Summary: Our weakness does not hinder God’s plan for our lives.
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[Read Judges 6:1-6]
Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds (Judges 6:1-2).
For seven years the Midianites tormented and terrorized the people of Israel. The forces of Midian would rush into the land like swarms of locusts and devour everything in their path. The Israelites were living in fear. Finally, they cried out to the Lord for help. And what did God do? He selected an unsure, insecure, and fearful man to lead the Israelites to victory against the Midianites. His name was Gideon.
VIDEO – Biggest Fear
We all have fears. I believe there are two kinds of fear: healthy fear and paralyzing fear. Fear almost kept Gideon from doing God’s will. Fear can prevent us from obeying God.
For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV).
The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior” (Judges 6:11-12).
Threshing was the process of separating the grains of wheat from the useless outer shell called chaff. This was normally done in a large area, often on a hill, where the wind could blow away the lighter chaff when the farmer tossed the beaten wheat into the air. If Gideon had done this, however, he would have been an easy target for the bands of raiders who were overrunning the land. Therefore, he was forced to thresh his wheat in a winepress, a pit that was probably hidden from view and that would not be suspected as a place to find a farmer’s crops. (Life Application Study Bible)
Who is “the angel of the LORD”? The angel mentioned here appears to be separate from God in one place (6:12) and yet the same as God in another place (6:14). This has led some to believe that the angel was a special appearance of Jesus Christ prior to His mission on earth.
When the Lord appeared to Gideon, he was hiding. Gideon didn’t feel like a “mighty warrior.” He must have been confused: “Are you talking to me? Can’t you see I’m hiding in a winepress? Mighty warrior? That’s not me. You’ve got the wrong guy.”
The key to victory is found in the phrase “The LORD is with you.” On his own, Gideon was not a mighty warrior. But the power of the Lord would be with him.
1. Gideon was afraid that God wasn’t FAITHFUL.
“But sir,” Gideon replied, “if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian” (Judges 6:13).
2. Gideon was afraid that he wasn’t GOOD enough.
“But LORD,” Gideon asked, “how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family” (Judges 6:15).
F.E.A.R. = False Expectations Appearing Real.
What has fear kept you from doing that God is calling you to do?
GOD’S “GIDEON” TRUTHS
1. With God, His STRENGTH through your WEAKNESS is exactly enough.
The LORD turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” (Judges 6:14).
The LORD answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together” (Judges 6:16).
I do not have time to tell about Gideon...whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies (Hebrews 11:32, 34).
2. With God, the way FORWARD is often BACKWARDS.
[Read Judges 7:2-8]
The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained (Judges 7:2-3).
Gideon wasn’t instantly transformed into a fearless hero. He continued to struggle with fear. He asked for three signs to prove that God would really give him victory (6:17, 36-38, 39-40). God graciously provided the signs and kept encouraging him.