Summary: A sermon that tries to extract some of the keys to success in Gideon’s life that we can apply to our own.

Gideon says - Kiwis can fly.

The New Zealand national bird is the Kiwi:-

Although a remarkable bird as a national emblem for our people it is, on the face of it something that leaves a lot to be desired!

KIWI, a flightless bird in the genus Apteryx, closely related to the extinct Moa. The kiwi is restricted to New Zealand. The bird is about the size of a chicken and has short, stout legs, no tail, tiny useless wings, a gray or brown hair like plumage, catlike whiskers, and a long, straight or slightly curved bill with nostrils near the It is very shy and during the day hides rolled up in its burrow in the dense forest, venturing out at night. Its food is mainly insects and earthworms. It taps the ground with its feet to locate a worm burrow, which it then probes with its bill to extract the worm. . Only the male sits on the egg during the 75-day incubation period.

The Maori’s hunted the Kiwi for food but his relative the Moa was hunted to extinction - little wonder - the Moa was a formidable bird.

What kind of timid image does the Kiwi provide for New Zealander’s?

After all doesn’t something that is very shy and during the day hides rolled up in its burrow in the dense forest, venturing out at night portray a picture of weakness rather than strength.

How much more appropriate would be an image of the Moa which is the size of two very hefty Rugby players?

In actual fact at the beginning of the account of Gideon, Gideon appears very much like the Kiwi:- JDG 6:11 The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior."

Like the Kiwi, Gideon is hiding from his predators - very shy of the Middeonites - threshing out his wheat to keep it from his enemies.

How he reminds us of the Kiwi - But then an amazing thing happens here in this climate of secrecy - and fear an angel from God appears and makes an amazing statement - "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior."

Now that is a strange thing to say to a man who is avoiding conflict in a winepress.

If you had a man like King David who slew Goliath and saved Israel - then you could understand it.

But when it is said to this kiwi like Gideon it leaves you scratching your head.

Imagine someone going to the Kiwi and saying wow this is an amazingly powerful Moa!!

Now the Moa is related to the Kiwi according to the experts.

Listen for a moment to an encycloepedia description of a Moa:---

MOA, an extinct, flightless, ostrichlike bird which inhabited New Zealand. The largest species, Dinornis maximus, stood about 13 feet (4 meters) high and weighed about 500 pounds (225 kg). The chief peculiarities of the Moa were its lack of even the rudiments of wings, the extreme development of its legs, which appear to have been of almost elephantine proportions in one species, and its four toes.

Put the fearfilled creature of the night Kiwi beside the powerful 225 kg Moa and there is no comparison.

Put Gideon beside David or some of the great soldiers of the past and there is also no comparison.

But the thing we can fail to see is that the angel was not looking at Gideon as he is now but what he would become.

In some ways the Angel was talking about the spiritual DNA of Gideon and his potential rather than what he is now.

I seem to remember some years ago Scientists talking about recreating the Moa from DNA of some sort - Imagine in your mind them getting the DNA from the Kiwi combining it with an emu and some fossil remains of a Moa and manipulating a new generation of superbird’s called the Moa - toss in a bit of Eagle and you may have the worlds first flying Moa with legs the size of an elephant - at such a moment you would have to say that Kiwis can fly!!!

Whilst that is just a flight of fantasy, and we need to be careful in the whole area of genetic engineering, what we can marvel at is the miracle that God can wrought in a life that is surrendered to him.

Let’s look at Gideon again - Two weeks ago we considered 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.(taken from sermon central.)

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