Summary: Today’s sermon is about a cowardly hero forced into hiding by organized crime, an angel that is more than an angel, strange fleece ware, a bad dream, being outnumbered 450 to one, and smashed pottery. This is how it happened.
Gideon: The Thresher Gone Thrasher
1. My sister didn’t do as well on her driver’s-ed test as she’d hoped. It might have had something to do with how she completed this sentence: “When the ______ is dead, the car won’t start.”
She wrote: “Driver.” Nathan Hellman, Brooklyn, New York [rd.com]
2. Of course, the correct answer should have been “battery.” For God’s people, that battery is His power and blessing, whether through the Holy Spirit or His intervention.
3. Because of sin, particularly idolatry, Israel had a dead spiritual battery. God decided to give Israel a jump stary by raising up a leader named Gideon, the man whose name has been borrowed for the great ministry that places Bibles in motels, schools, & facilities.
3. Today’s sermon is about a cowardly hero forced into hiding by organized crime, an angel that is more than an angel, strange fleece ware, a bad dream, being outnumbered 450 to one, and smashed pottery. This is how it happened.
Main Idea: God has many things for us to accomplish, but it is important that we allow Him to keep developing us and filling us with His Spirit.
I. God NURTURES Gideon to Make Him One of Israel’s GREATEST Heroes (6:1-7:25).
A. Israel was oppressed by PARASITIC Midianites and their allies (6:1-6).
1. Notice Gideon had a sense of abandonment. Many people feel abandoned.
2. He blamed God for Israel’s situation, rather the consequence it was.
B. God sends a PROPHET to confront the sinful nation (6:7-10).
C . God calls, DEVELOPS, and uses (6:11-7:25)
1.The angel of Yahweh calls Gideon to deliver Israel (6:11-24).
Some appearances of the Angel of Yahweh; the Angel is also referred to as Yahweh. This is God the Son taking on the appearance of a man before He became incarnate as a man.
Genesis 16:7–14. The angel of the Lord appears to Hagar.
Genesis 22:11–15. The angel of the Lord appears to Abraham and refers to himself as God.
Exodus 3:2–4. The angel of the Lord appears to Moses in a flame in verse 2, and God speaks to Moses from the flame in verse 4, both instances referring to himself in the first person.
Numbers 22:22–38. The angel of the Lord meets the prophet Balaam on the road. In verse 38, Balaam identifies the angel who spoke to him as delivering the word of God.
To Joshua at Jericho – Josh. 5:13-15
Judges 2:1–3. An angel of the Lord appears to Israel.
Judges 6:11–23. An angel of the Lord appears to Gideon, and in verse 22 Gideon fears for his life because he has seen an angel of the Lord face to face.
Judges 13:3–22. The angel of the Lord appears to Manoah. Later Manoah thought he and his wife will die for they "have seen God"
Zechariah 1:12. The angel of the Lord pleads with the Lord to have mercy on Jerusalem and the cities of Judah.
2. Gideon destroys Baal’s altar and then sacrifices to Yahweh (6:25-32).
3. The Spirit empowers Gideon so volunteers respond (6:33-35).
• 6:34, “But the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon, and he sounded the trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called out to follow him.”
4. God accommodates Gideon’s fearful faith with the fleece (6:34-40).
• No reason we can tell why God does this for Gideon, but not others.
• We should not make this a rubric, a model for determining God’s will.
• The Torah tells us not to put God to the test.
5. God had accommodated Gideon’s doubts, now He will stretch his faith (7:1-8).
• Although Gideon needed others, it was important that it be clear that their victory was miraculous and God’s doing. So Gideon’s troops are reduced.
• 135,000 Midianites; From 32,000 to 10,000 to 300; Ratio: 4.2 to 1. Then 13.5 to 1 ; then 450 to 1.
6. Gideon’s spies hear the Midianites recount a FEAR-inspiring dream (7:9-14).
7. Gideon gains a great victory (7:15 to 7:25).
• Lamps over torches, lights suddenly appearing
• The coordinated shout
• Scared the Midianites, but also divine confusion, killed one another
• They flee, Gideon calls other soldiers from original group to pursue…
II. God Nurtures Us and Helps Us Sort Out Our DEFECTS.
A. Some of us frequently struggle with feeling ABANDONED by God or others.
1. Caution is a virtue, but uncalled for suspicion and fear of abandonment often go hand in hand. This is an unhealthy way to think.
2. Gideon was suspicious of God, fearing God would abandon him.
3. Reasonable suspicion can be a good think to combat naivete, but it is no way to go through life. The principle suggested in Luke 16:10, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much…”