-i-ez-rite. His son Gideon was threshing wheat in the winepress in order to hide it from the Midianites. Then the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said: “The Lord is with you, valiant warrior.”

Judges 6:14 (CSB) The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and deliver Israel from the grasp of Midian. I am sending you!”

• You do not have to let fear stop you because…

• SLIDE #3

SERMON

I. God sees your great potential.

• What is one something that will keep you from applying for a job, or trying something different in life?

• We tend to think we cannot do it. When I felt the call to ministry, I pushed it off for a while because I could not understand how God could use a person like me for anything? Especially leading one of His churches!

• SLIDE #4

• Here we have Gideon, he is hiding in a wine press trying to avoid detection from the Midianites as he is threshing wheat.

• SLIDE #5

• Gideon is trying to provide food for the family, so he is hiding. Gideon is afraid of getting caught.

• Gideon probably does not feel real heroic or very valiant at this time. He is fighting against seemingly insurmountable odds.

• That would strike fear into most folks.

• So, the angel of the Lord appears and looks at Gideon and says in verse 13, Then the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said: “The Lord is with you, valiant warrior.”

• Interesting greeting to a man who is hiding in fear.

• When Maurice McNeely started telling me that God was looking for men like me for ministry, I told Maurice that God could not be that desperate.

• I could not see what God was revealing to Maurice about me.

• We tend to either underestimate or overestimate ourselves, God sees our true potential!

• When God saw Gideon, He saw a valiant warrior. I wonder if before this anyone else saw that in Gideon?

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