Summary: A Character sketch of the life of Gideon!
If there is something you may or may not know about me it is this: I love trivia and Lindsay says does not know where I store all that useless information and wonders where it came from. When we watch Jeopardy, she asks “how did you know that?” I play an online trivia game with people all over the world from time to time and I have often made it to the top 1% in the world, each week it starts at zero. I don’t play all the time, but now that I am sitting with Noah more I have been playing more. So I have some Trivia for you today!
Can you guess who I am describing here?
At the age of 7, his family was force out of their home.
He had to work to support them.
At 9 years of age his mother died.
When he was 22 he failed in business
At the age of 23 he ran for state legislature - lost
At that age he also lost his job - wanted to go to law school but couldn't get in.
At 24 he borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off his debt.
At 25 he ran for state legislature again - won.
He was engaged to be married at 26, but his sweetheart died and his heart was broken and had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.
At 29 he sought to become speaker of the state legislature - defeated. 1840 Sought to become elector - defeated.
At 34 he ran for Congress - lost.
At 35 he ran for Congress again - this time he won - went to Washington and did a good job.
At 37 he ran for re-election to Congress - lost.
At 40 he sought the job of land officer in his home state - rejected.
At 45 he ran for Senate of the United States - lost.
At the age of 47 he sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party's national convention - got less than 100 votes.
At the age of 49 he ran for U.S. Senate again – and was soundly defeated
But at the age of 51 he ran for president of the United States and was Elected. Who am I talking about?
Okay two quick ones, one easier and one harder – Who was referred too as the stammering King? King George the sixth. However there was another king from the 8th century that has that same title. Do you know the second Stammering King? Louis the Stammerer Louis the 2nd – he was the King of Aquitaine and later King of West Francia.
Lincoln, George the sixth and Louie all may have had challenges that restricted them or made them un-likely candidates to achieve what they did. Maybe you are here today and you have felt that you did not have what it takes to step up or lead a group. I know for myself the last thing I wanted to be was a pastor growing up. Even tough I knew from an early age God wanted me to be in ministry I ran from that. I was miserable because I knew I was not in God’s will. I always questioned God’s will because I did not think it was for me. Today we are going to look at even a more un-likely candidate for a leader or a ruler. Mainly because he did not even know he was a candidate for such a position.
Before we start, I want to give you some background on this passage. We need to ask the question “what is the situation”. Throughout the book of Judges we see the Israelite people falling in and out of favour with God and the Lord punishing them as a result of this. In Judges 6:1 we see another one of these times. The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. The Midians were a nomadic people and so were the Amelikites. These nomadic tribes would continually raid the Israelite land, destroy their crops, and steel their livestock and we see that in the following verses:
2 Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. 3 Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country. 4 They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys. 5 They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts. It was impossible to count them or their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it. (Tyndale commentary makes note on verse 5, that these nomads used camel regiments which allowed them to do mass damage in shorter periods of time.) 6 Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the LORD for help.