Summary: Faith, not fear is the victory
A. The Book of Judges is a book we must not ignore
1. It is amazingly relevant to our generation
2. It’s central theme is because there was no King in the land, everyman did
what was right in his own eyes 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25
B. It is a book of great disappointment
1. After a great beginning there is the disappointment of failure
2. The failure to complete the conquest, and the judgment to follow.
C. What the people needed was a Savior
1. One who would be a deliverer from the bondage and oppression.
2. Jesus Christ is our Savior today - sets us free from the slavery of sin
D. One of the greatest of these Judges was Gideon
1. His name listed in the Hall of Faith in Heb.11:32
2. His life is a demonstration of what God can do for us today.
3. Gideon went through three stages of growth in his life.
I. GIDEON THE COWARD 6:1-24
A. Israel are in bondage to the Midianites
1. They are feeble, fearful and fettered 1-10
2. This is a picture of the Church today - afraid and ashamed to go forth
with the gospel of Christ, as the early church did - Acts 8:4
B. God sends an angel in answer to their prayers v.6
1. God did this in Egypt to call Moses, now he is ready to call Gideon.
2. But Gideon is bitter, discouraged and blames God for all their troubles.
3. The Angel calls Gideon a Mighty Warrior, but is he?
4. No! Gideon is acting like a coward at this point.
5. He is making excuses, blaming God, asking for signs.
6. Where do cowards end up? Rev.21:8
7. But the difference is that Gideon doesn’t STAY a coward.
8. God changes him to a challenger of false worship.
II. GIDEON THE CHALLENGER 6:25-32
A. God challenges Gideon to be all that he can be
1. First he had to deal with his own personal sin - Baal altar in his own town
2. Then and only then could he lead the nation back to God
B. God is challenging us to be all we can be in Christ
1. As individual Christians and as a Church.
2. He sees beyond what we are now to what we can become.
3. "Help me to view myself as you view me rather than how I see myself"
C. God is calling us to tear down the idols in our lives
1. Challenge ourselves first and then others about our relationship to Jesus
2. This is how to bring about change in our society and culture.
3. God will never use a secret saint to win his battles. We need to be bold
and brave, and take our stand regardless of cost or consequences.
III. GIDEON THE CONQUEROR 6:33 - 8:3
A. First Gideon conquers all his fears 6:33 - 7:14
1. He feared the angel and the men of the city 6;23,27
2. Then God thins out the ranks so that He can have the glory in the victory
3. Those who are afraid are told to go home - 22,000 leave in a hurry 7:2-3
4. Then the army is cut right down to 300 because they drank using hands
5. God will not use those who are careless and vigilant
6. Then there is the Dream of the Barley Bread (cheapest bread known)
7. God is going to use this old barley bread Gideon to win the battle.
B. Gideon conquers his foes 7:15-21
1. 300 men with only lamps and trumpets go into battle
2. But that was enough to frighten the Midianites out of their wits, and give