Summary: Gideon shows us what it is like to to step out in faith despite the doubts that you may have.
Heroes of the OT:
March 22, 2009
This morning we are going to look at another hero of the OT: Gideon. Have any of you ever felt incompetent, or ill-suited, or like a “fish out of water,” or ill-prepared, or ill-equipped, or maybe you felt like you were just not good enough? We all have. Some of us may even feel that way all the time. It is normal to feel that way but the faith issue is how we confront these feelings especially in response to God.
On our cruise when we left our cruise of Tampa, the cold weather from Erie finally caught up with us. While the high temperature here that Sunday was around 15 degrees, it was 66 degrees, cloudy and windy in Tampa. Better than here but not exactly what we were hoping to experience.
This wind created some very choppy seas as we left. Swells were average 7 to 12 foot with lots of white caps. Our ship, the Veendam from the Holland America Line, was really a pretty small ship compared to some of the newer ships especially in other lines. Which was good for this weather, because these cruise ships with the wind blowing it are like giant sails. The bigger the ship, the more it gets tossed around. And it swayed and rocked. Back and forth. Whooosh! Whooosh!
My father who is a travel agent has been on tons of cruises with I think over 50 days on board. He said this was the worst that he had ever been on. Some of the crew remarked the same thing. When you walked, you went to the left and then to the right. Fortunately the hallways are pretty narrow accommodating about 2 people to pass by so that you had walls for support.
When you had to cross large open spaces, you sort of had to pick your mark and when the ship dipped, you ran to your mark. We called it the walk run method. One might have thought that someone had spiked the coffee… and the tea and the pop and… Everybody looked like they were falling down drunk. So people wouldn’t get the wrong idea, for the first day I told people that I was a consultant because I didn’t want somebody calling back here and telling you all that they had seen your pastor stumbling through the halls. Not really. I just told them we didn’t want the communion wine to be wasted.
Of course, a few people fared worse than others and they “tossed their cookies.” I felt bad for them but since I wasn’t feel real well myself, I didn’t want to get to close. Sometimes when you smell the regurgitation, it causes some of us to have a “gag reflex.”
But I did feel bad for them. One woman was so apologetic. She felt really bad. But then I think just about all the passengers felt ill-suited for that first night. We all felt foolish walk into walls and slamming into doors. I’m sure we all looked pretty stupid walking around like we did. But we didn’t let it stop us. I’m sure some people were probably to sick to leave their cabin but for the most part, people went about the ship to check everything out. And that is how this ties into our hero: Gideon.
Gideon was an unlikely hero.
Gideon’s story is in Judges 6, 7, & 8. We read about the climax of the story but let me tell you about him and how his example can help us. This hero by the way addresses primarily the spiritual area of our lives and how it overlaps and effects how we live our lives and all of these other areas.
The first thing that we see with Gideon was the Gideon had doubts.
• Gideon had doubts.
Gideon was unsure about himself and even with God. I think he was a lot like me and all of us. He understood that God could but wasn’t quite sure that God would.
Faith is believing that not only God can but that God will do what God says.
Israel had once again turned away from God and God let Midian reign over them. Midian treated them unjustly and oppressed them. Finally they cried out to God (remember the pattern that I spoke about) and God went to Gideon who had been threshing wheat in a winepress in order to hide it from the Midians because they had been taking all the food of the Israelites.
When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior."
"But sir," Gideon replied, "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."