Summary: God called Gideon a “Mighty Warrior” even when he did not look like it but we must remember that God sees what we do not see and we in turn must trust him and answer the call.
Series: Here comes the Judge!
The book of Judges:
It is the history of the Judges of Israel and is connected with the previous book of Joshua, as a “link in the chain of books.” It describes the history of Israel under different leaderships, governments and their deliverances from other powers for about 410 years of history.
Purpose of the book of Judges:
The book of Judges aims to demonstrate that defection from Jehovah incurs severe punishment and servitude. Only by turning back to God can restoration be enjoyed. Thus the judges were charismatic leaders, raised up by God to deliver His theocratic people. Only by heeding their Spirit-directed message and following them in deliverance against their enemies could restoration be accomplished. The OT judges performed two functions. By divine power and Spirit-anointed leadership they delivered the people from enemy oppression. Having accomplished this, they ruled over them and administered government in the name of Israel’s God… Since the book reports seven apostasies, seven servitudes to seven heathen nations, and seven deliverances, it is evidently put in a symmetrical form (From: The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary).
Author: Is believed to be the Prophet Samuel.
Outline of Judges:
I. Introduction to the period (1:1-2:5)
A. Political conditions (1:1-36)
B. Religious conditions (2:1-5)
II. The period of the judges (2:6-16:31)
A. Religious condition of the entire period (2:6-3:6)
B. The judges (3:7-16:31)
1. Othniel (3:7-11)
2. Ehud (3:12-30)
3. Shamgar (3:31)
4. Deborah and Barak (4:1-5:31)
5. Gideon and Abimelech (6:1-9:57)
6. Tola (10:1-2)
7. Jair (10:3-5)
8. Jephthah (10:6-12:7)
9. Ibzan (12:8-10)
10. Elon (12:11-12)
11. Abdon (12:13-15)
12. Samson (13:1-16:31)
III. The double appendix (17:1-21:25)
A. The idolatry of Micah and the Danites (17:1-18:31)
B. The crime at Gibeah and its punishment (19:1-21:25)
m.f.u. – from Unger’s.
Unger’s notes the following: “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25). This sentence, frequently and earnestly repeated, gives us the keynote of the whole book of Judges. Each tribe took thought for itself how best to secure and maintain an adequate territory, so that separate interests of all sorts soon became prevalent and regard for the general welfare was more and more forgotten… The children of Israel did evil against Jehovah, though He had manifested special favor to them; He therefore sold them into the hand of various enemies; they then cried to Him in their trouble; He raised up a deliverer who saved them; the land had a period of rest; again the people sinned; and the same cycle was repeated.
Key Verse of book: Judges 2:16: “Then the LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders.”
Note this verse says that the judges where raised up by God!
Gideon: “Mighty Warrior”
Thesis: God called Gideon a “Mighty Warrior” even when he did not look like it but we must remember that God sees what we do not see and we in turn must trust him and answer the call.
Opening Illustration: DEFINING MOMENTS OF FAITH
Several years ago Jeff Strueker was a US Army Ranger posted in Mogadishu, Somalia. Today he is a master of divinity student at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.
For him Oct 3-4, 1993 were the defining moments of his life. He was one of the troops called on to go into the center Mogadisu to secure a building as part of a larger operation. The movie “Black Hawk Down” came out about a year ago chronicling the events of those two days.
In the first trip into the city he and most of his friends got out through a hailstorm of bullets. One man was shot and killed. It was then that he felt the fear. He began to pray. The humvee was painted with blood as they escaped the city with their dead and wounded comrades.
The news soon worsened. A helicopter was shot down. The team received orders to return to the melee. Yet, his men understandably couldn’t fight in the bloody humvees. Struecker spent the next 30 to 45 minutes cleaning. No running water. Only sponges and buckets.
"I began to talk to the Lord. I thought I was going to die," he said. Feeling his fear grow, he began to ask God to protect him. But his prayer soon changed.
"I’ll never forget this for the rest of my life. ... A scene appeared in the landscape of my mind. The scene was Jesus in the Garden. ... He clearly and honestly knew that he was going to die. ... He also showed that he did not want to go to that cross and die. And I knew that I didn’t want to die that night. But Jesus courageously said, ’God, not my will, but yours be done.’