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Summary: OUR ROLE IN GOD’S DELIVERANCE STORY IS DEFINED BY HIM TO BE DISCOVERED BY US.

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Gideon: Warrior in Hiding

Judges 6:1-32

6/7/09

INTRODUCTION

Bob Hudson Missionary to Honduras shares this story of his call.

Discharged from the Army in 1956, I became a Christian, was married, bought part of the family farm, and began pursuing my dream of building Indiana’s greatest hog operation. Since I had an accounting degree, I took a job with a local industry and was soon made assistant controller. Meanwhile the hog project was thriving.

But the Lord’s conviction was on me to submit my vocation to him. Like Gideon, I told God, "You’ll need to give me a sign. I have these 80 sows. If none of them has babies, I’ll believe you have other work for me." In a few weeks the veterinarian confirmed the obvious: my boars were all sterile.

About then, an item in the World Gospel Mission magazine announced its need of an accountant. I applied--and worked there for 25 years. A couple of years before I retired as treasurer, a Honduras missionary asked if I’d help them start a hog operation.

My first reaction? "Lord, you must be kidding!" But we moved to Honduras in 1999. And today we have the operation of my dreams with four beautiful buildings and a great vocational training program for 25 young men.

In Kingdom advancement God reserves the right to do things his way

OUR ROLE IN GOD’S DELIVERANCE STORY IS DEFINED BY HIM TO BE DISCOVERED BY US.

I. The Story

A. The Scourge of the Midianite Hordes (6:1-6)

6:1 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites . 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 the men and their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it. 6 Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the LORD for help.

B. Divine Perspective (6:6-10)

7 When the Israelites cried to the LORD because of Midian, 8 he sent them a prophet, who said, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 9 I snatched you from the power of Egypt and from the hand of all your oppressors. I drove them from before you and gave you their land. 10 I said to you, ’I am the LORD your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me."

C. Gideon’s Call to Be a Deliverer (6:11-16)

11 The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon (Called also Jerubbaal) was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior."

13 "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."

14 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?"

15 "But Lord," Gideon asked, "how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family."

16 The LORD answered, "I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together."

D. Gideon’s Call Confirmed by God (6:17-27)

17 Gideon replied, "If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. 18 Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you."

And the LORD said, "I will wait until you return."

19 Gideon went in, prepared a young goat, and from an ephah of flour he made bread without yeast. Putting the meat in a basket and its broth in a pot, he brought them out and offered them to him under the oak.

20 The angel of God said to him, "Take the meat and the unleavened bread, place them on this rock, and pour out the broth." And Gideon did so. 21 With the tip of the staff that was in his hand, the angel of the LORD touched the meat and the unleavened bread. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the LORD disappeared. 22 When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the LORD, he exclaimed, "Ah, Sovereign LORD! I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!"

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