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Summary: Gideon was an unlikely hero. But God used him in a powerful way, just as He uses all who will believe Him and obey.

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"Gideon: God’s Reluctant Hero"

Judges 6:1-40

Mililani Community Church

Pastor Rick Bartosik

June 6, 1999

Today is a very famous day in history, called D-Day. On June 6th 1944, during WW II, thousands of allied troops landed at Omaha Beach in Normandy, France to begin the liberation of Europe from Nazi Germany. Recently this invasion was graphically reenacted in the movie "Saving Private Ryan." That movie is considered to be one of the most graphic depictions of the reality of combat that has ever been filmed.

Gideon was the man God chose for another D-Day in the history of Israel when God delivered the people of Israel from their enemies the Midianites.

Last week we began our study of the book of Judges, and we found that the Israelites were not living life as God intended it to be lived. Instead of being faithful and obedient to the Lord, they forsook the Lord, they went after other gods, and they intermarried with the Canaanite women. God wanted them to live a life that would so reflect his glory that all the nations would ask, "what is it about the Israelites? God seems to bless everything they do." But because of compromise and disobedience, Israel ended up in bondage and captivity over and over again.

By the time we get to the story of Gideon in Judges chapter 6, Israel has already experienced 43 years of suffering under the harsh rule of the neighboring nations. Yet they still have not learned their lesson. This chapter begins the fourth cycle of sin, judgement, supplication and deliverance in the book of Judges (See Judges 2:10-19).

We are going to see that Gideon was a very unlikely hero. He was reluctant at first to respond to the call of God. He did not always possess strong faith, and like all of us, he had great weaknesses. And he made all kinds of excuses as to why he couldn’t do what God was calling him to do. But God still used him in a powerful way, just as He uses each of us in this day–if we are willing to believe Him and do what He commands.

In spite of all his fears, Gideon was willing to step out and obey the Lord. He will use you too if you are willing to obey!

Outline:

The Background to the Call of Gideon (6:1-10)

The Call of Gideon (6:11-24)

The Preparation Of Gideon For His Work (6: 25-40)

Let’s look first of all at the circumstances in Israel at the time that God called Gideon…

THE BACKGROUND TO THE CALL OF GIDEON (6:1-10)

READ vv. 1-6. We see in these verses that…

The Lord Had Chastened Israel (1-6).

The Bible says in Proverbs 3:11-12: "My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; for whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights."

Charles Spurgeon said, "the Lord does not permit His children to sin successfully." God is not a permissive parent" who allows His children to do as they please, because His ultimate purpose is that they might be "conformed to the image of His son" (Romans 8:19).

Discipline in our lives is evidence of God’s hatred for sin and His love for His people. God is a holy God and he wants nothing less than His very best for His children, and the best he can give us is a holy character like that of Jesus Christ. obedience to the lord builds character, but sin destroys character; and God cannot sit idly by and watch His children destroy themselves.

Here God used the Midianites as his rod to discipline his children. They invaded the land every years for seven years at harvest time and stole everything that had been grown during the year. All that Israel could do was run to the hills and hide from their enemies while they took all the crops and animals. They came up like swarms of locusts every year to devastate the land. When the Israelites returned to their homes they had to face another year without adequate food. Finally things got so bad (verse 6) that they cried out to the LORD for help.

The first response of the Lord to the cry for help was to send a prophet.

The Lord Sent Them A Prophet (7-10)

That was probably the last thing they wanted. They wanted deliverance from the Midianites but God sent them a preacher. His word to them was simple…READ vv. 7-10. "…But you have not listened to me." Through this unnamed prophet God reminded them of the wonderful way He had delivered them from Egypt. He also reminded them of His generosity in giving them the land and helping them overcome their enemies. If they were suffering now, it wasn’t God’s fault. He had given them everything they needed.

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