Summary: Series on men and women’s prayers in the Bible that made a difference and how prayer truly is the difference maker in our lives. I borrowed the outlines from SermonCentral Pro Contributor Tim Byrd
Gideon: The proof of prayer
A Farmer felt called to preach by God and asked God for a sign. Sitting under a tree one day he sees the letters P and C in the clouds. The farmer decides it means “Preach Christ.” So he sells the farm and equipment and goes to preach. Needless to say he was horrible. One day after a sermon a member in the church came to him and said, “Are you sure God wasn’t trying to tell you to Plant Corn?”
All throughout the Bible, God has called out certain people for certain missions. He called Moses to free the nation of Israel from slavery. He called Noah to build an Ark, save the animals and repopulate the earth. He called David to take down Goliath, Joshua to lead the next generation of Israel into the promise land as well as to take down the walls of Jericho. He called the disciples to follow Him and become fishers of men as well as help start the New Testament church.
Now in the Bible there are 4 primary words found in scripture in the original Greek & Hebrew that are translated call:
1. Qara- meaning “to call, call out or recite; to address something or someone by name.” For example, this word was used in Gen. 1:5 when God called the light day. Also the same word used when God called forth the generations in Isa. 41:4. This word was also used when it came to God calling people to a specific task. This is seen in Isa. 65:12 when Israel was called by God to be His people. Also meant to summons God for help and we first see this expression in Genesis 4:26 when is says people began to call upon the name of the Lord. An interesting note for this word is when you read in the Bible about Lepers. We are told that the Lepers had to call out when they came toward people; “Here comes a leper.” This is the word used for “called out” in the Hebrew/Greek.
2. Hebrew word for call was miqra, which is where we get our term call to worship.
3. Greek word Kaleo means to call or clamer; to invite. This term is used in Romans 8:30 and it deals with those who were called to the blessings of redemption. This word is also used when a person is called to salvation or fellowship with God. (1 Thess. 2:12; 1 Cor 1:9)
4. Greek word Klesis which means a calling that is irrevocable, that is binding, or final. An example would be that if God asked you to do something then that is what you are to do. What He has asked of you is binding or final. This is the idea or word that is used in tonight’s passage, which is Judges 6:1-17, when God called a man to deliver the nation of Israel.
Now when it comes to the book of Judges, we as a group need to be aware of the characteristics of this dark period in Israel’s history. What do the Israelites teach us as a unit? In these chapters, the Book of Judges gives a chronological survey of events during the centuries of darkness which followed for Israel. God’s Word had been abandoned and He Himself forsaken. The lessons that earlier generations had learned at Jericho and Ai had been forgotten, the people of Israel now had to be taught again and again and again. This time, instead of involving a single family (Achan’s), the pattern of sin and subsequent judgment swept over the nation as a whole.
And there was a pattern. Seven repeated cycles of events are reported. The first scriptural account reports that Israel fell into sin. As a result of sin, God brought judgment through the nearby nations, and God’s people were forced into servitude. When the pressure became unbearable, Israel turned from her sin and cried out to God for deliverance. God heard Israel’s prayers and a charismatic leader emerged to lead Israel first to victory over the enemy, and then morally and spiritually as a judge. During this leader’s life the people typically knew quiet and freedom from oppression. But all too soon, they slipped back into the sinful ways of the pagans around them. With that fall into sin, the cycle began all over again.
This is the case in tonight’s passage. In a time of great despair, the nation of Israel had turned their back on and away from the ways and the will of God again. Because of their disobedience God had delivered the children of Israel into the hands of their enemies, the Midianites. And once again Israel was greatly impoverished; their land was destroyed and many lives were lost. So they do what they had done in the past which was cry out to God for deliverance. “Save us from those who torment us.” So God again hears their cry and so God seeks out for them someone to deliver His message to the people; a Judge or a Prophet. We will see tonight that this person that God sought out was one whose heart was willing to be used by God. Not one with great abilities, but someone with availability, someone who had made themselves available for God to use.